Obituary: Anne Phelan

Actress Anne Phelan, best known from Bellbird and Prisoner and more recently in Winners And Losers, has died at the age of 71.

With a career starting in 1968, Phelan went on to a successful career in stage, film and television, displaying a range from comedy to drama to musical theatre.

Early TV credits included guest appearances in the Crawford Productions cop shows of the 1970s — Division 4, Homicide, Matlock Police and Ryan. In 1974, she scored the ongoing role of Kate Ashwood (pictured) in the long-running ABC rural series Bellbird. She stayed with the series for three years.

She also starred in the TV adaptation of the musical The Sentimental Bloke (pictured with Jon Finlayson and Laine Lamont), made for ABC in 1976.

After Bellbird wound up in 1977, Phelan and a number of her Bellbird colleagues found new roles in Prisoner. Phelan played a couple of minor guest roles in early episodes of the series before she was cast as Myra Desmond, a former inmate and representative of the Prison Reform Group who ends up back inside and elevated to the role of ‘top dog’.

She had the leading role of “Mumma Darcy” in the mini-series The Harp In The South and Poor Man’s Orange and made guest appearances in Special Squad, Starting Out, Mother And Son, GP and The Bartons.

She was one of the cast of the Nine Network soap Family And Friends and played the part of Mrs Fuller in the sitcom Col’n Carpenter.

Other credits included Late For School, Law Of The Land, Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies, Blue Heelers and The Micallef Program. 

By 2000, her career had come full circle — returning to ABC for its rural drama Something In The Air. She played the part of Monica Taylor in the series for two years.

Later guest roles included Neighbours, The Librarians, Marshall Law, The Worst Year Of My Life, Again! and Sleuth 101.

Her last major TV role was as Dot Gross in the Seven Network drama Winners And Losers.

As well as her acting achievements, Phelan was a tireless supporter for charities, including patron of Positive Women, a support organisation for women living with HIV.

She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007 for services to the arts and for her support for women living with HIV, refugees and asylum seekers.

Well after Prisoner‘s demise in 1986, Phelan continued to support fans of the show, including an appearance at Prisoner‘s 25th anniversary held at the former ATV10 Nunawading studios in 2004, and one of her last public appearances was earlier this year at a cast reunion for the show’s 40th anniversary.

Source: ABC, TV Tonight, IMDB, It’s An Honour. TV Guide, 27 June 1971.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/obituary-anne-phelan.html

Obituary: Roger Cardwell

Former Adelaide newsreader Roger Cardwell has died at the age of 85. He was surrounded by family when he passed away at a nursing home on Saturday morning. He had long suffered from lung cancer.

Cardwell was a newsreader at NWS9 from the early 1960s, hosted the national Country And Western Hour and appeared in the channel’s Christmas pantomimes. In 1965 he made the surprise announcement that he was leaving Nine to join the new channel SAS10 as its main newsreader.

After a few years at Ten, he then moved across to ADS7 to read the news and host country music show Country Style. He also appeared on local variety show Here’s Parry, hosted by English comedian Ron Parry.


YouTube: potrzebie74

In May 1969, Cardwell resigned from Seven, claiming a breach of contract after he was suspended from hosting Country Style.

He then worked as a guest presenter on ABC‘s Today Tonight in Adelaide before returning to Nine. While at Nine, in 1978 and 1981 he won the TV Week Logie Award for Most Popular Male Personality in South Australia.

in 1996 he was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame in recognition of the part he played in pioneering country music on television in Australia.

For 14 years he was also newsreader at Adelaide radio stations 5DN and 5AD.

Cardwell was also a familiar presenter and voice over talent on TV and radio commercials and recorded narrations for audio books. In recent years he also conducted book readings at a local Adelaide library.

Source: Adelaide Now. Seven News. TV-Radio Guide, 9 May 1965, 1 June 1969, 8 June 1969.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/obituary-roger-cardwell.html

Ten Adelaide turns 60

One of the quirks in Australia’s television history is that the Ten Network celebrated its 50th anniversary just a few years ago.

However, today, its Adelaide station — ADS Ten — turned 60.

The anomaly has come about as ADS originally began as ADS7 on 24 October 1959 (You can read more about that here). It went on to join what became the Seven Network.

In 1987, ADS7 ended up under control of interests associated with the Ten Network, while rival channel SAS10 was firming up ties with the Seven Network. The two channels did a swap of frequencies and network affiliations to match their numbers up with the rest of the network. ADS7 therefore became ADS10 and joined Ten.

