Cover Story: A hard day’s night:
For Don Lane, life begins at 6.40am – and ends about 1.00 the next morning. TV Times‘ Veronica Ridge spent a day with the popular man of radio and television. Starting with his morning program with Bert Newton on radio 3UZ, through to rehearsals and pre-recording interviews and promos for that night’s The Don Lane Show. Then at 9.30, Bert Newton announces “Welcome to The Don Lane Show. And now, here’s Don!” and the curtain goes up on another show, broadcast across Australia.
Jeff Newman’s job is a real beauty!
Perth TVW7 personality Jeff Newman has a job that many other blokes would envy, chatting to and interviewing beauty pageant contestants. But Newman, 34, and happily married to wife Pat, says he would rather be watching at home rather than hosting the show, “because you get a better opportunity of seeing the girls without worrying about the next question.” This week, Newman will be hosting the Australian Beauty Pageant, the winner of which will represent Australia at Miss Universe in Mexico. Also, this year’s pageant will virtually serve as a dress rehearsal for the 1979 Miss Universe contest to be held at the Perth Entertainment Centre and televised worldwide.
When they dimmed the limelight…
For pop king Johnny Farnham, life was very hectic with TV appearances, commercials, and touring around the country. But now, at 29, Farnham is leading a quieter life, able to be more selective about the work he takes on. He refutes suggestions that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Farnham’s manager Danny Finley also confirms that despite the public perception that Farnham has faded from the spotlight, that this is not the case, “he has been seen around Australia on (sitcom) Bobby Dazzler, and ABC‘s Survival series. He appeared on Carols By Candlelight and Music For The People, and Julie McKenna‘s New Year’s Eve special.” However, Farnham does regret that the Crawford Productions pilot Me And Mr Stone, where he co-starred with Gordon Chater, was not picked up by any of the networks.
No prize for bunging on a Family Feud:
Columnist F.C. Kennedy is not overly impressed with Nine’s game show Family Feud with Tony Barber: “At first glance, Family Feud may not look like a challenge to the current affairs shows, The Sullivans, Glenview High, or the other soap opera, The Restless Years. But, when you are dealing with diary-keepers who have made Blankety Blanks number one, you never know what might happen.”
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
“I heard Mike Willesee call Olivia Newton-John and the Bee Gees “Australians”. Optimistic, to say the least. Olivia was born in England, came here aged five, left for England at 16, and from there became the international star she is today. The Bee Gees were born and raised in England, spent a few years here then returned home and became international stars. Neither Olivia nor the Bee Gees have recorded a hit in this country, not shown any interest in returning permanently.” E. Faith, WA.
“Would someone please tell me why two of our channels have to put specials on together on Wednesday nights, leaving one channel with an Australian show? Why do they give us a raw deal these days?” J. Hankinson, NSW.
“I am unashamedly a TV addict who, at the age of 80, picks his programs with a very heavy bias towards Australian features. I think The Sullivans is the best Australian show ever. The colour of all local shows is really superior to imports. Young Talent Time is the most consistently excellent variety show on the screen.” N. W. Montagu, NSW.
What’s On (April 8-14):
GTV9 presents the Australian Beauty Pageant, telecast from the Perth Entertainment Centre and hosted by Jeff Newman. Five finalists from each state will compete to represent Australia at the 1978 Miss Universe Quest to be held in Mexico.
ATV0 presents the special The Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald. The four-hour special, screened over two nights, speculates the outcome of a trial if President Kennedy‘s accused assassin was still alive.
ABC presents Vienna Cinderella – the last work of Johann Strauss – a ballet which had not achieved the fame of his other works.
Sunday night movies are Two Missionaries (HSV7), SPYS (GTV9) and Adam’s Woman (ATV0).
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 8 April 1978. ABC/ACP