Around the world in 60 Minutes
The wait is over. This week marks the debut of Nine‘s new multi-million dollar current affairs gamble 60 Minutes. The show’s reporting team and producers have been around the world gathering stories. Former ABC New York correspondent Ray Martin has been travelling the United States. Former A Current Affair and Eyewitness News journalist Ian Leslie has been to Asia, and former A Current Affair and This Day Tonight reporter George Negus has been through Europe. With executive producer Gerald Stone, the program has been in planning since May last year and is believed to have a budget of $2 million. Stone is confident that his reporters’ personalities will help them connect with viewers, even though they are reluctant to adopt the celebrity tag that may come with the show. “I can’t say I’ll be looking forward to that side of it,” Leslie told TV Times. “I loathe the idea of my personal life coming under scrutiny because I become well-known as a TV reporter. I shall be guarding against that side of the job.”

Ossie battlers hit back
After departing GTV9 in a blaze of publicity a year ago, Daryl Somers and Ossie Ostrich had the disappointment of the ill-fated The Daryl And Ossie Show for the 0-10 Network. But now the pair could be making a return to the Nine Network in a deal that could include them featuring in a movie later in the year.

The laugh’s on them
A new rapid-fire sketch comedy series is about to debut on ABC. Jokes is to be a four-part series comprising purely of jokes presented as short sketches, some as short as ten seconds.  Starring in the show is Noni Hazlehurst (The Sullivans), Chris Haywood, Robyn Moase and Terry Bader.

deniswalter Star seekers – a game of snakes and ladders
Winning a TV talent quest is not a sure-fire way to stardom. Even though some winners manage to get an extra few bookings or maybe a short-lived record deal, the journey to stardom is still a long hard slog. For Ray Highcock, since winning Pot Of Gold, he has lost his job, his prize and his agent. But the 42-year-old is not giving up, “I’ve got to get this entertainment bug out of my system, so I’ll keep giving it a go.” Singer Christine Mullane won a trip for two to the UK from Young Talent Time, but found the prize didn’t include accommodation, but did score a record deal that only led to one failed single. Another singer, Denis Walter (pictured), won a Young Talent Time contest in 1971, and then went on to win on New Faces, but even then his dreams of instant wealth and stardom wasn’t to be: “And that was my first let down. I think all I got was a $200 prize.” Walter has been one of the lucky ones since then, however, with regular appearances on Young Talent Time, four top-selling albums and performing at a Royal Command Performance in London.

Luigi, the Italian taxi driver featured regularly on Willesee At Seven and The Penthouse Club, is going to be missing from TV screens for the next few months. Alter ego Colin McEwan is headed to the United Kingdom and Europe, but may film some Luigi segments for the Willesee program.

Radio 3UZ announcer Peter Byrne is going to be the new ‘man about town’ for HSV7‘s new Saturday Night Live (formerly The Penthouse Club).

Former Bellbird star Elspeth Ballantyne is enjoying a career comeback with a role in the movie Blue Fin and an ongoing role in the 0-10 Network’s upcoming new series Prisoner.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
“I read with interest your recent article on Lorraine Bayly in TV Times, and her identity crisis, but was disgusted to read how much she is being paid each week. As far as I am concerned, that is none of our business. Also, this attractive, very talented actress does nothing to get into the public eye and telling us her salary is certainly invasion of privacy.” V. Hannaford, WA.

“I have been a regular ABC viewer for 17 years, and have always admired the tremendous personality and style of the various announcers. Their clean, neat appearance and well-educated accents epitomise Australian manhood at its best. And I think the most promising of the new faces is Graeme Lyndon. I congratulate ABC for their good choice, and, of course, I must congratulate Graeme Lyndon for such a consistently high standard of performance.” D. Anderson, NSW.

What’s On (February 10-16):
donniesutherland HSV7
‘s Saturday morning music show Sound Unlimited, hosted by Donnie Sutherland (pictured), presents its fifth anniversary show.

GTV9‘s Sunday night talent quest, New Faces with Bert Newton, returns for another year – followed by the premiere of current affairs program 60 Minutes. HSV7 tries to take some of gloss of the new current affairs show by programming a US special, Mickey Mouse’s 50th Anniversary, up against it.

On Tuesday night, ATV0 presents the Victorian Sports Star for 1978 from the Southern Cross Hotel, hosted by Tony Charlton with Tracy Wickham.

Sunday night movies are The Ambushers (HSV7) and The Omega Man (ATV0). US mini-series Washington Behind Closed Doors screens over six consecutive nights on GTV9.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 10 February 1979.  ABC/ACP

3 thoughts on “1979: February 10-16

  1. Just read the Feb 79 article on Graeme Lyndon – very true. He is a real professional and his diction very clear and precise. I worked at TCN 9 when he was booth announcer doing voice over work. Believe he has a radio school today to train would be announcers. Would also like to know what happened to Bruce Menzies and Brian Bury from TCN9 DAYS.Graeme went on to the ABC.

  2. Bruce Menzies went from Channel 9 to the ABC where he had an evening radio program and read the news until his retirement in 1996

    1. I remember Bruce Menzies well from my time working at Nine in sixties – He had a wonderful television personality and diction and was well liked by us all. I often wonder how he is today and remember you too, Eva from your time at Nine. Television has changed so much since our time and not for the better. In the early days programs were first class entertainment and we were not bombarded with endless repeats and lifestyle shows. I left Nine in 1968 – the best job as record librarian and secretary I ever had.

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