Back in the the 1960s and ’70s, well before any awkward channel swaps took place, ADS7 took out many full page ads in South Australia’s local TV magazine TV Radio Guide. Here is just a sample, in no particular order:


 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/ten-adelaide-turns-60.html

Seven West Media to merge with Prime

The changing, challenging and shrinking media landscape has seen some significant deals in recent times.

In 2017, Network Ten was in receivership and was rescued by a takeover from American network CBS. Last year, the Nine Network completed a merger with Fairfax Media to create a giant of online and print media, radio and television.

Now it appears that the Seven Network is set to made the next big media pounce — with Seven West Media bidding to takeover its long-time regional partner Prime Media Group in a deal worth $64 million.

Prime’s board has endorsed the bid but it is still subject to a shareholder vote and regulatory approval from ACMA and ACCC.

Seven West Media controls the Seven Network stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and regional Queensland. Seven West Media also owns Pacific Magazines, The West Australian, The Sunday Times (Perth) and regional newspapers across Western Australia.

Prime Media Group operates the Prime7 regional network in Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Gold Coast, and GWN7 in Western Australia. Prime also has half shares in supplementary licences for West Digital Television (the Nine affiliate in regional WA) and Nine Mildura.

Prime, formed by Paul Ramsay in 1986 when he purchased a number of independent regional stations in New South Wales and Victoria. has been Seven’s regional affiliate partner since aggregation commenced in regional markets in 1989.

The merged entity is estimated to give Seven West Media a total potential audience of 18 million people across the mainland eastern states and Western Australia.

Seven expects that the merger will deliver $11 million in cost savings, although Seven recently-appointed CEO James Warburton has claimed that there will be no cutbacks to regional news services.

In a separate deal, Seven West Media has also sold off its Western Australia radio network Redwave to Southern Cross Austereo for $28 million. Redwave operates two radio networks, Spirit Radio and Red FM.

Source: Seven News, ABC, The Age

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/seven-west-media-to-merge-with-prime.html

TV At 60: TV comes to Perth

Perth was the third of the four cities in Stage 2 of the introduction of television in Australia. Like with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, Perth was to be covered by both the national broadcaster ABC and commercial television.

While the other cities had established two commercial channels each, Perth was ultimately allocated one commercial licence. The government agreed with the view of the two licence applicants for the Perth area that only one commercial licence should be granted.

On 13 October 1958, the licence to operate Perth’s first commercial television station was issued to TVW Limited, owned by West Australian Newspapers. The only other applicant for the licence was Western Television Services which had ties with News Limited, based in Adelaide. (News Limited was successful in gaining one of the two commercial licences for Adelaide)

The new channel call-sign was to become TVW7.

TVW made its first test transmissions from 31 August 1959 and was officially opened on Friday 16 October 1959. The station, employing 92 people at the time, was operating from studios in the suburb of Tuart Hill and from a transmitter located in Bickley.

The opening night’s line-up started with speeches from TVW general manager James Cruthers and Western Australian governor Sir Charles Gairdner, who officially declared the station open. Later in the evening, TVW7 presented the debut of its first variety show, Spotlight, featuring Rolf Harris who had returned from London to become a presenter and producer for TVW.

Spotlight

TVW’s opening night also included American series Leave It To Beaver, Sea Hunt, Father Knows Best, Gunsmoke and Perry Mason, and the station’s first news bulletin running for 15 minutes.

As with the introduction of TV in other cities, many of the estimated 70,000 to watch TVW’s opening night were doing so by peering into electrical store windows to watch the TVs on display.

And the introduction of TV sparked a boom in the local industry — with TV repair businesses springing up, insurance companies offering coverage on TV sets and picture tubes, furniture retailers selling TV-friendly chairs and lounge suites, and antenna installers to put antennas on rooftops. One such installer was a 19-year-old from Melbourne named Kerry Stokes. Stokes went on to much bigger things, going from installing antennas to property development, and eventually building a massive business empire which now includes the Seven Network, which includes TVW7.

When TVW7 began, the usual custom for selling advertising on television was for sponsors to buy out whole programs — which is why many early shows had brand names in their titles. For a market the size and relative isolation of Perth, this was not thought to be a sustainable model as local advertisers would not have the advertising budgets of larger eastern states companies. TVW, therefore, adopted the “spot” advertising model, where advertisers would buy specific ad slots rather than sponsor whole programs. It was a novel concept at the time but has become the norm.

