Alyce in Wunderland
While most television presenters have been taking a summer break, Sale Of The Century hostess Alyce Platt (pictured) has been pursuing a music career. She has completed two tours with her band Alyce In Wunderland and has taken up song writing. And although Platt and host Tony Barber will be back soon on Sale, this year she hopes to also realise her other dream – to release an album.

Hey, look who’s back!
Although Simone Buchanan had already taped her final scenes for Seven’s Hey Dad! last year, she is now back in the studio for an extra five episodes of the popular comedy. “The last episode we filmed last year didn’t resolve anything or suggest that she was leaving, so that’s why I’m coming back,” Buchanan told TV Week. The five additional episodes are expected to go to air in March and April and will lead in to the appearance of new cast member Rachael Beck who replaces Buchanan but will play a different role.

nataliemccurry Chances are it’s set to shock!
Almost twenty years after Number 96 shocked the nation with adults-only drama and glimpses of nudity, the Nine Network’s Chances is set to create the same controversy. Described as provocative, steamy and risque, Chances is hoped to turn around Nine’s shaky recent history with dramas – apart from The Flying Doctors the network has failed to secure a major drama hit since the heyday of The Young Doctors and The Sullivans. The new drama follows the story of a suburban family whose lives are changed when they win a $3 million prize in a lottery. Producer Lynn Bayonas told TV Week that the new series will focus more on personal stories rather than social issues. “We’ll leave the issues to A Country Practice and The Flying Doctors,” she said. “We have personal issues. We’ve got older women and younger men, marriage breakups, affairs with secretaries, and women desperate for love and racing off with everybody. It has a different look. It doesn’t look like a serial.” Chances’ cast includes John Sheerin, Brenda Addie, Jeremy Sims, Natalie McCurry (pictured), Cathy Godbold, Tim Robertson and Ann Grigg.

alltogethernow Briefly…
Actress Rebecca Gibney, about to appear in Nine’s new comedy All Together Now, admits that she had turned down a number of roles since leaving the popular The Flying Doctors, in particular those with elements of sex, discrimination or unnecessary nudity. “I’m wary of exploitation,” she says. “There are enough roles around with gratuitous sex and violence and there’s always someone else who will play them. You can make films without the sex and violence. Pretty Woman was funny, warm and emotional – and without tits and bums.” All Together Now (with Gibney, pictured, left) also stars Jon English, Steve Jacobs, Jane Hall, Garry Who and Bruno Lucia.

davidreynenikkicoghill David Reyne and Nikki Coghill are leading the charge of new cast members in The Flying Doctors. Coghill plays the role of feisty nurse Jackie Crane, who takes an instant dislike to the arrogant new doctor Guy Reid (Reyne). Also joining the series will be Sophie Lee (The Bugs Bunny Show) and Sarah Chadwick (GP).

Sydney actor Simon Stokes had just completed his HSC when he auditioned for a role in the UK-based drama Families. Two days after the audition he was told he had secured the role of Christian Stephens. The series also features Australian actors Briony Behets (Number 96, The Box, Neighbours), Tessa Humphries, Imogen Annersley, Malcolm Stoddard and Tayler Kane. Although it has completed its first year on air in the UK, Families has yet to be sold to an Australian network.

John Laws says…
Seven’s Hey Dad! has to be one of Australian TV’s most spectacular success stories. It glows with a freshness and vitality that its foreign competitors rarely match. Hey Dad! warrants the tag “family entertainment” and there’s little enough of that left on TV in these days of high-powered screen violence. I do hope that Hey Dad! will once again be a firm favourite among Australians in 1991.”

Program Highlights (January 19-25):
Sunday:  Ten
crosses to Portsea, Victoria, for the Ironman Super Series. ABC presents golf (Sanctuary Lakes Classic) and highlights of cricket (Women’s International: Australia versus New Zealand). Sunday night movies are Hoosiers (Seven) and Ladyhawke (Ten). Nine presents a re-run of the 1985 mini-series The Flying Doctors, the predecessor to the ongoing series.

Monday:  The Ford Australian Open (Seven) enters its second week of competition. And with the ratings season approaching, some regular shows are returning for the new year – Today, Good Morning Australia and ‘Til Ten are back in the daytime, and A Country Practice returns for its tenth year. Derryn Hinch is back on board at Seven’s Hinch.

Tuesday:  Jon English and Rebecca Gibney head the cast of Nine’s new comedy series, All Together Now, which debuts tonight, followed by Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show, with new host Jacki MacDonald replacing Graham Kennedy.

Thursday:  Nine’s The Flying Doctors returns for 1991. Seven presents a re-run of mini-series Nancy Wake, starring Noni Hazlehurst and John Waters.

Friday:  Nine crosses to the Adelaide Oval for Day One of the Fourth Test, Australia versus England.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 19 January 1991. Southdown Press.

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