Cover: Johnny Depp, Dannii Minogue

Fast lane to death
After 20 years in the industry, journalist John Budd recalls the last 18 months have been a nightmare.  “When the industry collapsed it left a lot of people without jobs,” he says. Facing unemployment following the axing of Network Ten’s Public Eye current affairs program, Budd landed a job at ABC’s Four Corners – and after three months’ gruelling research, his first report, ‘Amphetamines: The Quiet Achiever Of The Drug Trade’, is ready to go to air this week.  Dubbed the “fast-lane drug of the Eighties”, amphetamines are set to become the big issue of the Nineties, he told TV Week. “They’re very much a yuppie drug, socially acceptable and mix nicely with alcohol to create a euphoric state of confidence, well-being and hyped-up vigilance.” Budd interviewed 30 reformed drug users and dealers and also worked with Victoria Police “who are alarmed at the rapid pace of this quiet achiever of the drug trade.”

jenniferkeyte Keyte’s flying high
”It all happened fairly quickly,” is how HSV7 newsreader Jennifer Keyte (pictured) describes her rise to national stardom as the news presenter on Steve Vizard’s new national variety show, Tonight Live. “I had seen Steve around the station last year and we used to have make-up room chats. He made me laugh so much. The make-up girls hated him because they couldn’t get my lips done. I guess we established a rapport then.” As well as her booming TV profile, Keyte also has other matters to attend to – a mid-year wedding to Melbourne nightclub owner Brett Kochner.

“I had to beat the animal that controlled me…”
Actor Tony Bonner, best known from TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, Cop Shop and Skyways, is looking relaxed and healthier than ever. Currently in Los Angeles following good reviews for his work in the Tom Selleck movie Quigley Down Under, Bonner recalls the day only three months ago when he walked into a Melbourne clinic for help in overcoming alcohol problems. “I came to a proverbial crossroad in life and there were three options – the first was to become a down-and-out lost soul; the second was to be committed to an insane asylum; and the third was to die. So the option to take was simply to beat the animal that controlled me – alcohol.” Bonner feels his career is now on a new direction and, since the Quigley movie, is meeting heads of drama at two US networks keen to cast him in telemovies and is also discussing offers with Disney studio Hollywood Pictures.

Former Perfect Match host Cameron Daddo (pictured) has just finished a long run in the stage production Big River but already has two other projects in planning – one is to join veteran Leo McKern to play the legendary roles of Dad and Dave in the $6.3 million feature film On Our Selection, and the other is a potential lead role in the Grundy Television production of Boney, based on the 1972 series of the same name.

Singer Kate Ceberano, having just completed a cameo role in the film Till There Was You, is now in negotiation for a guest appearance in the new Nine Network series Family And Friends.

Home And Away star Dannii Minogue admits to being nervous over public reaction to her new single, Love And Kisses, and the $50,000 video to promote it – but is determined to silence critics that she is cashing in on the success of her older sister Kylie. “A lot of people thought I’d copy Kylie and have a sound exactly like hers. But that’s just not the sort of stuff I do. This is more my style – but yes, it’s good to be different.”

johnlaws John Laws says…
”By any standards, Steve Vizard’s opening show was a crushing disappointment. The second night was not much better. The third showed a slender improvement. Much has been expected of Vizard because of his fine work with Fast Forward. If anyone could hold a Tonight show together it should be him. Yet on debut night Vizard was flailing around like a beached whale within seconds of the studio audience’s contrived hysteria being stilled. Vizard, I’m sure, does have the talent to put on a better show.  It’ll take time to get it right. I hope Seven has the cash and the patience.”

Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
Steve Vizard has established Tonight Live as an energetic, cheeky show which goes just far enough – but not too far – to sit nicely in its adults-only timeslot. Many of the lines have induced a good laugh, some of the music has been top class and somehow – just somehow – a touch of serious news has been shoved in without upsetting the applecart. But what’s most infectious from where I sit is that the host himself appears to be enjoying it all enormously. And when he’s having a good time, so am I.”

Program Highlights (February 17-23):
  Hey Hey It’s Saturday returns for a new year with Daryl Somers, Denise Drysdale, Ossie Ostrich, John Blackman, Red Symons and Wilbur WildeABC presents the ABC Sports Award Of The Year, live from the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra.
Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Someone To Watch Over Me (GTV9) and The Man From Snowy River II (ATV10).  HSV7 presents the first instalment of mini-series Small Sacrifices.
Tuesday:  GTV9 crosses to the SCG for the Benson and Hedges World Series: Australia versus Pakistan.  Coverage starts at 2.20pm and, after breaking for National Nine News, A Current Affair and Sale Of The Century, continues through to 10.30pm.
Wednesday:  David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz return for a new series of The Movie Show on SBS.
Thursday:  SBS launches a new series, Viva World Cup, hosted by Les Murray and Andy Paschalidis in the lead-up to the 1990 World Cup, including reports on the venues, personalities and the final 24 teams.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.
17 February 1990. Southdown Press.

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