tvweek_011290 Kate’s hush-hush romance
Actress Kate Raison has spoken to TV Week to deny rumours that her three-year romance with former A Country Practice co-star Nick Bufalo is to lead to marriage.  “I don’t know where that one started, but, no, I am definitely not getting married,” she told TV Week.  “There is no truth in that rumour whatsoever.”  Raison (pictured) is soon to make a return to TV, playing the role of newspaper editor Sheridan Sturgess in Network Ten’s E Street.

The great E Street exit! 
Meanwhile, E Street is set to lose three of its foundation cast members going into its third year – with the show’s leading star Penny Cook deciding to take “an extended holiday” after her contract expires in February, while Warren Jones and Vic Rooney are also departing the series when their respective contracts expire.  The departure of Cook – which could be permanent – poses a dilemma for producers who have just matched up her character Dr Elly Fielding to Reverend Bob (Tony Martin) after a lengthy friendship and were hoping to stage an E Street wedding.  There is also the issue of what to do with Dr Fielding’s daughter, Claire (Brooke Anderson), in the series.  Meanwhile, there is talk around the industry that the series is heading to the Nine Network following the financial problems surrounding the Ten Network in recent times.

johnblackman ‘I’m shocked it’s come to this…’
The future of the Nine Network’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday appears to be under a cloud following the split of business partners Daryl Somers and Gavan Disney, whose company DAS Entertainment packages the show for the network.  The company, which is also owned by Ernie Carroll (the man behind Ossie Ostrich), is to be dismantled, with Somers and Carroll expected to set up their own company to produce the show.  Compounding to the drama is that Disney is also the manager of show regulars John Blackman (pictured) and Molly Meldrum.  “I’m shocked it has come to this,” Blackman told TV Week.  “It’s upsetting from all angles that they had to resort to this, but my sole responsibility is to the show and that’s how everybody (the rest of the cast) feels.  We’ve got to look to 1991 with the view that we’ll maintain the success Hey Hey has enjoyed.”

motherandson Good news for fans of ABC’s Mother And Son, with news that the popular comedy (starring Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald, pictured) is returning in a new series in the latter half of 1991 – ending speculation that the end of the show might be near with reports that cast member Henri Szeps was considering leaving the close-knit cast.  But Cracknell, who plays Maggie Beare, expects Szeps will be back for the new series.  “I hope so,” she says.  “I’m sure he will.  You couldn’t get anyone else to take the role.”

ABC will be hosting its Picnic In The Park event at Melbourne’s Myer Music Bowl this weekend.  The six-hour event is set to feature on-stage performances from That’s Dancin’ contestants, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Coodabeen Champions, cast members of The Big Gig and presenters from Play School.  Also attending the event will be weatherman Edwin Maher, cast members of drama series Embassy and ABC radio presenters.

Nine’s Bugs Bunny Show host Sophie Lee is joining the cast of The Flying Doctors.  She will be playing the role of radio operator Penny Wellings, the younger sister of Kate Wellings (Lenore Smith).  Lee is expected to continue to host The Bugs Bunny Show around her new commitments with The Flying Doctors.  Meanwhile, Brett Climo, who plays Dr David Ratcliffe in the series, is leaving the show after two years.

John Laws says…
”As far as Steve Vizard is concerned, it’s probably a good job it’s annual holiday time.  The man who made late-night live entertainment a ratings winner this year was looking decidedly tired, if not exhausted, as he creaked his way through his final programs.  The razor-sharp wit of his early months was blunted, much of the innovative sparkle had spluttered out, and Steve resembled a man dutifully going through the motions, doing his darndest to make things work but finding the task more difficult with each passing night.”

Program Highlights (December 1-7):
  A big day of sport for HSV7, starting at 9.00am with live coverage of the Davis Cup: US versus Australia, from Petersburg, Florida.  Then during the afternoon, coverage will switch to the Australian Open golf, live from Sydney.  GTV9 covers the Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket: England versus New Zealand, live from Adelaide.

Sunday:  HSV7 crosses to Florida for the Men’s Doubles of the Davis Cup, live from 4.30am.  Then, from midday, the Australian Open golf from Sydney.  GTV9 has another day of the Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket, live from Adelaide, while ATV10 crosses to Bondi, Sydney, for the Ironman Super SeriesSBS presents the final edition of current affairs program Vox Populi for 1990.  Sunday night movies are Who Dares Wins (GTV9) and Birdy (ATV10).  HSV7 presents a re-run of mini-series Favourite Son, and ABC’s Esso Night At The Opera presents the Australian Opera production of Cosi Fan Tutte.

Monday:  HSV7 crosses to Florida at 5.00am for the final day’s play of the Davis Cup: US versus Australia.  Game show Wheel Of Fortune (HSV7) moves to the new time of 6.30pm, replacing Home And Away which is on summer break.  Steve Liebmann hosts A Current Affair: Summer Edition (GTV9).

Wednesday:  GTV9 presents the 1987 Australian movie The Tale Of Ruby Rose, starring Melita Jurisic, Chris Haywood and Sheila Florance.

Thursday:  HSV7 presents the first day’s competition of the Johnnie Walker Classic, live from the Melbourne Golf Club.  ABC presents live coverage of tennis, the Colonial Mutual Men’s Invitational, from Kooyong, Melbourne – with an hour of highlights late in the evening.

Friday:  More tennis on ABC.  More golf on HSV7.  And more cricket on GTV9, with the Benson And Hedges World Series: England versus New Zealand, live from Perth.

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

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