Missing at sea… to rest a knee!
E Street character Lisa Bennett has disappeared, presumed dead by many of her Westside neighbours, after being shipwrecked with wealthy boyfriend Michael Sturges (Graham Harvey) – but the character’s absence from TV screens is for good cause, as actress Alyssa-Jane Cook (pictured) has had to take time off from the series to recover from knee surgery. Cook told TV Week that the surgery was needed to fix an old skiing injury that could have wider implications if left unattended. “If I’d left it until I was older, it would have taken longer to repair and I could have suffered severe arthritis,” she said.
Publish and be damned?
Graham Kennedy (pictured) tells TV Week he has refused repeated requests by publishers to pen his autobiography. “Publishers have asked me about once a month for 30 years for an autobiography, which is flattering – flattering because they obviously think it would sell well,” he said. “I would want to write it myself and I’m too lazy to face such a daunting task at the moment.” The closest that the King of Australian television has come to book publishing has been to write the foreword for former colleague Toni Lamond’s recently-launched autobiography, First Half. Kennedy, who this year gained strong ratings for Nine’s Graham Kennedy’s Funniest Home Video Show, accepts the fact that should he not get around to writing his memoirs before turning up his toes that someone may choose to write a less-friendly version of his life. “Sadly, I have no control over that,” he says.
The Seven Network is screening a one-hour special to celebrate the 10th birthday of its puppet megastar Agro, star of the early morning Agro’s Cartoon Connection and the former children’s program Wombat. The special will feature many of Agro’s Seven Network colleagues including Derryn Hinch, Julie McGregor, Fast Forward’s Pixie-Anne Wheatley (Magda Szubanski, pictured with Agro) and the Dodgey Brothers (Steve Blackburn and Geoff Brooks) and Tonight Live’s Steve Vizard and Jennifer Keyte.
Former Family And Friends star Rachael Beck has just completed a guest spot on Home And Away, playing the drug-addicted sister of Grant Mitchell (Craig McLachlan). Beck is now moving to the stage to co-star in A Little Night Music with Geraldine Turner and John Waters.
Actor Kim Gyngell, whose Col’n Carpenter series is likely to be back in 1991, is keen to start work on a film project dedicated to the long-running drama series Homicide. The film, to be titled Homicide: The Legend Continues, will have an emphasis on the lasting impact that the drama series has had on Australian popular culture. Gyngell made his acting debut in the original series in the 1970s and has had discussions with director Pino Amenta and actors Ben Mendelsohn, Nadine Garner and Mary Coustas, who have all expressed interest in being involved in the project.
Former Prisoner star Jane Clifton has swapped her prison uniform for a straightjacket in the play Laughing Wild, now playing in Melbourne. The play, set in New York, takes a farcical look at the community alienation some mentally ill people experience when they move out and try to live “normal” lives. For Clifton, the play comes just after a 13 week tour of the United Kingdom in the stage production Prisoner Cell Block H, based on the long-running series in which she starred in.
The prospect of an airline career could see Luke Ross make his exit from A Country Practice – but actor Matt Day is not giving anything away. “You will have to wait and see,” he teases. “Who knows what the future holds?” Ross departs Wandin Valley in episodes to air this week as the season finale but his struggles in adapting to city life and the rigorous airline training will feature in episodes to go to air in the new year.
John Laws says…
”SBS’ recent orgy of self-congratulation for having survived – and prospered – for ten years in the TV jungle was, for the most part, well deserved. For a network that really didn’t have a clue what it was supposed to be doing when it began broadcasting in late 1980, it has commendably earned the label of “true survivor” in the torrid years since. Importantly, too, it manages to provide a mostly excellent service even though restricted by what can only be described as a tight budget. It is positively Scrooge-like in its costings when compared to ABC and other TV stations. SBS has also led the way in freeing up the screening of sexual activity on television. Was it through coincidence, or design, that on the very night the station screened an hour-long 10th anniversary tribute to itself that it also screened, for the second time, the English movie Sammy And Rosie Get Laid, one of the most sexually explicit to have shown on Australian TV? But if there is one things SBS does lack it’s a sense of humour. If it had one or two top-flight comedy programs it would round off its service admirably.”
Program Highlights (November 10-16):
Saturday: ATV10’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival concludes with five hours of the Honda Stakes Day, live from Flemington Racecourse. GTV9’s afternoon of sport includes the Nissan Sydney 500 Touring Car Race, while ABC presents American basketball, English soccer and American NFL.
Sunday: The final week of ratings for 1990 will see many programs wind up this week – starting with ATV10’s This Land Australia and The Comedy Company and GTV9’s 60 Minutes. Sunday night movies are Moonstruck (HSV7), Caddyshack II (GTV9) and Heartburn (ATV10).
Monday: Sale Of The Century (GTV9) finishes up its 1990 season with the week-long Sports Celebrity Challenge, featuring stars of cricket, athletics, swimming and motor racing. ABC’s Media Watch and Four Corners present their final editions for 1990, and ATV10’s comedy series Let The Blood Run Free (pictured) also finishes up for the year. GTV9’s failed soap opera Family And Friends makes a late-night return, playing out the remaining episodes that were not shown following its abrupt cancellation earlier this year.
Tuesday: A Country Practice, Beyond 2000, GP, The Investigators, The Big Gig and Candid Camera On Australia all present their final episodes for 1990.
Wednesday: ABC presents a 75-minute special, Bradman, featuring the cricket legend’s first television interview to respected cricket writer Jack Egan. The special is followed by the final 1990 edition of forum-based discussion program Couchman.
Thursday: More TV finales with The Home Show (ABC), Graham Kennedy’s Funniest Home Video Show (GTV9), E Street (ATV10) and Lateline (ABC) presenting their last episodes for 1990. GTV9’s children’s mini-series The Girl From Tomorrow also comes to a conclusion.
Friday: Midday With Ray Martin (GTV9) presents its 1990 finale with a special two-hour episode. Also winding up tonight is Tonight Live With Steve Vizard (HSV7), Burke’s Backyard (GTV9), Sale Of The Century (GTV9), Countrywide (ABC) and Neighbours (ATV10).
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 November 1990. Southdown Press.