Julie Anthony’s singing the blues away
This week, the Seven Network will screen The Julie Anthony Special, a one-hour production taped late last year on the Gold Coast. But since the special was taped, the former South Australian farm girl who grew up to charm London audiences in the stage production of Irene, has lost her voice and been ordered by doctors not to sing at all until the problem has been properly diagnosed and, hopefully, cured. Anthony, and her husband and manager Eddie Natt, have since travelled to Germany to consult a throat specialist with the hope that laser surgery can cure the recurring voice problems that also caused her to drop out of Irene ahead of schedule in 1977. In the operation is a success then Anthony hopes to be able to do another TV special.

therestlessyrs The Restless Years together
It’s the marriage that fans of The Restless Years have waited over a year for.  Dr Bruce Russell (Malcolm Thompson) has married Alison Clark (Julieanne Newbould) in a formal church wedding followed by a reception attended by around 40 guests. The on-screen wedding was performed by a real-life Anglican priest, Reverend R W Long, at his church of St Martin’s in the Sydney suburb of Killara.

davidjohnston David switches channels in comeback bid
Two years after “retiring” from the newsroom at Melbourne’s HSV7, David Johnston (pictured)  is making a comeback to journalism as the host of ABC‘s new Victorian-based current affairs program, Statewide. Although Johnston has continued to co-host HSV7’s children’s magazine program This Week Has Seven Days, in the two years since leaving Seven National News, Johnston has been made various offers to join rival channels but rejected them as “I wasn’t that interested.  I wanted a complete change.” The offer to present Statewide came several months ago, but at the time Johnston was reluctant to sever all ties with HSV7: “Then I learnt This Week Has Seven Days was about to fold, so I accepted the ABC offer.” Since announcing his new role as host of Statewide, HSV7 has given a reprieve to This Week Has Seven Days and it will continue with Johnston’s former co-host Honor Walters.

Exit Lorraine, enter Ilona
Former English and New Zealand actress Ilona Rodgers has joined the cast of The Sullivans and, despite denials from producer Hector Crawford, it is suggested that her role of Kate Meredith will ultimately replace that of Grace Sullivan (Lorraine Bayly) as the show’s central character.  Bayly is set to leave the series in the next few weeks but will continue to be seen on screen until late in the year. Hector Crawford told TV Times: “Ilona has a very important role.  She is an enormously competent actress. We don’t know how far the role will go until we knew whether… when… Grace will return.” Having built up a huge following as Grace Sullivan, Bayly is said to be keen to pursue acting opportunities overseas.

A friendly tennis match between the cast of Prisoner and members of the news team at rival HSV7 took an unfortunate turn when actress Kerry Armstrong (pictured) fell and tore two tendons in her leg. The former TV weathergirl, who plays inmate Lyn Warner in the new 0-10 Network series, is now on crutches which appears timely given that a script for an upcoming episode has Warner suffer an accident that also leaves her on crutches.

Diane Craig, actress wife of Garry McDonald (Norman Gunston), is currently appearing on the Nine Network‘s The Sullivans but is about to change camps to an ongoing role in Seven’s Cop Shop.

John Proper, producer of GTV9‘s New Faces, has just faced the cameras in a guest role as a drunken Irishman, Paddy Stevenson, for Cop Shop.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
“I am writing to complain that these days there are no horror movies on TV.” N. Kinghorne, NSW.

“I was extremely thrilled to learn of the return of Doctor Who, after a long-awaited and promised return.  But why at 6.30pm? Again, ABC has committed Doctor Who to this timeslot. As before, we will be unable to view the so-called “A”-rated versions because of this timeslot. The past Doctor Who adventures have all been enjoyable, but I am sick and tired of having stories shown cut, and in “bits and pieces” or just not having them at all.” M. Kavazos, NSW.

“On the day John Dease died, Sydney TCN9 newsreader Brian Henderson solemnly informed viewers that later in the news there would be tributes to this great broadcaster and actor. I sat there waiting, expecting that we would hear from personalities that knew him as a friend and professional colleague. But had Nine gone to the trouble of gathering tributes from these people? No, they took the el cheapo way out and ran a bit of the movie Newsfront, in which Dease appeared. And I’d seen the movie anyway.” M. Cook, NSW.

What’s On (March 17-23):
Saturday afternoon sport includes ATV0‘s coverage of Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day, live from Flemington and hosted by Peter Hanrahan with race caller Clem DimseyHSV7 has tennis with the 1979 Simpson Satellite Circuit from Kooyong in Melbourne. ABC has a repeat of the highlights of the 1978 Coca-Cola Swimming Championships.

In This Week Has Seven Days (HSV7, Saturday afternoon), snake expert Frits Maaten is in the studio with poisonous Tiger, Copper, Adder and Black snakes. He also shows harmless varieties and how to correctly apply a tourniquet.

Children’s programs on weekday afternoons are dominated by overseas titles, including Land Of The Lost, Battle Of The Planets, Scooby Doo, Flipper, Catweazle and Sesame Street, though ABC has the perennial Play School and GTV9 has Rory O’Donoghue hosting a children’s game show, Razzle Dazzle.

denisedrysdale This week’s guests on Peter Couchman Tonight (ATV0, weeknights) include Denise Drysdale (pictured), Eddie Charlton, Helen Noonan, Matt Flinders, Pamela Gibbons and Jimmy Hannan.

Friday night sees the debut of Statewide, a local current affairs program hosted by David Johnston, as the lead-in to ABC‘s 7pm news.

This week’s Australian Football Championships matches (HSV7) are Footscray versus Tasmania, and South Melbourne versus South Fremantle.

Sunday night movies: Killer On Board (HSV7), Steptoe And Son Ride Again (GTV9), McQ (ATV0).

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 17 March 1979.  ABC/ACP

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