Cover: Kylie Minogue
The impossible dream
With careers on opposite sides of the world, actors Marcus Graham and Nicole Kidman have to put their relationship on hold. Graham, formerly of E Street, is starring in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Sydney Opera House, while Kidman is in the US starring alongside Tom Cruise in the new movie Days Of Thunder.
John weds in secret
A Country Practice star John Tarrant has married his long-time girlfriend, ABC reporter Shereen Bates, while on a two-week production break from the series. The couple had first met at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where Tarrant was studying acting and Bates was doing a media course. They were married at Caves House, near Yallingup in South Western Australia, in a ceremony attended by around 60 close friends and family.
Sophie’s their choice
Former Melbourne model Sophie Heathcote (pictured) has landed a major role in A Country Practice. The 18-year-old will begin filming on the show later this month with her first scenes to appear on screen in April. Heathcote will play Stephanie “Steve” Brennan, a country girl who helps her father, Snow (Ben Gabriel), run a farm in Wandin Valley. Although Heathcote is not giving anything away, an involvement between her character and Luke Ross (Matt Day) may lead to something later on.
‘I never know what the year ahead will bring’
Jon Blake, the former The Restless Years star still battling to recover from a horrific car accident three years ago, after he had completed filming The Lighthorseman, was special guest at an important party last month. Mascot Blake threw her son a 31st birthday party, attended by friends and some of the many volunteers who help Blake with his rehabilitation. The party was also highlighted by phone calls from former The Restless Years colleagues Peter Phelps and Mark Hembrow, both who are overseas. Another special guest at the party was Blake’s 11-year-old son, Dustin, who often visits his father when in Sydney. Mrs Blake also thanked TV Week readers who donated generously to help with the rehabilitation effort and have offered their assistance to Mrs Blake.
Arthur cuts the apron strings
The cast of the ABC series Mother And Son have been told to be prepared for a fifth series of the comedy to go into production in 1991. The series has been on a break for two years while writer Geoffrey Atherden attends to other projects. The fifth series could reveal some interesting twists for the show’s central characters, with Arthur (Garry McDonald) possibly to be moved out of the family home, and scheming brother Robert (Henri Szeps) looking after mum Maggie (Ruth Cracknell). The new series will be a welcome change for McDonald, who was disappointed after plans for a return to TV as his classic Norman Gunston character fell through. Both Nine and Seven networks had negotiated for a new Gunston series, after his one-off appearance at the 1989 TV Week Logie Awards, and it is reported that an agreement was reached with Nine. However, financial uncertainty in the industry meant that the project was dropped.
Adelaide teenagers Richard Norton and Jeremy Angerson have joined the cast of Neighbours as the show recovers from losing key cast member Craig McLachlan to rival series Home And Away.
Actress and model Sue Smithers, a former cast member on The Restless Years, is planning a showbusiness comeback after the end of her marriage to lawyer husband Randy. As well as writing a musical, Higher Love, the sister of actress Joy Smithers is also planning to release a single with comedian Austen Tayshus. “It will be a comic record – I love comedy and we’ve talking doing one for a long time,” she told TV Week.
Crawford Productions have just released two of its popular programs, All The Rivers Run and Zoo Family, on video as part of their Crawford’s Classics range. Future releases are set to include the original mini-series of The Flying Doctors, Whose Baby? and The Far Country. A sequel to All The Rivers Run is expected to screen on the Seven Network during the year.
On The Grapevine:
If one prominent Aussie actor wants people to take him seriously when he says he’s 32, he’d better get to work on his appearance. While his body is in reasonable shape, a truck-load of brown tint is required for those rapidly spreading grey hairs.
Intelligence, poise and good grooming are just a couple of prerequisites for television reporters, so how is one lass going to explain her recent behaviour at a big-budget movie location?
Who is the struggling deputy editor taking guitar lessons in a park during his lunch break? Is it a bid to launch a career in the music industry, or is it simply a release from the asylum in which he works?
John Laws says:
”Much happened in 1989 to sink a torpedo or two into the industry, and no one needs to be reminded of the financial problems of the various networks. (But) despite its problems, TV in Australia isn’t so bad. It’s not perfect but it hasn’t yet hit rock bottom. For all his woes, Christopher Skase did try to add a touch of quality. His TVAM, now ditched, was a gallant try at giving us a quality news and business program. Neighbours, no matter what you might think of it, has won international acclaim, and made mega-stars of its two leading lights, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Then, of course, the industry has, in the past 12 to 18 months, turned out some remarkably fine mini-series. Bangkok Hilton is an example. This was an international-class offering, and simply glowed when compared with much of the glossy trash imported from America.”
Program Highlights (Sydney):
Saturday: ATN7 has the Danone Australian Women’s Hardcourt Championship, live from Milton Courts, Brisbane. Former Australian Crawl musician Brad Robinson hosts a two-hour music program, Spin, on TEN10, and MTV (TCN9) presents Billy Joel Live In Leningrad.
Sunday: TCN9 presents Melbourne newsreader Brian Naylor’s one-hour documentary, Australia From The Outside Looking In, followed by On The Road With Midday with Midday reporters Lisa Forrest and Paul Lockyer. Sunday night movies are Lies (TCN9) and Clan Of The Cave Bear (TEN10).
Monday: ATN7 presents live coverage of the NSW Open tennis from White City, Sydney. A Current Affair (TCN9) returns for a new year, and TEN10 presents Part One of the re-run of mini-series Alice To Nowhere, starring John Waters, Rosey Jones and Ruth Cracknell.
Thursday: TEN10 crosses to Palm Meadows, Queensland for the Palm Meadows Golf Cup.
Friday: TCN9 crosses to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Day One of the First Test, Australia versus Pakistan. Commentators include Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Tony Greig, Ian Chappell and Max Walker.
Source: TV Week (Sydney edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 6 January 1990. Southdown Press.