Get me to the church on time…
The upcoming A Country Practice wedding between Lucy Gardiner (Georgie Parker) and Matt Tyler (John Tarrant) will continue Wandin Valley’s tradition of dramatic weddings.  “The problem is the parents,” Parker tells TV Week. “And whether the ceremony is going to be held in an Anglican or Catholic church.  Matt’s father Gilbert (George Mallaby) is pompous and doesn’t think Matt is coping without good financial backing. My parents are supposedly splitting up and my father Patrick (Jonathan Hardy) refuses to come because it’s not being held in a Catholic church.  My mother Lois (Jill Perryman) turns up without him.” The lead-up to the wedding has also been marred by Lucy’s cancer scare and the couple’s house being burnt to the ground in recent episodes. “Post-marriage is much calmer,” Parker hastily points out.

sharynhodgsonjulianmcmahon The Great Soap Shake-Up!
A number of key cast shake-ups are about to unsettle popular soaps Home And Away, A Country Practice and E Street, while cop drama Skirts is about to lose one cast member. Julian McMahon and Sharyn Hodgson (pictured), who play Home And Away newlyweds Ben and Carly, are leaving the show over the coming months.  Their exit from Home And Away follows recent news that original cast member Adam Willits is about to leave the show – and Craig McLachlan is also planning to leave the show but will return for guest appearances during 1991.  James Davern, producer of Seven’s A Country Practice, has confirmed that the series is about to lose cast members Michael Muntz, Mary Regan and child actor Georgina Fisher. Actors Muntz and Regan are leaving to pursue other opportunities, while the young Fisher is leaving after two years with the show. “I spoke to her parents and two years are enough for a child actor,” Davern told TV Week.  Meanwhile, Network Ten’s E Street is about to lose cast members Paul Kelman and Lisbeth Kennelly, whose contracts have not been renewed. Also tipped to be leaving E Street are Chelsea Brown and Rebecca Saunders.  And Skirts star Kate Gillick is leaving the police drama to return to the theatre.

joekerrymangel Caught in the crossfire
Tragedy strikes Neighbours when Kerry Mangel (Linda Hartley, pictured, with Mark Little) is left fighting for her life after being accidentally shot while taking part in a duck-shooting protest. “This storyline brings out the side of Kerry’s character that I’ve always liked the most,” Hartley tells TV Week. “She has been in a very domestic situation lately, but no-one can forget their past. I’m pleased the opportunity came up for her to be more forthright about things she cares about.”

ianmcfadyenThe Comedy Company producer Ian McFadyen (pictured) has admitted that the show’s return has been tougher than expected.  “We’ve obviously got a mandate to deliver a big audience pretty soon and that’s a lot of pressure to carry. Our ratings are worse than I thought they would be. 60 Minutes has an enormous following – a very strong loyalty – and we’re working on that at the moment.” Meanwhile, McFadyen’s other project, Mark Mitchell’s The Big Time, has been taken off air after a short time and is set to be re-worked.

Robbo’s World Tonight host Clive Robertson insists he couldn’t care less that his show is being beaten by Tonight Live With Steve Vizard in the ratings. “If they don’t want my show after next March (when his contract runs out), that’s fine,” he told TV Week.  “I’ll do something else. I wouldn’t mind going back to Seven or even the ABC.” He also admits to not liking the name of his own show. “’Robbo’ sounds a bit silly,” he says. If he had his choice, he’d call it something like ‘The Final Word, With Mr Robertson’.

ernie_denise_0001 Denise Drysdale and Ernie Sigley have spoken to TV Week about their daytime show, In Melbourne Today. “We really are like an old married couple,” Drysdale says.  “We can have a go at each other, and it’s all part of the fun.” While Sigley says it is a battle to try and stay ahead of the gags that the studio crew have in store for them. “They once blew up a chook on the set and scared the living daylights out of me,” he said.

John Laws says…
SBSThe Movie Show with David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz is certainly a reflection of two completely different personalities. Pomeranz is bubbly, earnestly sincere and prone to gush the extremities of praise and criticism; Stratton is cool, laidback and possessed of both gentlemanly charm and viper-like attack.”

tonightlive Program Highlights (September 1-7):
Saturday:  HSV7
starts its celebrity-led assault on the top-rating Hey Hey It’s Saturday with two new shows, Celebrity Family Feud and Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune.

Sunday:  With More Winners now finished up, ABC starts screening the original Winners series of children’s dramas that had originally screened on the Ten Network.  Tonight’s episode is The Other Facts Of Life starring Ken Talbot, Dennis Miller and Anne Grigg. Sunday night movies are Stakeout (HSV7), Children Of A Lesser God (GTV9) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (ATV10).

Monday:  Tonight Live With Steve Vizard (HSV7) starts a week of shows presented live from London.

Wednesday:  John Bach, Oliver Tobias, Rebecca Gilling and Peta Toppano star in ABC’s new mini-series The Paper Man, screening over three consecutive nights.  Australian Democrats politician Janine Haines is this week’s guest on Speaking For Myself (SBS). HSV7 screens the long-awaited telemovie Bony, starring Cameron Daddo, Burnum Burnum, Catherine Oxenberg, David Reyne and Tom Richards.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  1 September 1990. Southdown Press.

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