Like most Australian stations at the time, a majority of TVW’s early programming was imported. But within its first six months, TVW had claimed to have just under 40 per cent of programming made up of Australian content — and just over a quarter of that was programming made at TVW itself from its single studio.

TVW would have Perth’s TV viewers all to itself for the next few months — as ABC’s local channel, ABW2, did not commence transmission until May 1960.

ABW2 conducted its first test transmissions from 19 April 1960, also with a transmitter in Bickley, and had its opening night on Saturday 7 May 1960.  The opening night’s proceedings included fifteen minutes of speeches from dignitaries, including ABC Chairman Sir Richard Boyer, before the Postmaster-General Charles Davidson officially opened the channel at 7.00pm.  More than 300 invited guests witnessed the opening night from ABW’s new Rosehill studios in Adelaide Terrace, Perth.

James Fisher read ABW2’s first news bulletin.  The rest of the evening featured Tales Of Wells Fargo and The Phil Silvers Show then British series Portraits Of Power and Boyd QC.  A sports review followed and then the night concluded with the prize winning documentary Growing Up With Guba, the story of the development of New Guinea, before transmission closed at 10.35pm.

With television now established in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, the next city to come was Hobart in 1960 — thus completing the introduction of television to each of the state capital cities.

Source: Eric FisherWA TV History. The West Australian, 16 October 1959, 7 May 1960, 14 October 1989, 16 October 2009. Broadcasting & Television, 14 April 1960.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/tv-at-60-tv-comes-to-perth.html

Obituary: Patrick Ward

Actor Patrick Ward, star of various Australian films and television series, has died at the age of 69.

He left school in Sydney at the age of 14 and at the age of 16 began as a dancer before joining the Independent Theatre in Sydney and trained as an actor.

He starred as lawyer Mike Parsons in early episodes of Number 96 in 1972.

He re-appeared at Number 96 in the series’ movie spin-off, released in 1974, but this time playing the part of bikie Tony Brent.

Other credits included The Spoiler, Spyforce, Matlock Police, Catch Kandy, Class Of ’74, Homicide ,The Unisexers and sitcom Up The Convicts.

He played a police officer in Cop Shop when it began in 1977, was sports shop owner Craig Carmichael in the short-lived series Arcade in 1980 and starred in the 1992 sitcom My Two Wives.

Mini-series credits included Anzacs, Fields Of Fire and Body Surfer and telemovies Kindred Spirits and Supersleuth.

He also made guest appearances in Runaway Island, Holiday Island, A Country Practice, Rafferty’s Rules, Chances, Home And Away, Over The Hill, All Saints and Farscape.

Source: TV Tonight, IMDB. TV Times, 8 February 1975.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/obituary-patrick-ward.html

Obituary: Reg Watson

Reg Watson, the creator of Neighbours and many other successful soaps, has died at the age of 93.

Born in Maryborough, Queensland, in 1926, Watson’s career started as a radio actor and announcer and he had also dabbled in theatre. By the mid-1950s, he had moved to the United Kingdom and in 1956 was appointed Head of Light Entertainment for the new commercial station, ATV, being launched in Birmingham. As well as his executive role at the new channel, he also helped set up the sales department, wrote scripts for announcers and advised on presentation.

He produced various programs for ATV, including a popular daytime variety show, Lunchbox, and a game show called Hit The Limit. At ATV he offered a proposal for a new serial drama which would ultimately launch as Crossroads, starring Lunchbox presenter Noele Gordon. It was the UK’s first five-day-a-week soap, and Watson produced the series to high ratings for over 2000 episodes.

In 1973, Watson and director Alan Coleman were headhunted by Reg Grundy to help build his fledgling drama empire in Australia — although Watson had been turning down offers from Grundy for two years.

He was a director for Grundy’s first soap, Class Of ’74, and his first creation for Grundy was a Brisbane-based daytime serial, Until Tomorrow, starring Hazel Phillips, Barry Otto and Babette Stephens. Until Tomorrow was short-lived, and another proposal called Two-Way Mirror was not picked up, but Watson had far greater success in creating The Young Doctors a year later for Nine. The Young Doctors ran for six years and at the time became the longest running serial drama produced in Australia, clocking up 1396 episodes.

Watson went on to create popular dramas The Restless Years, Prisoner and Sons And Daughters for the Grundy Organisation. His next creation was a suburban-based drama in the early 1980s that had working titles like One Way Street and Living Together. It became Neighbours and debuted on the Seven Network in 1985.

