TV Week Logie Awards revives ad category

In the 1960s and 1970s, the TV Week Logie Awards featured categories to recognise television commercials.

Some of the past winners in this category have included Mobil Oil, Alka Seltzer, soft drink brands Coca Cola, Fanta and Export Cola,  deodorant Uncle Sam and cigarette companies like Craven A , Cambridge, Winfield and Kingford. (Cigarette advertising was banned from TV from 1976)

Could this ad for Export Cola from 1977 have been the winner in 1978?

YouTube: jmoul59

The award category has not featured since 1978 but TV Week is bringing it back 40 years on as Most Popular TV Commercial — although the idea of bringing back a commercial category to the Logies was being considered almost a decade ago.

Advertising agencies are being asked to submit their commercial entries to be judged by a panel of industry journalists and narrowed down to a short list of ten.

The panel will judge submissions based on production values, entertainment values, consumer response and the reflection of Australia and its diversity.

The short list of ten will then be included in the public Logies voting to take place in March with final nominees to be announced late in May

TV Week has yet to announce when the Logies will actually be held this year, although with voting taking place in March and nominees to be announced in late May it looks likely to be another July event as occurred in 2018. The awards will once again be held in Queensland.

Advertising agencies are being asked to pay $495 per submission, plus the terms and conditions for entry state that nominees will have the “opportunity” to purchase two tickets to attend the Logies presentation… at $1000 per ticket.

Source: Bauer Advertising, Australian Television Information Archive



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TV At 60: Operation Kangaroo

It could be said that the only reason Australia got television when it did was because of sport. The launch of television in 1956 was conveniently just in time for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and had it not been for the Games we could have been waiting a lot longer!

For the first few years of television in Australia it was not possible for live pictures to be relayed from one city to the next — and for some years TV only existed in Sydney and Melbourne. The only way TV content could get from one city to another was by sending reels of film — even videotape was still something of a novelty.

Sport is seen as a way of unifying a nation, but television was well behind radio which had the capacity to send broadcasts in real time over telephone lines. So it was for sport that television was to embark on its next innovation.

“Operation Kangaroo” was born out of an idea jokingly brought up at a GTV9 executive meeting to bring live coverage of test cricket from Sydney to Melbourne. The thought was deemed impossible until GTV9 chief engineer Ron Biddle came up with a plan.

Engineers at Melbourne’s GTV9 and its Sydney sister station ATN7 worked for over a year on the project — a series of microwave links between the two cities, with each link “hopping” from one mountain top to the next. ATN7 also called on its experience from an earlier live broadcast it had conducted from Canberra to Sydney.

Operation Kangaroo was being carried out in top secret, with crews from both channels navigating rugged mountain terrain and dodging blizzards and the threat of bushfires to position microwave dishes in strategic mountain top spots to carry the link across an estimated 1000 kilometres. The project also called on the assistance of the Snowy River Authority, State Electricity Commission (Victoria), Forestry Commission and the Lands and Survey Department.

While navigating their way through the Alpine region, the crews discovered that official maps for the region were extremely lacking, with some mountain peaks poorly mapped or not even mapped at all. One crew became lost in dense forest and were saved by the chance discovery of a little-known track. Test equipment had to be hauled by ice sledges up Mount Kosciusko. Other mountain top sites required equipment to be hauled up by helicopter.

It was anticipated to launch the link on the evening of Thursday 8 January 1959, with In Melbourne Tonight planning to cross to a live relay of Sydney Tonight, and GTV9 picking up ATN7’s cricket coverage starting with the afternoon session of the first day’s play on the Friday.

However on the Thursday, a crew van belonging to ATN7 got hopelessly bogged at Mount Blackjack — causing delays to final testing of the link up. GTV9 general manager Colin Bednall was optimistic that despite the delay the link should be open in time for the first day of cricket. “At this stage we cannot promise to complete the link, but if skill and courage can do it we will be there tomorrow,” he told The Age on Thursday.

As it turned out, the link missed the first day of the cricket but was opened on the Friday night with Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight calling ‘Come in, Sydney!’. Melbourne viewers were then greeted by ATN7 executive Brian Wright, who presented a speech to inaugurate the link-up. The picture seen in Melbourne was fuzzy but the sound was clear and without static.

The next day, Melbourne viewers dealing with sweltering heat tuned in at 3.30pm to see a live view of a rain-soaked Sydney Cricket Ground. Play was able to resume at 4.00pm although stormy conditions outside of Sydney caused interference with a clear picture getting through to Melbourne, and intermittent drop outs meant that the GTV9 clock got considerable use on screen while engineers tried to restore pictures.

