tvtimes_290979 The long, lonely Lane
Since the collapse of his much-publicised romance with architecture student Carmen van Hoorn, Don Lane (pictured) has kept a much lower profile, keeping largely to himself in his luxury $400,000 bayside home in Melbourne, and is accepting of the fact that he may not find love again:  “I have sort of accepted the fact that I’m not going to find a permanent relationship.  I’m trying to keep a low profile from here on in.  I’m a loner, sure, but I don’t think I’m lonely.  I have a couple of close friends.”  Lane also admits that the demands of The Don Lane Show and other public commitments, such as his more recent theatre concert appearances, leave little room for other pursuits.

Bushie returns to film his near-death ordeal
Ron Ansell
, the star of a documentary made on his real-life survival experience in the Northern Territory wilderness, is ready for criticism of his treatment of animals in the re-enactment of his lonely, near-death saga after a fishing trip down the Victoria River went horribly wrong.  The 90-minute documentary, To Fight The Wild, is a production of Richard Oxenburgh Productions in association with TVW Enterprises and the Australian Film Commission, and is being considered by TV networks in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.  But the 26-year-old professional bull-catcher is prepared for criticism over scenes in the re-enactment which show Ansell shooting bulls, slitting them open with his knife and eating the raw meat on the spot:  “Well, I felt very strongly that if the story was going to be told on film, everything would have to be done exactly as it happened.” 

alexanderbunyip A busy ARVO for kids
Peter Cousens
and his young crew of Earthwatch presenters this week will co-host ABC’s special to highlight the International Year of the Child.  The two-and-a-half hour program will also feature ARVO regulars Alexander Bunyip (pictured, with Earthwatch presenter Marianne Howard), Ron Blanchard, Norman Hetherington, Mr Squiggle and Miss Jane (Jane Fennell).  The special presentation will highlight some of the range of programs produced by ABC’s Children’s, Education and Features departments and screened during school hours throughout the year.

A chance for the deaf to ‘hear’ PM
Deaf TV viewers will have their first chance to ‘hear’ Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser when a girl using sign-language will translate his words in a televised address to the nation on 30 September.  Increasing attention is being given to deaf viewers following the formation of the Australian Centre for Visual Television (ACVT).  The company has already produced a weekly five-minute program, Shhh … Don’t Say It, which has been shown during ABC’s children’s program ARVO.  ACVT co-partners Alexandra Hynes and Adam Salzer have been asked to make thirteen more episodes of the show for next year and are also planning to make a half-hour pilot for a new show for ABC.

Prisoner guest star Jeanie Drynan, playing the role of a sophisticated lawyer, is so impressed with her on-screen wardrobe that she plans to buy the clothes for her own use after she has finished in the series.

Jacqui Gordon, the step-daughter of actor Vic Gordon, has changed her mind about becoming a mothercare nurse and is now planning an acting career after she finishes school at the end of the year.  She has already won an award for her 1975 role in Sally Go Round The Moon and appeared in a guest role in Cop Shop earlier this year.

The 0-10 Network’s cameras were fast on the scene when fire engines screeched to a halt outside Sydney’s Sebel Town House Hotel.  Turns out there was no fire, but rather the hotel’s fire alarm had been activated by heat from the lights being used for filming of a story for Simon Townsend’s Wonder World.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”I totally disagree with M. Caffery (Viewpoint, 8 September 1979) on homosexuality being shown on Cop Shop.  I cannot see anything disgusting about it – not compared with some of the filth on TV nowadays.  Why on earth should homosexuality be hidden away?  It’s a part of life that should be accepted, and it’s only the narrow-minded who pretend it doesn’t exist, or at least find it unacceptable.”  M. Eeles, VIC.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read M. Caffery’s letter (Viewpoint, 8 September 1979).  I thought that people who viewed gays as morally sick died out in the last century.  M. Caffery and friends should see a doctor.  This is 1979.”  A Happy Gay Couple, VIC.

