TV names in Australia Day Honours

The Australia Day 2022 Honours List recognises 1040 Australians for their achievements in various fields including community service, science and research, industry, sport and the arts.

Some of this year’s recipients with connections, past or present, to television:


Dylan Alcott OAM — “For distinguished service to paralympic sport, particularly to tennis, and as a role model for people with disability, and to the community through a range of organisations.” Alcott has a high media profile, including appearing as a host on ABC‘s Invictus Games Tonight and The Set, as sports commentator and former panellist on The Footy Show for the Nine Network and as a contributor to Network Ten‘s The Project. At the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards he won the Graham Kennedy Award For Most Popular New Talent. Alcott was also named 2022 Australian Of The Year.

Maggie Beer AM — “For distinguished service to the tourism and hospitality industries as a cook, restaurateur and author, and to aged welfare.” Beer was a co-host on ABC‘s The Cook And The Chef and has been a guest judge and presenter on MasterChef Australia. Since 2015 she has been a judge on The Great Australian Bake Off.

Deborra-lee Furness — “For distinguished service to children as an adoption advocate, to not-for-profit organisations as an ambassador, and to the arts.” Furness was working at GTV9 in Melbourne before launching an acting career with a guest appearance on Division 4, later followed by roles in Prisoner, Kings and early episodes of Neighbours. She had the lead role in the ABC prison drama Correlli, where she met her future husband, a then unknown Hugh Jackman. Other television credits include The Flying Doctors, SeaChange, Halifax fp, Fire, Stark, GP and Hyde & Seek.

John Hartigan — “For distinguished service to the media industry, to Indigenous welfare, and to sport.” Hartigan is the former Chair of Australian News Channel, Foxtel and regional broadcaster Prime Media Group.


Delta Goodrem — “For significant service to the not-for-profit sector, and to the performing arts.” Goodrem had childhood roles in Hey Dad!, A Country Practice and Police Rescue before taking on an ongoing role in Neighbours. She was a judge on The Voice and The Voice Kids and hosted two Christmas With Delta Goodrem specials. She also made guest appearances in The Celebrity Apprentice Australia, The Block, House Husbands and a Neighbours reunion special in 2015. In 2018 she played the lead role of Olivia Newton-John in the Seven Network mini-series Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You.


Jane Doyle — “For service to the broadcast media, particularly to television, and to the community.” With a background in print and radio journalism, Doyle made her television debut at ABC in Adelaide in 1987. She made the move to SAS7 in 1989 and continues to read Seven News in Adelaide.

Peter Ryan — “For service to the broadcast media as a journalist.” Ryan was a journalist with ABC with credits including ABC News, Lateline Business and Business Breakfast and was Head of ABC Television News and Current Affairs in Victoria for three years.

Source: The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

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Obituary: Judy Banks

Judy Banks, one of the early stars of Melbourne television, has died.

Showbiz reporter Peter Ford tweeted news of her passing on Saturday.

Banks was a stage performer dating back to the 1950s, with credits including Salad Days, Lock Up Your Daughters and Free As Air.

With the arrival of television in 1956, she became a performer on early variety shows like Bandwagon, Saturday Party, Personally Yours and In Melbourne Tonight. In the early 1960s, after Lock Up Your Daughters finished its run in Perth, she remained in the city for a while, appearing on local TV shows Three’s A Crowd and As The Fancy Takes Us as well as being a presentation announcer on ABW2.

In 1963, she starred with Michael Cole in the variety series Four For The Show, produced in Sydney and aired on ABC nationally.

YouTube: Emily McCarthy

In 1969, she hosted the breakfast show Fredd Bear’s Breakfast A Go-Go from Melbourne channel ATV0. The program, which also starred Colin McEwan, Michael McCarthy and Tedd Dunn as Fredd Bear, was popular with viewers with its mix of cartoons, music clips, studio skits and old serials.

Breakfast A Go-Go was axed at the end of 1971, with Banks and Fredd Bear remaining at ATV0 to host an afternoon show, The Wonderful World Of The Young (later Fredd Bear’s Super Cartoon Show).

Other television credits included Australian Playhouse, Homicide, The Flying Doctors and City Homicide and working as an assistant director and post-production supervisor on Frontline.

She also ran The Judy Banks School Of Television, a talent school and a media training business, for many years with her husband, former TV producer Bob Phillips.