When coverage resumed on Monday afternoon, the picture quality was much clearer, with players easily recognisable and the ball able to be viewed comfortably. The picture quality was considered to have been as good as that experienced over similar long-distance relays across Europe

Operation Kangaroo proved to be a successful project for GTV9 and ATN7 and in providing a valuable first link between Australia’s two largest cities, however due to the resource-intensive nature of the link — requiring each of the mountain-top relays to have two engineers and petrol-powered generators onsite while in operation — its potential for use was limited. It would be a few more years before the next major innovation in connecting the two cities — the coaxial cable link opened in 1962.

Source: The Age, 9 January 1959, 10 January 1959, 15 January 1959. Sydney Morning Herald, 10 January 1959. TV Week, 15 January 1959

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Obituary: Jimmy Hannan

Jimmy Hannan, one of Australia’s leading stars of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, has died at the age of 84 after a short battle with cancer.

Sydney-born Hannan made his TV debut in 1956 as a contestant on Name That Tune, Australia’s first TV game show.  The prize money he won on the show paid for him to travel to Canada, where he would try to break into the television and club circuit. He then had two years in London, including work at the BBC, before returning to Australia.

His first TV hosting role on his return was the game show Say When in 1962. He became a recording star with songs including Beach Ball, featuring the Bee Gees as backing singers!

YouTube: Conniptions886

It was as host of TCN9‘s teenage show Saturday Date and from making regular appearances on Bandstand and In Melbourne Tonight that Hannan won the TV Week Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality.

No sooner had he won the award that he had been signed up in a major deal to switch from Nine to the fledgling Melbourne channel ATV0. “I had a bright future with the Nine Network and went overseas while my manager re-negotiated the contract with them,” Hannan told The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1981. “I returned six weeks later expecting to be back on Nine with an even better deal, only to find that I’d been signed to Channel 0 in Melbourne. The station had just begun transmission, and at the time I was the only ‘name’ they had.”

At ATV0 he hosted a musical variety show, Jimmy, which was relayed across the 0-10 Network. The show later became Jimmy Hannan Tonight, competing with Nine’s popular In Melbourne Tonight.

Hannan had also made a guest appearance on the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal on rival channel HSV7 in 1966. His performance triggered a response from a keen viewer, a Mrs Jackson of Kew, to promise to donate $100 if he sang again. Mrs Jackson followed this with another $100 offer for another song… and another.

YouTube: FrozenDoberman

While in Melbourne he also worked for several years at radio station 3UZ, then the city’s top rating pop music station.

In 1970, Hannan had left 0 and returned to Nine as one of the successors to Graham Kennedy on IMT. His Thursday night hosting of IMT soon saw the program shift to Friday nights with the new name, The Weekend Starts Here.

TV credits during the ’70s included Spending Spree, The Graham Kennedy Show, Celebrity Squares, The Jimmy Hannan Show, Have A Go, Penthouse Club and Let’s Make A Deal.

In the 1980s he guest hosted The Mike Walsh Show and hosted Network Ten shows Personality Squares, Search For A Star, $100,000 Moneymakers and Value Shopping. He also worked for a time as a producer on the game show Perfect Match.

Hannan then retired from television to live on a farm in Bellingen, but he made a rare return to TV in a guest performance on The Late Show, performing the Jimmy Barnes song Working Class Man, and appeared as a celebrity contestant on Sale Of The Century.

In 2015, he donated much of his gathered memorabilia from 60 years in showbusiness to the National Film and Sound Archive.

Jimmy Hannan is survived by his wife Joanne (pictured in 1964) and four children, including former TV personality Melissa Hannan.

Source:, NFSA. TV Week, 4 July 1964, 12 March 1966. The Age, 14 April 1966. The Australian Women’s Weekly, 25 February 1981.


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Obituary: Annalise Braakensiek

Actress, model and lifestyle blogger Annalise Braakensiek has died suddenly at the age of 46.

Police and ambulance crews found her dead in her apartment on Sunday afternoon after friends and family became concerned about her whereabouts.

A model since her teenage years, Braakensiek’s big break came when she was awarded Inside Sport Model of the Year in 1994. She went on to a successful international modelling career, featuring on the covers of magazines including Cosmopolitan (US), Loaded (UK) and Maxim (Italy) and appearing in numerous ad campaigns.

She made a move into acting, appearing in Home And Away, Heartbreak High and the film Mr Accident. But her most prominent role came in the SBS comedy Pizza and movie spin-off Fat Pizza, playing the part of Claudia Macpherson.

