Hey, Ben’s a dad!
It might be a shock to some to realise that Ben Oxenbould, the newcomer to the cast of Hey Dad!, is himself a dad. The 22-year-old, who got his big break at the age of seven in the film Fatty Finn, has a one-year-old son but is very protective of him and won’t have him photographed by the media. “He keeps me very busy when he’s with me,” Oxenbould (pictured with co-star Rachael Beck) told TV Week. “He’s a classic combination of his mother – with whom he lives – and myself. And, thankfully, I think he got everything good from us. So that’s something.” The Hey Dad! role is Adelaide-born Oxenbould’s first comedy role, having previously appeared in E Street and GP and will star in the upcoming SBS series Six Pack.
No naked ambition!
Former The Flying Doctors star Liz Burch (pictured) is no stranger to nudity, having starred in the controversial stage production Steaming, but when speaking of her upcoming role in Nine’s Chances she says the producers wouldn’t dare. “They wouldn’t dream of asking me to take my clothes off… the ratings would plummet! I did Steaming, but that was very different. We rehearsed that for four weeks, the show was well-written and there was justification for it. With Chances, the issue of nudity never comes into it,” she said. In Chances, Burch plays a chemist, Sally Kirk, who is involved in a relationship with Jack Taylor (Tim Robertson) – but Alex (Jeremy Sims) plots to steal her away from Jack after realising she has information that could earn him millions.
‘I was moved to tears…’
Maryanne Fahey, best known from The Comedy Company, is about to tackle one of the most demanding roles in her career – portraying the life of one of Australia’s most controversial and amusing personalities, Mary Hardy (pictured), in the upcoming play Mary Lives. Hardy, who committed suicide in 1985, was well-known to Melbourne radio and television audiences in the 1960s and 1970s, in particular as presenter on the long-running variety show The Penthouse Club and on radio 3AW. She also won a number of TV Week Logies for her popularity with Victorian audiences. “I was moved to tears when I first read the play,” Fahey told TV Week. “It was something I really wanted to do. Mary was one of the real forerunners of women’s comedy in this country. Hopefully, I will do her justice. She was outrageous and prepared to cop the flak because she was an idealist, and I admire that more than someone who just goes out there to be funny.”
Hard Copy reporter Jane Hansen (pictured) has confirmed reports that she has been approached by former 60 Minutes producer Gerald Stone to join his new current affairs venture for the Seven Network, though stresses that nothing has been signed or agreed to as yet. The new program, yet to be named, may potentially be slotted against Nine’s ratings giant 60 Minutes.
Joan McInnes, the host of Network Ten’s morning program ‘Til Ten, has announced her engagement to winemaker and yachtsman James Hardy. The pair have known each other for more than five years but began seeing each other seriously two years ago and are expected to wed in December.
New Zealand actress Catherine Wilkin (Cop Shop, Rafferty’s Rules) is set to return to Australia after three years, starring as an ambassador in the next series of ABC’s Embassy. “I’ve played a lot of strong-minded career women but never an ambassador,” she said. “I’ll have to pay the Australian ambassador a visit here and do a crash course in diplomacy before I leave New Zealand!”
John Laws says…
”Who was it, I wonder, who allowed the Beyond 2000 format to slip from the clutches of the ABC and into the hands of the Seven Network all those years ago? Those responsible must still be suffering recurring bouts of programmers’ guilt – as must be those misguided Seven executives who elected to give up on Neighbours and meekly hand it to Ten, where it was transformed into a long-running international smash-hit worth millions. Watching Beyond 2000 the other night – and admiring its bright, informative segments on everything from eatable potato-chip containers to sonar fences to stop whales beaching themselves – only reinforced my long-held belief that it is one of Australia’s best programs.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 2-8):
Saturday: Network Ten’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off with all-day coverage of Derby Day, live from Flemington Racecourse, presented by Tim Webster with racecaller Dan Mielicki. This week’s contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven) are Rod Marsh, Lynda Stoner and Larry Pickering. ABC presents live coverage overnight of the Rugby World Cup final from Twickenham, United Kingdom.
Sunday: Nine’s crosses to Adelaide for its all-day coverage of the Australian Grand Prix, hosted by Ken Sutcliffe with commentators Alan Jones, Jackie Stewart, Murray Walker, Darrell Eastlake and Barry Sheene. Author Colleen McCullough is this week’s guest on ABC’s Sunday Afternoon With Peter Ross. Sunday night movies are Sex, Lies And Videotape (Nine) and The Great Outdoors (Ten), up against the debut of two-part mini-series Love And Hate (Seven).
Monday: In A Country Practice (Seven), Matt (John Tarrant) admits he has had enough of marriage to Lucy (Georgie Parker). Ben Mendelsohn guest stars in Col’n Carpenter (Ten).
Tuesday: Melbourne Cup Day, and Network Ten presents live coverage of the highlight of the Australian racing calendar, starting at 9.30am and continuing through to 5.30pm, hosted by Tim Webster. In GP (ABC), the sudden return of Dr Nicola Tanner’s (Judy McIntosh, pictured) wild brother Danny (Brett Climo) leads to the uncovering of a dark secret in the Tanner family. In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Simon Reeve reports from the UK on the Weatherall racetrack, made up of granulated rubber from old car tyres.
Wednesday: In E Street (Ten), Lisa (Alyssa-Jane Cook) tries to find the answer to Michael’s (Graham Harvey) death. In Hey Dad! (Seven), Simon (Chris Mayer) is panic stricken with the fear of incipient baldness while Betty (Julie McGregor) solves the problems of the ozone layer.
Thursday: Former Prisoner star Betty Bobbitt guest stars in The Flying Doctors (Nine). ABC’s documentary series Wildscreen looks at the camel as a wild animal, detailing its fascinating and complex social behaviour.
Friday: Talent quest series Star Search (Ten) presents its series semi-final, hosted by Mike Hammond.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 2 November 1991. Southdown Press