He was given the task to re-launch the series when Network Ten took over the series from 1986. Neighbours became one of Australia’s most successful television exports, screening in up to 50 countries at its peak and is now approaching its 35th anniversary with over 8000 episodes.

Other series credits included Glenview High, Taurus Rising, Starting Out, Waterloo Station, Possession and Richmond Hill. He also worked on Grundy’s overseas dramas Goede tijden, slechte tijden (Netherlands), Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (Germany) and Dangerous Women (USA).

Watson retired in the 1990s. In 2010 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List, “for service to the media as a pioneer in the creation and production of serial television drama”.

Source: TV Tonight, ATV Today, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. TV Times, 11 January 1975.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/obituary-reg-watson.html

Classic TV Guides: Be Our Guest

ABC‘s relaunch of its late afternoon line-up in October 1966 mostly relied on familiar titles — reruns of British legal drama Boyd QC, the return of children’s science series Why Is It So? with Professor Julius Sumner Miller, and new episodes of Doctor Who. But there were some new shows in the mix — Crackerjack, a Friday afternoon children’s variety show with Reg Livermore, Judith Roberts and Michael Boddy; a six-part science fiction series, The Interpretaris, starring Ben Gabriel, Kit Taylor and Lorraine Bayly; and a new Monday-to-Thursday series, Be Our Guest.

Be Our Guest was a curious mix of lightweight drama, pop music and “candid” interviews. It was a series set in a motel located adjacent to an airport.

The regular cast of Be Our Guest was Gordon Glenwright, Lorraine Bayly, Sean Scully, Jack Allan and Jacki Weaver. Glenwright played “Grandpa”, a retiree who has taken over running the motel. Scully and Weaver play two cousins who also work at the motel, and Allan played the motel’s chief cook, who conveniently also liked to play the piano.

Bayly, coincidentally also starring in ABC’s other new series The Interpretaris, played an air hostess whose role often entailed introducing celebrity guests to the motel who would have an impromptu chat with the motel staff and then perform “spontaneously” for us during their stay.

Be Our Guest ran four days a week on ABC and ended the year with a Christmas special featuring the regular characters in a party mood, celebrating in fancy dress as their favourite film or television characters, with guest appearances by those who had appeared in the show during its run.

The cast of Be Our Guest and fellow ABC series Crackerjack then appeared together on a Christmas Day special filmed at Sydney’s Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children.

Be Our Guest was not to re-appear in 1967, being replaced in the same 5.30pm timeslot by another series with a remarkable resemblance. Something Else told the story of a family-owned Sydney hotel called The George. Like the motel in Be Our Guest, The George was frequented by pop stars and performers, with the subtle difference that in the new show they were at the hotel under the guise of “auditioning” for a TV production company that had hired a conference room at the hotel.

Something Else starred Lois Ramsey, Benita Collings, Liza Goddard, Stanley Walsh, Barbara Joss and former Be Our Guest star Jack Allan.

As for Be Our Guest, it seemed to then vanish from our collective memories, until David Lyle‘s Golden Years Of Television uncovered this gem of TV kitsch with a rare screening in the late 1980s. It is not believed to have been broadcast since, apart from some clips appearing during Rage‘s retro month in January, and some music performances from the show can be found on YouTube.


YouTube: nzoz1966

The debut of Be Our Guest is among the latest additions to Classic TV Guides:

 

Source: TV Times, 28 September 1966, 21 December 1966, 8 February 1967. The Canberra Times, 19 December 1966.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/10/classic-tv-guides-be-our-guest.html

Obituary: Paul Cronin

Actor Paul Cronin, best known as family patriarch Dave Sullivan in The Sullivans, has died at the age of 81.

Born in South Australia, Cronin’s early career was in engineering and was far removed from showbusiness. He eventually enrolled at a drama school in Adelaide and performed in the local amateur theatre company. It was only when his engineering career took him to Melbourne that he was encouraged by his wife to audition for Crawford Productions.

At Crawfords, he gained guest roles in Homicide and Division 4 before being cast as motorcycle cop Gary Hogan in the rural crime drama Matlock Police. He starred alongside Michael Pate, Grigor Taylor, Vic Gordon and later Tom Richards.

The series continued for five years, with Cronin’s character then taking on the lead in a spin-off series, Solo One, for the Seven Network. Solo One only lasted 13 episodes and Cronin was anticipating another career change into real estate, until Crawfords cast him as Dave Sullivan in its upcoming series The Sullivans for the Nine Network.