The couple later established the TV World museum on the Mornington Peninsula and presented a long-running program, Sugar And Spice, on local community radio station 3RPP.

Source: TV Times, 18 April 1962. 14 August 1963. Like No Other Business: 50 Years Of Oz TV, Bob Phillips, 2005. AusStage, IMDB, Peter Ford


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Sons And Daughters at 40

Barely two months after launching A Country Practice, the Seven Network had another soap, Sons And Daughters, ready to launch ahead of the start of the 1982 ratings season.

The critics predictably slammed it, but Sons And Daughters was destined for success, having been created by Reg Watson, who’d also created hits like The Young Doctors, The Restless Years and Prisoner. The new series also had an impressive cast of familiar faces, including former Number 96 star and one-time Gold Logie winner Pat McDonald, Tom Richards (Matlock Police), Leila Hayes (Homicide, Division 4, Bluey, Power Without Glory, Penthouse Club) and Rowena Wallace (You Can’t See Round Corners, Prisoner, Cop Shop). The cast also included Peter Phelps and Kim Lewis, both formerly of the recently axed The Restless Years, newcomers Ian Rawlings and Ally Fowler, and Brian Blain (The Bluestone Boys), Stephen Comey (Come Midnight Monday), Ann Henderson (I Can Jump Puddles) and Andrew McKaige (Cop Shop, Skyways).

Episode one, airing on Monday 18 January 1982 in Sydney and Melbourne, begins with a flashback to 1962, and teens David Palmer and his girlfriend Patricia (played by Rhett Walton and Jackie Woodburne) turn up late one night to a Sydney boarding house run by Fiona Thompson (McDonald). Patricia is heavily pregnant and no sooner are they settled into their room that Fiona is called on by an anxious David to assist with the sudden birth of twins — a boy and a girl.

The newborns are barely a week old when Patricia takes off with the girl, leaving David with the boy. Fiona volunteers to raise the boy, John, while David sets himself up financially.

We are then brought back to the “current” day — 1982 — and find that David Palmer (Richards) has formed a family in Melbourne, including wife Beryl (Hayes) and now-20-year-old son John, and the older Patricia (Wallace) has married a wealthy businessman, Gordon Hamilton (Blain) and her daughter, Angela (Fowler) has a step-brother, Wayne (Rawlings). Fiona is still in the same boarding house in Sydney with one of her tenants, Jill (Lewis) living across the hall.

The Hamilton and Palmer families have existed oblivious to each other for twenty years, until a sudden turn of events sees John flee Melbourne to Sydney, reuniting with his “Aunt” Fiona. He also eventually meets and falls in love with Angela, not knowing that they are actually long-lost brother and sister.

What follows is an unravelling of past secrets, John and Angela becoming aware of their true relationship, the 1962 teen couple re-united and their respective families becoming increasingly involved in each others’ lives.

The series was produced at the studios of ATN7 in Sydney, but in a stroke of creative genius, Watson, acknowledging the challenge of the long-held ratings divide between Sydney and Melbourne, wrote the series based across both cities. Sydney being home to the wealthy Hamilton family, while Melbourne was home to the more grounded Palmers — and characters would seamlessly be seen to casually hop between cities or make excessive long-distance telephone calls as their dramas increasingly sat across both cities.

As the storylines developed and original cast members moved on, the traditional nuclear family structures from the early episodes was soon eroded and in their place became a tangled web of new characters and with that came more melodramatic and outlandish storylines that often required a suspension of disbelief. In amongst all this, the forever scheming Patricia, now famously dubbed “Pat the Rat”, had emerged as the show’s biggest drawcard. So when Wallace decided to quit the show in 1984, the writers were reluctant to let the character go completely. They had Patricia flee to South America under suspicion of murder and later returning home after some plastic surgery as a mystery newcomer, Alison Carr, played by Belinda Giblin.

Viewers seemingly went along with the ruse as Alison set about surreptitiously winding herself into Patricia’s affairs, but were perhaps less forgiving later when Wallace was convinced a couple of years later to make a comeback and have the “old” Patricia come face to face with the “new” Alison. The writers, looking for a twist to bring the two together, settled on Wallace appearing as Patricia’s long-lost twin sister, Pamela, but the reunion did little to arrest the show’s ratings decline and the axe soon followed.

