Cover: Sharyn Hodgson, Julian McMahon (Home And Away)
Meet the new Pippa
The producers of Seven’s Home And Away have found a new actress for the key role of Pippa Fletcher. Debra Lawrence, previously seen in ABC’s The Fast Lane, will take over the role of Pippa from Vanessa Downing, who has decided to leave the series to pursue other ventures. Producers had previously hoped to sign up Carol Willesee, who had played Pippa Fletcher in the show’s pilot episode, to continue the role but negotiations were unsuccessful.
Elaine and Marcus team up!
Popular actors Marcus Graham (formerly of E Street) and Elaine Smith (formerly of Neighbours) have signed up to star in a new Seven Network mini-series, Ratbag Hero. The four-hour series is set in Victoria in the post-depression era of 1937 and is expected to screen on Seven in 1991.
On the ball!
Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS is about to embark on its most ambitious challenge ever with its coverage of the World Cup from Italy. Joining host Les Murray (pictured) on the coverage will be former Socceroo captain Johnny Warren and sports journalists Kyle Patterson and Andy Paschalidis. “What I’m excited about most is that the SBS team are all ‘missionaries’ of the game of soccer and this gives us an opportunity to transmit to all Australians the game’s sheer greatness,” Murray told TV Week. Apart from a few occasions when two games are played at the same time at different venues, SBS will broadcast all matches of the World Cup live to Australia. The network has also come to an arrangement with ABC to relay SBS’ World Cup coverage to areas that don’t receive SBS. ABC will also present a highlights package each night of the competition.
Feud? ‘What feud?’
The Comedy Company producer and co-star Ian McFadyen has responded to rumours about a feud between himself and colleague Mark Mitchell. “This was mentioned to me after the Logies during a radio interview,” McFadyen told TV Week. “We’ve never had a ‘falling out’ … it’s just nonsense. There’s never been any unpleasantness between us.” Meanwhile, plans continue for the return of The Comedy Company and it is unclear if Mitchell will be part of the revamped show, but that is only because he is busy with his own show, Larger Than Life, to which Network Ten is committed until the end of the year.
Rebecca Smart might be only 14 years old but she is already a showbiz veteran with a list of movies and mini-series to her credit, though her most famous role was in The Shiralee with Bryan Brown. Now the teen star is starring in a new Nine Network children’s drama, Elly And Jools, and is set to appear in a pilot for a new sitcom.
Nicholas Bell (pictured), one of the few males stars in the Seven Network police drama Skirts, admits he does not want to become TV’s most hated man but admits that the role of Sergeant Gary Block has presented very few redeeming features. “He’s fairly brutal about certain things and appears chauvinistic… hopefully it will become clear why that is so. His main motivation is to be a good cop and he feels this is the best way to go about it,” Bell told TV Week.
Sioban Tuke, one of the co-stars of The Comedy Company, is taking on a serious role in an upcoming guest appearance on A Country Practice. Tuke will playing the role of Pam Duncan, an overweight housewife whose marriage is on the brink of failure and takes desperate measures to try to lose weight.
John Laws says…
”It’s my belief that the ABC has nothing to lose by introducing corporate sponsorship of programs. In fact, there is much to be gained. At the very least, there should be a 12-month trial. This should enable everyone to have a good look at how it operates, and to see whether it has the “terrible” effect on the ABC that its vocal opponents predict.”
Program Highlights (June 2-8):
Saturday: Mark Mitchell and his comic alter-ego, Con The Fruiterer, are comperes of ATV10’s half-hour special We Can Do It, to promote World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine. Also featuring on the program is singer Neil Finn and Mental As Anything’s Martin Plaza.
Sunday: Sunday night movies are The Fourth Protocol (HSV7), Like Father Like Son (GTV9) and The Money Pit (ATV10). GTV9 later presents the three-hour global TV special, Earth ‘90.
Monday: GTV9 crosses to Roland Stadium, Paris, for the French Open tennis.
Tuesday: In Beyond 2000 (HSV7), Andrew Carroll searches for a male contraceptive pill. Simon Reeve takes a walk over the French Guyana rainforests on an inflatable canopy walk. Maxine Gray investigates cooking with magnets. GTV9 presents another late night of tennis with the French Open.
Thursday: On the eve of the start of the 1990 World Cup, SBS presents the final Viva World Cup program with Les Murray and Andy Paschalidis.
Friday: SBS’ coverage of the World Cup in Italy begins with the opening ceremony followed by the first match, Argentina versus Cameroon.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 2 June 1990. Southdown Press.