She later appeared in the ABC series Sleuth 101 and co-hosted the UK game show Play Your Cards Right. Fluent in four languages, she also appeared on German MTV.

Other TV appearances included All Star Squares, Greeks On The Roof, Torvill & Dean’s Dancing On Ice, The Chaser’s War On Everything and 20 To 1.

In recent years, she achieved success as a lifestyle blogger and jewellery designer.

Braakensiek had made public her battle with depression and had also been an advocate for RUOK? Day in 2017.



Source:, Sydney Morning Herald, IMDBAnnalise Braakensiek

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Obituary: Darius Perkins

Darius Perkins, best known as the original actor to play Scott Robinson in Neighbours, died last week from cancer at the age of 54.

Making his TV debut in a commercial, Perkins then made guest appearances in The Sullivans, All The Green Years and Carson’s Law.

His performance in the mini-series All The Rivers Run won him a TV Week Logie Award in 1984 for Best Performance By A Juvenile. He then starred alongside Paul Cronin, Paula Duncan and Nicole Kidman in the telemovie Matthew And Son.

In 1985, Perkins was among the original cast of Neighbours, playing the part of Scott Robinson. Perkins left the show when it made the switch from Seven to the Ten network. The part of Scott Robinson was then re-cast to Jason Donovan.

Perkins later appeared in The Flying Doctors, Home And Away and A Country Practice and worked behind the scenes for various productions.

In 2013 he returned to Neighbours for an extended guest role, playing the part of Marty Kranic.

Source: IMDB, Herald Sun, Perfect Blend. TV Week, 14 April 1984.

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Nine announces new Today line-up

The Nine Network has confirmed its refreshed line-up for its long-running Today show.

Co-host Georgie Gardner continues in the role but replacing her former colleague Karl Stefanovic will be newsreader Deborah Knight.

Nine news reporter Tom Steinfort will become Today‘s news presenter, and Today will also feature Melbourne sports presenter Tony Jones, Nine Finance Editor Ross Greenwood and former ABC journalist and Triple J newsreader Brooke Boney as entertainment reporter.

The new line-up for Today commences Monday 14 January.

Today Extra co-host David Campbell will take over as co-host of Weekend Today with Allison Langdon, Jayne Azzopardi and Clint Stanaway. Campbell replaces Peter Stefanovic, who was recently let go from Nine after 15 years.

Because of the new weekend commitment, Campbell will now be co-hosting the mid-morning Today Extra with Sonia Kruger three mornings a week, with entertainment editor Richard Wilkins taking over for the other two.

Darren Wick, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, said in a media release issued today: “Georgie Gardner, Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort will spearhead an energised and exciting Today in 2019. We’ve brought together a team from within the Nine family who are already well-known, trusted and liked by Australian viewers.

“Georgie has established herself as one of the most respected presenters on television. Our viewers adore her. What you see is what you get. Authentic, caring and compassionate. Deb Knight is hands-down one of the best interviewers in the country. An incredibly hard-worker, she cuts to the chase with every conversation.

“And Tom Steinfort is among the best of a new breed of reporters. His career has taken him from the Melbourne newsroom to A Current Affair, European correspondent for Nine News and onto 60 Minutes.

Today in 2019 has a new focus. But the show will retain everything that’s made it an institution for four decades. The perfect mix to start your day – news, information you can use and fun.”

Today began as the National Today Show in 1982. Previous hosts include Steve Liebmann, Sue Kellaway, George Negus, Elizabeth Hayes, Patrice Newell, Tracy Grimshaw, Jessica Rowe and Lisa Wilkinson.



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Rage Retro Month: Countdown, GTK

Rage‘s traditional Retro Month is on again.

Every Saturday during January, Rage goes through (what’s left of) the ABC archives and digs out some retro treasures, this week including six Countdown episodes from 1980 through to 1982 and featuring guest hostings by Renee Geyer (pictured), Darryl Cotton and Jon English.

This week’s Retro Month playlist winds up with an episode of GTK from 1974, featuring English in rehearsal for the musical The Bacchoi.