The Sullivans debuted in November 1976 and became a huge success for Nine in Australia, and sold well overseas. Cronin went on to win a string of Logie Awards, including the Silver Logie Most Popular Actor five times. While other cast members (including Lorraine Bayly, pictured) moved on from The Sullivans over its six year run, Cronin stayed as a constant figure. So it was big news when he announced early in 1982 that he was leaving the series after a falling out with the Nine Network. Although Nine had plans to continue the series without him, it ended up using Cronin’s exit as a means to wrap up The Sullivans after 1114 episodes.

After leaving Nine, he immediately signed up with Network Ten, returning to the studios where he had made Matlock Police, but not for a drama series. He was intending to host a variety show, Paul Cronin’s Australian Amateur Hour, a TV adaptation of the long-running radio program that was successful back in the 1950s.

Paul Cronin’s Australian Amateur Hour did not go beyond the pilot stage, and Cronin’s next venture for Ten was telemovie Matthew And Son, co-starring with Darius Perkins and Paula Duncan. Produced by Johnny Young, the telemovie was hoped to extend into a series, but was not picked up and Cronin was soon to leave Ten.

Later acting credits included The Flying Doctors, State Coroner, Frontline and the mini-series A Place To Call Home.

Cronin also had other business interests, including the partnership to launch the Brisbane Bears football club, as part of the then VFL’s extension into Queensland. He served as president of the club (now the Brisbane Lions) for two years.

He continued to appear on television in commercials and maintained regular ties with radio, in particular at radio 3AW in Melbourne, as a presenter of Remember When and Nightline, usually when one of its regular hosts, Bruce Mansfield or Philip Brady, were away.

Source: ABC, IMDB. TV Week, 9 December 1978, 27 January 1979, 9 February 1980, 15 May 1982, 13 November 1982. TV Times, 2 August 1980.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/09/obituary-paul-cronin.html

TV At 60: TV comes to Adelaide

After Brisbane‘s official launch of its first television stations, Adelaide became the fourth city in Australia to receive television.

Like with other cities, Adelaide was to be served by national broadcaster ABC and two commercial channels.

The two successful applicants for commercial licences in October 1958 were Southern Television Corporation Ltd and Television Broadcasters Ltd.

Southern Television Corporation’s major shareholders were News Limited and Hume Broadcasters. News Limited, headed by 27-year-old Rupert Murdoch, published Adelaide’s daily afternoon newspaper The News. Hume Broadcasters controlled Adelaide radio station 5DN. The new television station was to adopt the call-sign NWS9 — deriving its name from News Limited — and marked Murdoch’s first move into television.

Television Broadcasters Ltd’s major shareholder was Advertiser Newspapers Ltd, a member of the Herald and Weekly Times group and whose media assets included The Advertiser, radio station 5AD in Adelaide and regional radio stations 5MU, 5PI and 5SE. Also investing in the new company was fellow Adelaide radio station 5KA and Associated Newspapers of London. The new television station was to become ADS7.

The race was then on to get to air — with NWS determined to be first of the three channels to commence official operation. NWS9 was building its new studio on Tynte Street, North Adelaide, across the road from 5DN. Meanwhile, ADS7 was setting up studios on Strangways Terrace, also in North Adelaide, adjacent to a historic two-storey mansion (pictured above), built in 1913, which became the station’s administration block. ABC was building its new studios for ABS2 in the suburb of Collinswood.

In choosing locations to build their stations, it was crucial that they had line-of-sight to the top of Mount Lofty to allow them to beam their signal via microwave to the TV transmitters being built on top of the mountain, to then be broadcast to Adelaide’s population of around 700,000 — representing about 77 per cent of South Australia’s population.

The local sale of TV sets commenced from Monday 4 May 1959, with ADS7 conducting test transmissions from two weeks prior, and NWS9 starting its testing on the day. The transmissions mostly consisted of test patterns and short films, not necessarily intended for mass audiences but there were crowds all around TV retailers in the city and suburbs in order to get their first glimpse at television. Retailers like Myer, Sven Kallin, Rundle’s, Ernsmiths and John Martin’s were well stocked for the rush in people buying TV sets. More than 15,000 sets were reported to ready for eager buyers across Adelaide and nearer country areas.

One retailer attracted crowds by having a TV camera onsite to capture people’s reactions and have the pictures displayed on a closed-circuit television, allowing budding viewers to see themselves on TV. It was a feature popular with children, especially those pulling faces on camera!