“We live in the country, so we only get ABC.  There are too many documentaries and sports programs and repeats on this channel.  If we ever get movies we have almost always seen them before.” B. Harvey, A. and L. Osbourne, WA.

“I am 12 and want to see something practical on TV for children my age.  Fat Cat And Friends, Rainbow, Shadows, Porky Pig, Family Affair and Gomer Pyle aren’t very exciting for us.  We want to see programs that interest us – perhaps quiz shows, or maybe serials, but not those sloppy soap operas like Days Of Our Lives.”  G. Aitchison, NSW.

What’s On (September 29-October 5):
Following the Football Marathon from last Friday night, HSV7 goes into Saturday morning with live coverage of the traditional Grand Final Breakfast then follows with documentaries on two of the great names in Australian Rules football, Barry Cable and Peter Hudson.  TV Times has no listing for live coverage of the Grand Final, pending approval of the live telecast from the VFL, but has HSV7 scheduled to screen a replay of the game at 6.30pm.  ABC has a one-hour review of the Grand Final at 6.00pm with a full replay at 9.20pm.

Sunday is dominated by HSV7’s all-day coverage of the 1979 Hardie Ferodo 1000, the legendary motor race held at the Mt Panorama circuit in Bathurst.  Coverage starts at 7.55am and continues through to 5.30pm.

ABC presents its International Year of the Child special telecast on Sunday afternoon.  Featuring the presenters of children’s programs ARVO, Earthwatch and Mr Squiggle And Friends, the special includes four programs made specifically for the International Year of the Child.

In Cop Shop (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), a man is knocked down by a motorcyclist after he gives the police some important information and Georgiou (John Orcsik) has a mysterious visitor at the station.  The Press decide to give Vic Cameron (Terence Donovan) a hard time and his past comes back to haunt him.  In Skyways (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), Pacific International Airport is closed down due to fog.  Peter Fanelli (Bill Stalker) sets a trap for a team of pick-pockets, using George Tippett (Brian James) as a decoy.

jackabsalom Bush artist Jack Absalom (pictured) presents a new series on ABC, Outback.  In the first episode he introduces his theory which suggests that the entire inland of Australia is rapidly becoming a huge claypan where soon nothing will grow.  He looks at the animal that he considers to hold the key to preserving the land – the kangaroo.

On Friday, HSV7 presents live all-day coverage of Australia versus the US in the Davis Cup tennis from White City, Sydney.

Friday night becomes a battle of movie greats with The Wizard Of Oz (HSV7), The King And I (GTV9) and The Greatest Show On Earth (ATV0).

Sunday night movies: The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (HSV7), Rider On The Rain (GTV9), Sherlock Holmes In New York (ATV0).  The Men is the final instalment of the series of A Place In The World on ABC, featuring the reunion of the key characters from the previous instalments.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 29 September 1979.  ABC/ACP

4 thoughts on “1979: September 29-October 5

  1. It'd be funny nowadays, for a network to actually ask permission from the AFL to screen the grand final live…

    Something we take for granted in the 2000's was probably a novelty thirty years ago…

  2. Live broadcasts of VFL games and finals were quite routine to channels outside of Victoria, but within Victoria it was 1977 before it was first allowed for a Grand Final and by 1979 obviously still needing VFL approval to go ahead – as live coverage was seen to hinder the sale of tickets at the venue. (Even now in 2009, live broadcast of AFL games into Victoria is still a touchy issue! They are nearly always delayed except the Grand Final) Industrial action by TV workers at the last minute also threatened the live coverage of the 1979 Grand Final but it did end up going ahead.

  3. I am wondering if it is possible to obtain a copy of To Fight the Wild…a story about Rod Ansell… is a Richard Oxenburgh Production and it is mentioned in the above newsletter (aired Sept 1979)
    Looking forward to a reply…

    1. Thanks for the message Marcia. I am not sure where you could obtain that documentary. As per the article it was produced for TVW Enterprises, which at the time was Channel 7 Perth, and the Australian Film Commission.

      You could try to contact Channel 7 Perth (their contact details are at this link) or maybe try the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

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