Saturday morning 5 January:
KATE BUSH Babooshka (EMI)
PINK FLOYD Another Brick In The Wall (Sony)
SPLIT ENZ I Got You (Fest/Mush)
THE PRETENDERS Brass In Pocket (Independent)
ADAM & THE ANTS Ant Music (Sony)
THE POLICE Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Polydor)
THE ROMANTICS What I Like About You (Sony)
TALKING HEADS Once In A Lifetime (Warner)

MICHAEL JACKSON Rock With You (Sony)
DIANA ROSS Upside Down (EMI)
THE VAPORS Turning Japanese (Sony)
MEN AT WORK Downunder (Sony)
AIR SUPPLY All Out Of Love (Arista)
DAVID BOWIE Ashes To Ashes (EMI)
QUEEN Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Warner)
KISS Shandi (Universal)

AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long (Sony)

Saturday night 5 January 2019
COUNTDOWN January 3, 1982 (Molly – Summer Special: New Zealand Invasion) (ABC)
COUNTDOWN May 9, 1982 (327: Martha Davis (The Motels)) (ABC)
COUNTDOWN November 1, 1981 (308: Renee Geyer) (ABC)
COUNTDOWN July 27, 1980 (250: John St Peeters) (ABC)
COUNTDOWN June 28, 1981 (291: Daryl Cotton) (ABC)
COUNTDOWN May 4, 1980 (238: Jon English) (ABC)

JON ENGLISH Rehearsal for ‘The Bacchoi’ (GTK, 1974) (ABC)

Rage Retro Month continues every Saturday in January, ABC.

Source: ABC

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TV At 60: The first TV Week Awards

It was the issue of TV Week dated 1 January 1959 that announced the winners of the first TV Week Awards — what would become the Logie Awards.

During 1958, TV Week had invited Melbourne readers of its magazine to vote for their TV favourites for the year. There was no glamorous ceremony for handing out the shiny statuettes but rather presentations were made on each of the live shows to be handed their awards. Awards going to overseas or non-live programs were presented to the management of the respective TV stations to be passed on.

Not surprisingly, the top awards for “Stars of the Year”, Best Male Personality and Best Female Personality (the predecessors to the Gold Logie) were won by Graham Kennedy and Panda Lisner from In Melbourne Tonight. The show itself also won the award for Best Regular Live Program.

Kennedy was then given the honour of giving the awards a name for future years. He chose “Logie”, from the middle name of TV inventor John Logie Baird, as it was ‘short, easy to remember and had a link to the history of television’. Kennedy joked many years later how different the awards might have been if he’d chosen to name them after his own middle name — Cyril.

The award itself, measuring about 16 centimetres in height, was designed by Alec De Lacy and was selected from dozens of submissions. De Lacy had sought to design a figure that was “as modern as television” with clean, sleek lines. It is a design that has stood the test of time, modified only to incorporate the evolution of the TV Week masthead.

Overseas shows The Perry Como Show and Perry Mason were overwhelming favourites among TV Week readers.

William Sterling, a producer for ABC, was awarded for his contribution to the increasing presentation of live plays on television, providing a new outlet for Australian artists.

Ian Jones from HSV7 was recognised for his technical direction and creative imagination in producing The Hit Parade. 

Sunnyside Up host Bill Collins was awarded in recognition of his own versatile talents. Most familiar as a sporting commentator, Collins had provided to be a skilled performer as a singer and in comedy skits on Sunnyside Up.

The HSV7 variety show Swallow’s Juniors, hosted by Brian Naylor, was recognised for its promotion and encouragement of young talent, while GTV9’s The Happy Show was an overwhelming popular favourite for the children’s program category.

ABC was awarded for its outstanding contribution to sports coverage. In an era before the commercial sector had come to dominate sports coverage on television, the national broadcaster was commended for its coverage of a range of sports including Australian Rules, Test cricket, motor racing, rugby league, soccer and tennis.

Best Male Personality: Graham Kennedy
Best Female Personality: Panda Lisner

Best Regular Live Program: In Melbourne Tonight

Most Popular Film Variety Show: The Perry Como Show

Most Popular Film Drama Series: Perry Mason

Best Regular Children’s Show: The Happy Show

Special Award For Outstanding Children’s Show: Swallow’s Juniors

Special Award For Live Drama Production: William Sterling (ABC)

Special Award For Technical Direction: Ian Jones (The Hit Parade)

Special Award For Outstanding Performances: Bill Collins (Sunnyside Up)

Special Award For Outstanding Sports: ABC Sporting Department

Source: TV Week, 1 January 1959

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2018: We remember…

Moya O’Sullivan

Sir Nicholas Shehadie

Nigel Dick

Ron Blaskett

Darrell Eastlake

Cathy Godbold

Charles Slade

Cornelia Frances

Liz Jackson

Harry M Miller

Ron Casey

John Bluthal

Judy McBurney

Terry McDermott

Penny Cook

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2018: Switches, surprises and goodbyes

There were lots of big TV news stories this year, but the news that will have had the biggest impact on viewers comes down to sport. And there has been a lot of movement and dollars splashed around in that department this year.