Although the axe fell in November 1986, production did not end until March 1987 and it was months later before the 972nd and final episode eventually went to air. The last episode had the series coming full circle — a young expectant couple arriving at Fiona’s new boarding house just before the heavily pregnant female gave birth to twins — a boy and a girl — reminiscent of the first episode’s opening storyline. The series with the signature sepia tone that featured in the opening and closing credits and unironically in much of the show’s brown-centric sets, was soon to be replaced by a new series with a younger focus and a more varied colour palette — Home And Away.

Only four actors — Brian Blain, Ian Rawlings, Leila Hayes and Pat McDonald — stayed the distance in Sons And Daughters from start to finish. Over the years the changing cast list also included Sarah Kemp, Anne Haddy, Cornelia Frances, Antonia Murphy, Judy Nunn, Michael Long, Sean Scully, Ken James, Rona Coleman, Danny Roberts, Lisa Crittenden, Normie Rowe, Abigail, Ilona Rodgers, Nick Tate, Alyce Platt, Noel Hodda, Brett Climo, Sally Tayler, Annie Jones, Rima Te Wiata, Oriana Panozzo, Willie Fennell, Joanna Lockwood, Andrew Clarke, Lyndel Rowe, Moya O’Sullivan, Jared Robinson and Mary Ward.

The series collected eight TV Week Logie Awards, including a Gold Logie for Rowena Wallace in 1985 and the Logie Award for Most Popular Drama in 1983. Stephen Comey and Ian Rawlings collected individual Logies in 1983 and 1985 respectively, and Wallace won two Silver Logies for Most Popular Actress (1983, 1984) and two Logies for the peer-voted category Best Actress In A Series (1984, 1985).

Sons And Daughters has had a number of re-runs over the years and is currently showing again on weekday afternoons on 7TWO. All 972 episodes are also available on Seven’s streaming platform, 7Plus, and the first three seasons, covering the years 1982 to 1984, are available on DVD.

Source: TV Week, 16 January 1982, 8 May 1982, 6 November 1982, 18 December 1982, 25 June 1983, 10 September 1983, 4 February 1984, 21 July 1984, 12 January 1985, 10 October 1986. Woman’s Day/TV Day, 20 January 1982,  16 February 1982, 4 May 1982. TV Radio Extra, 22 September 1984.

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Classic TV Guides: Fly Wrinklys Fly

In the early 1970s one of Melbourne’s most popular radio stations was 3AK, which played a pop and rock music format accompanied by the slogan “Where No Wrinklys Fly”. The station’s promotions featured pictures of various radical or pop cultural elements, declaring that anyone that turned their noses up at these images was a “wrinkly” — a fuddy duddy!

3AK’s sister television station GTV9 sought to tie in with the radio station with a weekly pop music series Fly Wrinklys Fly, screening on Saturdays at 6.30pm from 11 December 1971.

YouTube: Mike Squier

The new show, produced by 3AK program director Rhett Walker and Nine’s Jim McKay, featured live acts and experimental video clips — a precursor to the medium that would become commonplace for recording artists in future years — plus filmed performances from overseas artists and segments on topical issues of interest to young viewers. It was almost grungy in appearance and quite a contrast from Nine’s more neatly polished national series Bandstand.

The opening sequence for Fly Wrinklys Fly included a bullet being fired and shattering a plate of glass bearing the show’s title. No CGI or animated effects, here, as the gun shot and smashing glass was filmed under the supervision of a Victoria police ballistics expert at Melbourne’s RMIT.

The first episode featured performances by Russell Morris, Brian Cadd and Daddy Cool and had the theme of “hair” — discussing the latest styling trends and attitudes to long hair.

Episode Two: Spectrum guitarist Bill Putt and dancer Shara Berriman

By the time episode three was to go to air on New Year’s Day, Nine pulled the plug on the show, despite a positive response from the audience. Nine’s station manager Eric Fisher was said to be impressed with the show’s innovative production techniques but “reluctantly” had to axe the show as the Melbourne studio facilities were needed to accommodate the transfer of some national program production from Sydney.

The third and final episode of Fly Wrinklys Fly is among the latest addition of Classic TV Guides:

Source: The Age, 9 December 1971, 30 December 1971. TV Times, 11 December 1971.

