Next month, stars of past and present TV shows will gather with fans to pay tribute to the industry that has made them household names and will raise money for charity at the same time. The Sprite-TV Celebrity Dance Party, hosted by Paula Duncan, will aid the Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home for the intellectually handicapped. Some of the famous faces attending the event include Georgie Parker and Craig McLachlan (pictured) joining cast members from shows including Sons And Daughters, Neighbours, Cop Shop, Home And Away, Prisoner, A Country Practice and The Flying Doctors. TV Week is also involved in the event and is giving away ten double passes, including airfares and hotel accommodation for interstate winners.
Back to the boards
Lean times in the television industry are seeing many actors and actresses officially out of work. Actors Equity says that 85 per cent of the 12,000 registered actors and actresses are out of acting work while many performers familiar to TV viewers are now making the move into the theatre – Alex Papps and Roger Oakley (formerly of Home And Away), Anne Phelan (pictured, last seen in Family And Friends), Kim Lewis (The Restless Years, Sons And Daughters) and Joan Sydney (A Country Practice) are just some TV performers who are now taking on theatre roles. For Lewis, who is co-starring with boyfriend John O’Hare (recently seen in GP) in the Sydney production of Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs, it is a welcome change from television. “I was always yearning for theatre work,” she told TV Week. “It’s a whole other world. You can’t stop and just go over mistakes. You’re there. That’s it.” For actress Anne Phelan, while she is grateful for her latest role in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s This Old Man Comes Rolling Home, says she is not as excited at the move into the theatre. “I’m at the stage where I’m thinking I should never have been an actor,” she said. “I’m feeling insecure because this role is massive and difficult. If someone offered me six months of TV work I’d say yes.” Joan Sydney, also starring in the MTC play, told TV Week: “Theatre is where the real acting is, but I enjoyed TV. I don’t consider it second rate.”
The big match… but this time Dermie’s the loser!
The long-running, unresolved romantic tension between Dr Elly Fielding (Penny Cook) and Reverend Bob Brown (Tony Martin) on Network Ten’s E Street is about to be sealed with a kiss. The pair are brought closer together after the owner of a local video store, played by AFL footballer Dermot Brereton (pictured, with Penny Cook), falls for Dr Fielding and she enlists the help of the reverend to tell Dermot that he is involved with her instead. The irony is, of course, that Reverend Bob has always loved Elly, and this incident looks likely to finally bring them together.
Actor Jeremy Kewley, currently featuring in Network Ten’s Candid Camera, says it is surprising just how many people are with people they shouldn’t be when the camera catches them out. “This happens often in restaurants. You’d be surprised at the number of diners on dates with people other than their official partners,” he told TV Week. Although he does point out that anyone they do play a trick on is asked to sign a form agreeing to have the segment shown on TV.
Former Neighbours star Geoff Paine was stunned when he was approached to join the cast of The Comedy Company. “It had never occurred to me that one day I’d be working with this team. It was quite a surprise to be asked,” he told TV Week. He is also thrilled at joining the show after Network Ten scrapped a proposed drama series, City Hospital, that was to feature Paine reprising his former Neighbours role of Dr Clive Gibbons.
Former Family And Friends star Gavin Harrison has a new-found confidence as a result of training for an upcoming episode of GP where he will play a boxing hero who has to rely on drugs to keep fighting. “Working on GP was the best experience of my life,” he told TV Week. “It was the series I wanted to work on and the character was a real challenge to me. They wanted an actor who could box and make it look professional, so that was a hurdle I had to get over.”
Hey Hey It’s Saturday cast members John Blackman and Wilbur Wilde have had their breakfast show on Melbourne radio station 3UZ abruptly cancelled after the station decided to adopt a new full-time sports format.
John Laws says…
”Ten’s decision to screen all-night news and current affairs from the CNN network in America will, no doubt, please those night-owl viewers who want a change from Seven’s rival NBC Today or third-rate movies. CNN’s Daybreak, now screening on Ten, is a slick, rapid-fire news show, covering anything of world or national interest to Americans. It was time, of course, for someone to to offer spirited competition to Bryant Gumbel and the NBC Today show. I understand the program’s ratings have dipped recently in the US, which is not a surprise. The Today show comes across as a tired, disorganised shadow of what it was a few years ago.”
Program Highlights (September 15-21):
Sunday: GTV9 crosses to Phillip Island for live coverage of the Australian 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix . Leading the coverage are Barry Sheene and Darrell Eastlake. Meanwhile, HSV7 presents a two-hour afternoon special, The Season That Was, presenting highlights of the 1990 AFL season. ATV10 presents live coverage of the Preliminary Final of the NSW Rugby League. Sunday night movies are Year Of The Dragon (HSV7), Funny Farm (GTV9) and The Year My Voice Broke (ATV10).
Monday: Andrew Denton presents a new show, The Money Or The Gun, on ABC – described as a “documentary/chat/comedy show where the real meets the surreal.”
Tuesday: HSV7 and GTV9 both cross to Tokyo for a 90-minute presentation on the announcement of the host city of the 1996 Olympic Games. Bruce McAvaney heads HSV7’s telecast, while Brian Naylor, prime minister Bob Hawke and A Current Affair’s Jana Wendt are part of the presenting team on GTV9’s telecast. ATV10 promises to provide updates on the announcement during its Tuesday night movie, Prizzi’s Honour. Melbourne is one of the six cities bidding for the Games, up against Athens, Manchester, Toronto, Belgrade and Atlanta.
Thursday: In Acropolis Now (HSV7), after a disastrous theatre date with Liz (Tracey Callander), Jim (Nick Giannopoulos) decides to stage his own version of Romeo And Juliet. Although Skirts star Nicholas Bell turns up to “addition” for the part of Romeo, Jim instead takes on the role and asks Effie (Mary Coustas, pictured) to be his Juliet.
Friday: During the day, HSV7 crosses to White City, Sydney for the semi-final of the Davis Cup – Australia versus Argentina. That night, HSV7 goes to the Glasshouse for the National Basketball League game between Melbourne Tigers and North Melbourne Giants.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 15 September 1990. Southdown Press.