The swapping of Australia’s two biggest summer sports between networks has brought an end to decades old traditions of both the Seven and Nine networks.

Having had its summers focused on tennis for much of the last 40 years, Seven (and Foxtel) announced a $1.2 billion takeover of the rights to the cricket… bringing an end to the Nine Network’s grip on the game that dates back just as long.

The Seven/Foxtel deal was announced shortly after the Nine Network had taken over the summer tennis tournaments, including the Australian Open, from Seven. The Nine deal was originally to start from the summer of 2019/2020 but has since been negotiated to take over Seven’s last season of tennis this summer.

So the big loser out of this activity was Ten, which had lost the Big Bash League to the Seven/Foxtel arrangement. The BBL has been the foundation of Ten’s summer schedule for some years, having built up the competition from almost nothing. The takeover of the competition by Seven and Foxtel effectively left Ten without any sport  or premium content over the summer months which, while it doesn’t form part of the ‘official’ ratings period, can help secure audiences ahead of the upcoming ratings battle.

Ten did score a minor win, however, by securing back the Melbourne Cup Carnival which it had previously broadcast from 1978 to 2001 and with coverage of the four-day racing carnival commencing on Ten for five years from 2019.

In other TV stories this year, it was a surprise when Seven newsreader Jennifer Keyte was announced as returning to Ten — where her TV career started back in the 1980s — to lead its Melbourne news bulletin. The announcement came after last year’s news that Lisa Wilkinson had skipped from Nine’s Today to Ten’s The Project.

Ten has also since announced that former Seven Sydney newsreader Chris Bath will be fronting its national weekend bulletins in 2019.

There were some notable farewells this year. One that caught us by surprise was Lee Lin Chin stepping down from reading the SBS weekend World News after almost 30 years in the role. Less surprising was the more recent announcement that Karl Stefanovic was being let go from co-hosting Today after 14 years but is still apparently with Nine.  The decision by Nine to let him go from Today came after Stefanovic’s private life was becoming a media and tabloid circus, culminating in a lavish three-day celebrity-filled wedding in Mexico. It also came after Today had experienced ratings lows that it hadn’t seen for many years. Cue lots of speculation as to what direction Nine will be taking Today next year.

ABC newsreader Ian Henderson bid farewell after 26 years at the ABC News desk in Melbourne, though a technical glitch meant that his last bulletin had to be abandoned and he had to return the next night to get a more dignified send off.

Bill Collins, who has presented movies and movie reviews on television for over 50 years, stepped down from his regular Golden Years Of Hollywood commitments on Foxtel.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid left the broadcaster after seven years, while ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie was controversially shown the door only half way through a five-year contract and is now taking legal action against the broadcaster.

There were some anniversaries acknowledged over the year: Skippy The Bush Kangaroo turned 50, as did ABC’s Behind The News. 60 Minutes turned 40 and it was 25 years since we first gasped in horror at Paradise Beach.

It was also 50 years since the Seven Network’s ambitious daytime series Motel that started with a lot of promise but had only a short life.

There was a 50 year anniversary for Southern Cross GTS-BKN, and 30 years for QSTV in remote Queensland (now part of Southern Cross).

ABC News Breakfast‘s tenth anniversary was celebrated in November.

Some new arrivals came in the form of channels Sky News On WIN, Your Money and 7Food Network channels.

The Neighbours wedding of characters Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) and David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) prompted us to take a look at the journey taken by the depiction of gay characters on Australian television.

Grant Denyer won the Gold Logie at the 60th annual TV Week Logie Awards, and we took a look back at previous Logies from 1968, 1993 and 2008.

We also took a look back at the hit 1970s version of The Price Is Right hosted by Garry Meadows, some vintage new year marketing from Melbourne’s ATV0, dubbed “Australia’s Action Station”, in 1973, and how 40 years ago we were only just seeing female newsreaders entering the mainstream.

Network Ten said farewell to its logo of 27 years and re-named itself “10”. It was an branding overhaul that wasn’t without incident, as its multi-channel re-named 10 Boss had to be quickly changed to 10 Bold following legal action from the rival Nine / Fairfax empire claiming the “Boss” trademark.

During the year we also added 48 classic TV listings to the Classic TV Guides archive.

Next year is set to cover some significant milestones, in particular the 60th anniversary of the introduction of television to Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Happy New Year and best wishes for the year ahead!


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