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2021: We remember…

Gaynor Bunning

David Evans

Trisha Noble

Frank Warrick

Russell Goodrick

Lorrae Desmond

Mary Rossi

John Gregg

Peter Sharp

Dinah Shearing

Mike Bailey

Jonathan Coleman

Mary Ward

David Leckie

John Cornell

Dieter Brummer

Brian Henderson

Reg Gorman

Ernie Sigley

Wynn Roberts

Bert Newton

Peter Cundall

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Merry Christmas from some TV favourites

Television.AU wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas . This year’s Christmas flashback takes a trip down memory lane to some of the TV magazine covers that have marked this very special day…

Sue Donovan from Adventure Island.
TV Times, 1971

Mickie de Stoop, National Nine News (Melbourne).
Observer TV, 1976

John Ewart, Rosemary Paul and Kim Lewis from The Restless Years. TV Week, 1980.

Winky Dink, The Channel Niners (Adelaide).
TV Radio Extra, 1980

Alex Papps (Home And Away) and Josephine Mitchell (A Country Practice). TV Week, 1988

Kym Wilson (A Country Practice) and Matthew Krok (Hey Dad!). TV Week, 1992

Dieter Brummer (Home And Away) and Jo Bailey (Sale Of The Century). TV Week, 1993

Ben Unwin, Kristy Wright and Richard Grieve from Home And Away. TV Week, 1997

Martin Dingle-Wall (Home And Away), Michala Banas (Always Greener), Kate Ritchie (Home And Away) and Daniel Bowden (Always Greener). TV Week, 2001

Todd Lasance, Jessica Tovey and Lincoln Lewis from Home And Away. TV Week, 2008

Source: TV Times, 25 December 1971. TV Week, 27 December 1980, 24 December 1988, 23 December 1989, 19 December 1992, 25 December 1993, 20 December 1997, 22 December 2001, 20 December 2008. Observer TV, 19 December 1976. TV Radio Extra, 20 December 1980.

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Prime Media shareholders vote for Seven takeover

Shareholders in regional broadcaster Prime Media Group have voted in favour of acquisition of the company by Seven West Media.

The vote, conducted at an Extraordinary General Meeting on Thursday, saw 99.9% of shareholdings agree to the Seven West Media offer, reported to be worth $132 million.

It was a second attempt at Seven buying out the regional broadcaster. In 2019 the network made an offer for Prime that was rejected by key shareholders.

Prime Media Group operates the Seven Network‘s regional affiliates Prime7 and GWN7, covering regional markets in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia as well as the Gold Coast and the Australian Capital Territory. Prime7 and GWN7 derive almost all programming through an affiliation deal with the Seven Network, where they hand over an agreed percentage of all revenue in return for access to Seven’s program and channel suite.

Prime Media also owns a half share in Network Ten affiliated outlets in regional Western Australia and Mildura.

The deal, due to be completed on 31 December, is expected to deliver cost savings, improved margins and better scale across regional and metro areas to the combined entity.

Source: Prime Media Group, Seven West Media, Seven News

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The 11th AACTA Awards

The ABC series The Newsreader was the leader in the TV categories in the 2021 AACTA Awards, winning a total of five awards.

The six-part series, set in a TV newsroom in the year 1986, won the AACTA Award for Best Drama Series, plus individual acting awards for Anna Torv and William McInnes. The series also won awards for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy and Best Production Design in Television.

The Newsreader: Anna Torv, Robert Taylor

ABC also collected awards for Bluey, Hard Quiz, Fisk (two awards), Love On The Spectrum (two awards), Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds, Fires (two awards) and Total Control (Rachel Griffiths).


SBS mini-series New Gold Mountain won two awards, and the broadcaster’s coverage of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 won Best Entertainment Program.

Network Ten (MasterChef Australia), Foxtel (Mr Inbetween, Grand Designs Australia) and Netflix (Hannah Gadsby – Douglas and Clickbait) also collected awards.

MasterChef Australia

In the Audience Choice categories there were wins for Gardening Australia (including an award for host Costa Georgiadis), Wentworth and Lego Masters.

The late actor David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM was given the awards’  highest honour, the Longford Lyell Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Australian screen industry. In tribute to the actor, his image was projected onto the exterior of the Sydney Opera House.

The 2021 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group was held on Wednesday 8 December and broadcast on Network Ten. The presentation is also available to view on Fox Arena on Foxtel, Binge and AACTA TV.


  • AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program: Bluey – Charlie Aspinwall, Joe Brumm, Daley Pearson, Sam Moor – Ludo Studio (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television: Fires (Episode 2: Everything’s Gone) – Bonnie Elliott
  • AACTA Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Program: Hard Quiz – Kevin Whyte, Chris Walker, Tom Gleeson, John Tabbagh – Thinkative Television & ABC (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Comedy Performer: Kitty FlanaganFisk
  • AACTA Award for Best Costume Design in Television: New Gold Mountain (Episode 1: Propriety) – Cappi Ireland
  • AACTA Award for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy: The Newsreader (Episode 1: Three, Two, One…) – Emma Freeman
  • AACTA Award for Best Direction in Non-Fiction Television: Love on the Spectrum (Episode 4) – Cian O’Clery
  • AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program: Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds – Debbie Cuell, Bethan Arwel-Lewis – Endemol Shine Australia (ABC)
  • AACTA Award Best Drama Series: The Newsreader – Joanna Werner, Michael Lucas – Werner Film Productions (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Editing in Television: Clickbait (Episode 1: Five Million Hits) – Rodrigo Balart
  • AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 – Paul Clarke, Stephanie Werrett, Josh Martin – Blink TV (SBS)
  • AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment Program: Love on the Spectrum – Jenni Wilks, Karina Holden, Cian O’Clery – Northern Pictures (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Presented by Foxtel: Scott Ryan Mr Inbetween
  • AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Presented by Foxtel: Anna Torv The Newsreader
  • AACTA Award for Best Lifestyle Program: Grand Designs Australia – Michael O’Neill, Brooke Bayvel – Fremantle (Foxtel)
  • AACTA Award for Best Miniseries or Telefeature: Fires – Tony Ayres, Andrea Denholm, Liz Watts, Belinda Chayko, Elisa Argenzio – Tony Ayres Production (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Narrative Comedy Series: Fisk – Vincent Sheehan – Porchlight Films (ABC)
  • AACTA Award for Best Production Design in Television: The Newsreader (Episode 1: Three, Two, One…) – Melinda Doring
  • AACTA Award for Best Reality Program: MasterChef Australia – Marty Benson, Adam Fergusson, Eoin Maher – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
  • AACTA Award for Best Original Score in Television: New Gold Mountain (Episode 1: Propriety) – Caitlin Yeo
  • AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television: Mr Inbetween (Episode 6: Ray Who?) – Scott Ryan
  • AACTA Award for Best Sound in Television: Fires (Episode 2: Everything’s Gone) – Emma Bortignon, Paul Pirola, Roger Van Wensveen, Brendan Croxon
  • AACTA Award for Best Stand-Up Special: Hannah Gadsby – Douglas – Hannah Gadsby, Kevin Whyte, Kathleen McCarthy, John Irwin – Irwin Entertainment & Token Events (Netflix)
  • AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: William McInnesThe Newsreader
  • AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Rachel GriffithsTotal Control


  • Favourite Actor: Eric Bana
  • Favourite Competition Reality Show: LEGO® Masters Australia
  • Favourite Digital Comedy Creator: Sooshi Mango
  • Favourite Entertainment Show: Gardening Australia
  • Favourite Film: The Dry
  • Favourite Television Drama: Wentworth
  • Favourite Television Host: Costa GeorgiadisGardening Australia – ABC

Source: AACTA

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TV At 60: TV comes to Regional Victoria

Television was given a staged introduction in Australia. Stage One was the commencement of ABC and commercial television stations in Sydney and Melbourne. Stage Two saw the same extend to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

Stage Three was the licencing and establishment of ABC and commercial television services in thirteen country areas across the eastern states, including Canberra.

Victoria’s first of these stations was GLV10, based in Traralgon, licenced to Gippsland-La Trobe Valley Telecasters.

The station was opened on Saturday, 9 December 1961. The first night’s programs started at 5.45pm with a 15-minute film, Touring Gippsland, followed by an introduction to the station by radio 3TR announcer Don Ewart (pictured). Unfortunately, Ewart’s opening words were never heard by anyone outside the studio as his microphone was not switched on.

Programs to follow included imports Jungle Jim, Whirlybirds and I Love Lucy before the formalities of the official opening of the station by the Chairman of the Broadcasting Control Board, Robert Osborne, accompanied by the station’s General Manager Gordon Lewis. Opening night was also attended by a number of ‘national’ personalities including Horrie Dargie, Bobby Limb, Happy Hammond and Johnny Chester.

Later in the evening GLV10 crossed to Melbourne’s ABV2 for a one-hour live coverage of the day’s Federal Election count before presenting a 15-minute local news bulletin and then signing off for the night.

