Cover Story: Norman’s Conquests
Prior to the new series of The Norman Gunston Show on the Seven Network, actor Garry McDonald tells TV Times about the perils of the celebrity interviews of his alter ego – but the actor says that only one interviewee became really annoyed: film director Ken Russell. As McDonald recalls, “I asked him why he produced, directed and wrote the films. ‘Can’t you afford staff?’ I asked. He unhooked the mike, went over the other side of the studio and shouted ‘bleep’ off. So I ‘bleeped’ off.” Other interviewees were more wised up on the Gunston gag, including Phil Silvers and Dean Jones, but while Terry Savalas‘ publicist had figured out the gag, the actor himself didn’t catch on.
The end of the Affair
The cancellation of the long-running A Current Affair doesn’t appear to have slowed down the show’s former host Mike Schildberger who is still working 12-hour days with his own company Schil Productions. The TV veteran also recalled to TV Times his childhood, including his family fleeing Hitler’s Germany to Australia when he was 16 months old, and his musical achievements – or confessed, his lack thereof – while a student at Melbourne Grammar School.
A Melbourne-based lobby group has launched a campaign against violence on TV following the American police series SWAT screening on the Nine Network. The Australian Children’s Television Action Committee had written to companies whose products were advertised during the program to point out their responsibility to viewers and suggesting a possible boycott of such programs. But advertising and television executives felt that the industry was acting responsibly and that parents should be more active in controlling what their children see on television rather than dictating to networks and advertisers.
Blankety Blanks under fire
The Australian Broadcasting Tribunal has written to TV stations after receiving complaints about the popular 0-10 Network game show Blankety Blanks (pictured). The Tribunal had expressed concern about the often-risque program screening on some stations in afternoon timeslots usually reserved for children’s programming. Complaints about the program have seen it taken off the air by various regional stations including BTV6 Ballarat, CTC7 Canberra and CBN8 Orange, and the program being moved to late-night timeslots on Victorian stations BCV8 Bendigo, GLV10 Gippsland, STV8 Mildura and GMV6 Shepparton. A representative from producers Grundy Productions said that problems had only arisen where stations had slotted the program in before 6.00pm.
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
“I don’t expect my letter will do much good, but I must say how disappointed I was that A Current Affair had been scrapped.” E. Cole, QLD.
“What is ABC doing to Dr Who and his followers? In recent months we have picked up where Tom Baker left off, only to have “the robot” story thrown in, to have Jon Pertwee change to Tom Baker after we had seen Baker for some weeks. Why?” L. Jack, NSW.
“When a channel (ATN7 Sydney) promotes a special such as the 2 1/2 hour Nutcracker Suite, by the Bolshoi Ballet, surely it’s reasonable to expect that commercials should be cut in with some thought? I have up watching Nutcracker after 30 minutes after several beautiful movements had been butchered to accommodate commercials.” M. Bennett, NSW.
What’s On (June 10-16):
ABC presents the first in the interview series Woman In Question which aims to examine the philosophies, beliefs and ethics of influential women. This week’s episode features magazine editor Ita Buttrose.
ATV0 presents a one-hour special Roots: One Year Later, a tribute to the US mini-series that received record viewing figures – including interviews with cast members and producers of the mini-series.
Enzo Pantano and Trevor White are among the guests on ATV0’s Peter Couchman Tonight this week, while Bartholomew John and Cop Shop‘s Joanna Lockwood are two of this week’s guests on HSV7‘s Penthouse ’78.
Sunday night movies are I Will, I Will For Now (HSV7), On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (GTV9) and The Mackintosh Man (ATV0). ABC presents an Australian-US co-produced telemovie Because He’s My Friend, filmed in Sydney and featuring Jack Thompson, Tom Oliver (Number 96, Bellbird), June Salter (The Restless Years) and American actress Karen Black.
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 10 June 1978 ABC/ACP