While 18-year-old Beth Buchanan prepares to move into TV’s most famous neighbourhood, her older sister, Simone, is looking forward to moving on from TV’s most famous Aussie family. After more than five years in the role of Debbie Kelly, there are strong hints that Simone will not be renewing her contract with Hey Dad! beyond September. And the younger Buchanan is now settling into her new role as Gemma Ramsay in Neighbours, although despite her youth she is already a veteran of the small screen – with stints in Hey Dad!, A Country Practice, Home And Away and the mini-series The Last Frontier. And the two sisters (pictured) have inevitably copped comparisons to those other famous sisters, Kylie and Dannii Minogue. “Please don’t compare us to them,” Simone tells TV Week. “Everyone seems to be asking if we’re the next Kylie and Dannii – we’re not!”
New kids on the beach
Home And Away is about to welcome two new foster children. Karen and Blake Dean, played by Belinda Jarrett and Les Hill, come into Summer Bay as foster children to Alf and Ailsa Stewart (Ray Meagher and Judy Nunn) after the death of their mother from cancer. “It’s a dream come true,” Jarrett told TV Week. “I’m a huge Home And Away fan. I usually wolf my dinner down so I don’t miss an episode. It’s amazing to think I’m now a part of the all the goings-on taking place in Summer Bay.” While Jarrett has had no prior television experience, Hill has had some appearances in the ABC medical drama GP. “The thing I’m finding most daunting about working on Home And Away is the pace of the production,” he says. “It’s fast but I’m enjoying the challenge.”
‘In the morning we always wrap our arms around each other’
Val Jellay talks about life after thirty years of marriage to Maurie Fields – a partnership that began in the days of vaudeville and later followed into television when the pair were a hit on the variety show Sunnyside Up, and they’ve rarely been out of work since – with both currently appearing as husband and wife in The Flying Doctors. Despite the busy and demanding schedules that the industry can demand, the pair have rarely spent more than two days apart. “We’ve never tired of each other,” Jellay tells TV Week. “Maurie is easy to live with and has a placid nature. When we’re doing a scene together, I can stare him in the eyes and the tears just come. In the morning we always wrap our arms around each other, like it’s our first day.”
Actor Kim Gyngell, best known as Col’n Carpenter, is set to shatter the image of the “lovable dag” with his role in the new movie, Heaven Tonight, in which he co-stars with John Waters, Rebecca Gilling and Guy Pearce. Gyngell plays Baz Shultz, a former rock star whose life has been affected by drugs.
Neighbours’ producers aren’t saying much, but it seems that the show is set to have its most celebrated wedding since Scott and Charlene (Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue), with ‘Bouncer’ and ‘Rosie’ set to become television’s first canine couple.
Half A World Away is a lavish mini-series being produced for ABC for airing next year. The series is based on the 1934 Great Air Race, in which millionaire “Mac” Robinson put up a fortune in prize money for the fastest plane from London to Melbourne. The series has an impressive cast including Caroline Goodall, Gosia Dobrowska, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Gary Day, Johnathan Hyde and American actors Barry Bostwick and Helen Slater.
John Laws says…
”Recent audience research figures suggest that comedy and games shows are continuing to win satisfying ratings for all networks. I guess it’s a sign of our rather desperate financial times that viewers are more and more seeking light relief to escape the pain and problems of everyday life. There are a number of highly successful shows around right now, and it’s pleasing that local comedies like Hey Dad! are attracting the sort of healthy ratings that make worth while all the effort that goes into them.”
Program Highlights (July 21-27):
Saturday: ABC presents highlights of the first day’s competition from the 1990 Goodwill Games, being held in Seattle, USA. ABC will present an hour of highlights in the early evening on each day of competition as well as a further hour later in the night.
Sunday: Sunday night movies are Overboard (HSV7) and Bull Durham (ATV10). GTV9 presents the first of a two-part mini-series, Dress Gray, and ABC debuts mini-series Mussolini And I, featuring Bob Hoskins, Anthony Hopkins and Susan Sarandon.
Monday: Mark Mitchell launches his new comedy series, The Big Time (ATV10), featuring his family in real-life situations while he dreams he is a late-night TV show host.
Tuesday: In Beyond 2000 (HSV7), reporter Amanda Keller visits the US where there has been some success with a vaccine used to treat a similar disease as AIDS. ATV10 presents a one-hour special edition of Candid Camera On Australia with Tony Murphy. This week’s GP episode, The Very Long Goodbye, tells the story of a patient with a brain tumour, told he has six months to live, going on a last wild binge – then discovers that the diagnosis was wrong. The episode guest stars George Spartels.
Wednesday: Noni Hazlehurst (pictured), Deidre Rubenstein and Tony Barry star in the documentary-drama Breaking Through (ABC), focusing on the real-life case of Cathy Ann Matthews and her frightening and painful childhood. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse perpetrated by her father was so distressing that she shut it out of her conscious mind for over 40 years. Hazlehurst also appears in the mini-series The Shiralee, starring Bryan Brown, Rebecca Smart, which begins a re-run on HSV7.
Thursday: In E Street (ATV10), the wedding between Abby (Chelsea Brown) and Ernie (Vic Rooney) does not go off without a hitch. Bob (Tony Martin) has a plan to patch things up with Elly (Penny Cook) once and for all.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.
21 July 1990. Southdown Press.