GLV10’s first staff car, featuring the channel logo

The next stations to open in Victoria were GMV6, based in Shepparton, and BCV8, serving Bendigo and Central Victoria.

Both stations opened on 23 December 1961. GMV6, with studios on Wyndham Street, Shepparton, started its opening night at 6.00pm with Personalities Parade, a 15-minute segment featuring some of the channel’s new stars including local presenters Nancy Cato (pictured) and Jim Lilburne and national stars Bobby Limb and Dawn Lake.

US shows Robin Hood, Father Knows Best and Sea Hunt occupied the next couple of hours along with the channel’s first news bulletin, before the station was officially opened just after 8.00pm by Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen. Opening night entertainment continued with the variety series BP Super Show, movie Random Harvest and then a late news update before the epilogue and sign-off.

BCV8 started its opening night broadcast at 6.00pm with the special, The Magic Mirror: A Christmas Pantomime. This was followed by the official opening of BCV8 by Postmaster-General Charles Davidson, then a news bulletin at 7.25 and the BP Super Show at 7.30. The Australian-based western Whiplash was at 8.30, followed by US series The Phil Silvers Show, Peter Gunn and Adventures In Paradise before shutdown at 11.00pm.

BCV8 cameraman Alan Weatherley.
Picture: TV Times, 27 June 1962

The fourth and last commercial station to form this stage of the television roll-out in regional Victoria was BTV6, Ballarat, launched on 27 April 1962.

Starting at 7.00pm with a short documentary, This Is BTV Channel 6, the official opening of BTV6, led by the station’s chairman Cr. Alan Pittard, included pre-recorded greetings by national TV stars Bert Newton, Bobby Limb and Bob Dyer. Also in attendance at the official opening was Dr James Darling, chairman of national broadcaster ABC, which was to co-locate its transmission facilities with BTV when ABRV3 lauched in 1963.

After the official opening, BTV6 presented an episode of BP Super Show, featuring Australian performer Elaine McKenna. The program was followed by the 90-minute drama The Grey Nurse Said Nothing, written by Sumner Locke-Elliott. The play, produced at Sydney’s ATN7 in 1960, starred Lyndall Barbour, Frank Waters, Nigel Lovell, Guy Doleman, Nancy Stewart and Ken Goodlet.

BTV6 newsreader Arthur Scuffins.
Picture: TV Times, 18 July 1962

With these four stations up and running, early program line-ups were mostly limited to evening hours only and consisted largely of American imports with a scattering of Australian shows — either “national” programs bought from the capital city stations or those of local production. Local news bulletins were brief in duration and largely focused on local news, supplemented with day-old news film to come from Melbourne until such time as direct relays of the Melbourne bulletins was made possible.

It was 1963 before ABC launched its first round of regional stations. The first was ABEV1, Bendigo, on 29 April 1963. This was followed by ABRV3 Ballarat (20 May), ABLV4 Traralgon (30 September) and ABGV3 Shepparton (28 November). These stations operated as direct relays of ABV2 from Melbourne, with the exception of a five-minute regional news bulletin, broadcast at 6.55pm weeknights.

In October 1961, the Federal Government announced Stage Four plans for further expansion of regional television services around Australia. In Victoria this included provision for services in Albury (ABAV1 and AMV4), Mildura (ABMV4 and STV8) and Swan Hill (ABSV2).

In Albury, AMV4 debuted on 7 September 1964, followed by ABAV1 on 15 December. In Mildura, ABMV4 debuted on 22 November 1965 and STV8 a few days later on 27 November. ABSV2 opened on 30 July 1965, with the Swan Hill region served by a commercial station when BCV8 opened a translator station, BCV11, in May 1967.



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Obituary: Peter Cundall

Former ABC gardening presenter Peter Cundall has died peacefully after a short illness at the age of 94.

Manchester-born Cundall served with the British Army in World War II and in 1950 settled in Tasmania, where he started a gardening and landscaping business in Launceston. This led to him answering listeners’ gardening questions on local radio in 1968. It was believed to be the world’s first gardening talkback radio program.

He also hosted gardening programs on ABC television in Tasmania from 1969 and took on a national profile when he hosted Gardening Australia from 1990 to 2008.

He was awarded Tasmania’s Senior Australian Of The Year in 2005 and a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007.

He continued to write newspaper columns and present radio talkback on gardening until his retirement in 2018.

Source: ABC, ABC, Australian Of The Year Awards, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

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