Is it goodbye to the Valley?
A Country Practice star John Tarrant (pictured, with co-star Georgie Parker) has flagged the possibility that it may soon be time to move on from the popular drama. “At the moment I don’t know if I could do another year,” he told TV Week. “There are a lot of issues. It is not just me wanting to keep doing the show. It’s a matter of the producers wanting me. They might not. Maybe if it can be arranged, I’d feel like another six months.” The 26-year-old has plans to pursue a stage acting career as he hasn’t worked in the theatre since leaving drama school. Looking further ahead, Tarrant has ambitions of working in Hollywood either on screen or behind the camera.
Despite the Ten Network’s current financial state, that hasn’t stopped network managing director Steve Cosser trying to pull off a couple of huge television coups. Industry reports say that Ten had been trying to lure the top-rating Sale Of The Century away from the Nine Network – and it doesn’t stop there. Mr Cosser is also believed to have tried to secure an output deal with Grundy Television Productions for all of their product – a deal that could have seen Wheel Of Fortune, Sale Of The Century, Family Feud and even the recently-completed Bony telemovie go across to Ten in one fell swoop. However, a spokesperson from Ten insists that the reports circulating the industry are fiction.
Bert’s British invasion!
TV Week Gold Logie winner Bert Newton (pictured) is set to return to TV with his own show – but it won’t be in Australia. Newton received an offer from an English producer who saw him hosting his Seven Network daytime show last year and he is heading over to London in September to tape a pilot. The show, as yet unnamed, is expected to take on the format similar to the UK’s Aspel And Co show. “English viewers have no idea who I am or what I’ve done. I’m a total unknown in their eyes and I think that’s a good thing,” he told TV Week. Since the demise of The Bert Newton Show late last year, Newton has completed a stint at Cairns radio station 4CA. “It’s been a great experience. It’s my first time on radio in two years and my first radio job outside Melbourne. The audience reaction has been wonderful, so either I’ve fooled them or I’m doing OK!” But despite the possibility of a future in England, Newton would accept an offer to return to Australian TV. “Obviously, the situation here at the moment wouldn’t hold too much promise for a show of my own,” he says. “I’ll just wait for Kerry Packer to fix things at Nine. When he does, I can imagine the out-of-work TV people from all over the world who’ll be ringing him for a job. At least he’s a guy you can trust.”
Adam Willits, one of the original cast members of Home And Away, has decided to leave the series. “He’s been with the show since the beginning and he wants to explore other avenues in acting,” producer Andrew Howie told TV Week.
Jude and Joy, the down-to-earth housewives who love a chat over the fence in ABC’s The Big Gig have spoken to TV Week about their lives and ambitions. “I’m very ambitious,” Jude (Denise Scott) told TV Week. “I’ve got a bunny suit that I made myself, and I’ve already worked at the shopping centres… as an Easter bunny, not one of those other bunnies!” Meanwhile, much of Joy’s (Jean Kittson) energy is spent yelling at the kids or keeping track of her husband, Wal, whose wandering eye has caught sight of local glamour queen Loretta. “She’s a big worry, that woman,” Joy says. “She’s so glamorous, I don’t know how she does it. Leather mini-skirts and all! Jude and I have let ourselves go just a bit – but we do scrub up all right!” The Big Gig is set to return later this month in a new series.
The Ten Network says that negotiations to film a double episode of the US series The Wonder Years in Australia are well under way. Should the negotiations between the Queensland Film Commission and the show’s producers, New World Television, be successful then the show’s cast will be touching down in Australia as early as September.
John Laws says…
”(SBS) has been crowing loudly about the new one-hour, once-a-week program Sports Machine as innovative, adult and hugely important – which is all very well and sounds great. But SBS viewers with sharp memories will recall that last year the station had a similar sports program every night of the week. A total, then, of 2-and-a-half hours coverage every week. What do we get now? One hour, all in one go. Frankly, I’ve never been able to figure out why SBS axed the previous sports program. It was a gem of a half-hour and managed to cover a host of different sports, something that rarely happens on ABC or the commercial networks.”
Program Highlights (August 4-10):
Sunday: Actor Peter Ustinov is Peter Ross’ guest on ABC’s arts program, Sunday Afternoon. HSV7 crosses live to the Sydney Cricket Ground for AFL between Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles. Sunday night movies are Extremities (GTV9) and Bat 21 (ATV10). HSV7 presents the three-hour Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday Gala.
Tuesday: New Zealand actress Judy McIntosh (pictured) makes her debut as Dr Nicola Tanner in ABC’s GP. In Beyond 2000 (HSV7), Amanda Keller examines China’s state policy of one child per family.
Wednesday: Michele Fawdon stars in an ABC docu-drama, This Time Next Time, as a crusading journalist assigned to write a feature article on the dangers of alcohol-related brain damage.
Thursday: In The Flying Doctors (GTV9), Dr Tom Callaghan (Andrew McFarlane) is buried alive when a mine shaft is deliberately collapsed on top of him as he tries to rescue an injured man.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 4 August 1990. Southdown Press.