Another store had a mini-studio set up on its second floor so that interviews could be conducted with people selected from the crowd outside and the interviews displayed for those watching TVs through store windows on the ground floor.

Some store windows with TVs on display still attracted crowds of keen viewers even when there was no TV pictures being transmitted and the screens were just flickering or showing static.

NWS9’s ambitions of being the first station to open were almost dashed when a fire tore through part of its newly-constructed studio complex one night in June. The fire destroyed a small presentation studio, props area and carpenter’s store and part of the building’s roof structure was warped from the heat. The fire was estimated to have caused £10,000 in damage. No electrical equipment was reported damaged, but a significant amount of cabling was damaged and had to be re-installed as the affected areas were re-built.

The small studio was intended to host NWS9’s first live production to be conducted during its test transmission phase. Nine’s search for a TV hostess was to culminate in the finalists being announced in a special program, Clarkson’s TV Hostess Quest. With the intended studio out of action, Nine had to find another means to present the program. It was eventually found that the only room fit to broadcast the show was the women’s dressing room. The small room had to accommodate host Kevin Crease, the four finalists, a cameraman and a bulky studio camera, with a set backdrop hurriedly built at the last minute. The winner of the quest was housewife Joan Peake.

NWS9 made its official debut on Saturday 5 September 1959. Programming started at 2.30pm with cartoons, short films and a Western starring Roy Rogers. There was no gala opening ceremony or large scale special to welcome the channel, apart from a half-hour documentary tracing the building of the new station and a short speech to viewers by South Australian Premier Sir Thomas Playford.

The rest of the night’s line-up consisted of overseas programs — The Lilli Palmer Show, State Trooper, This Is Fred Astaire, The Webb and the film Wild Blue Yonder — before a news update and the epilogue closed the night’s transmission at 11.00pm.

Nine did have a more lavish affair when it launched its new variety show Adelaide Tonight, with a proud Murdoch in the studio audience along with invited government dignitaries and station sponsors. The show made its debut at 9.30pm on Saturday 17 October with host Lionel Williams and fellow NWS personalities Kevin Crease and Leona Gay. Performers in the first show included American comedian Oscar Cartier, local singer Paula Kitson, comedian Hal Turner and a 24-year-old Malaysian student by the name of Kamahl making his television debut. Music was provided by Nine’s own orchestra, directed by Walter Lund.

A week after Adelaide Tonight‘s debut, on 24 October the city’s second channel, ADS7, was officially opened. Seven’s opening night commenced with an official opening ceremony by South Australian Governor Sir Robert George at 7.30pm, followed by a short film, This Is TV, and preview scenes of upcoming ADS7 programs.

At 8.15pm, Sydney performer and TV host Michael Cole comperes the one-hour Variety Spectacular, featuring interstate guest artists Buster Fiddess, Bobby Limb, Heather Horwood and local performers Eric Smart and Murray McKechnie, with the Channel 7 Ballet and Channel 7 Orchestra. After the one-hour special were imported programs Deadline For Action and Bachelor Father, followed by news headlines and then Reverend Erwin Vogt introduced ADS7’s religious programs before the channel shut down for the night.

The following night’s lineup included the launch of new locally-produced programs Stairway To The Stars, Meet The Press, quiz show Noughts And Crosses and religious discussion I Challenge The Minister. Filmed programs on the second night included the debut of Disneyland and the Fred Astaire movie Top Hat.

It was March 1960 before ABC launched its Adelaide TV station ABS2 from its Collinswood studios, although it was presenting test programs from mid-February. Opening night on Friday 11 March started at 7.00pm with a 20-minute introduction featuring speeches from Postmaster-General Charles Davidson, South Australian Premier Sir Thomas Playford and Opposition Leader Michael O’Halloran. This was followed by the first ABC news bulletin then US sitcom The Phil Silvers Show, a documentary on Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Western series Tales Of Wells Fargo, British drama Boyd QC, a local documentary on Adelaide and a live music program before the documentary Growing Up With Guba. It was a program line-up that had much in common with Brisbane’s ABC station ABQ2 when it debuted four months earlier.

Source: The 11th Annual Report Of The Australian Broadcasting Control Board, 1958-59. Miracle On Tynte Street — The Channel Nine Story, Rex Heading & Trevor Jones, 1996. The Advertiser, 4 May 1959, 5 May 1959, 5 September 1959, 7 September 1959, 17 October 1959, 23 October 1959, 24 October 1959, 26 October 1959, 11 March 1960.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2019/09/tv-at-60-tv-comes-to-adelaide.html