Cover: Sophie Lee (The Bugs Bunny Show)

Christopher nudges himself out!
Actor Christopher Truswell dropped a bombshell on the producers of Seven’s Hey Dad! by announcing that he would quit the show at the end of the current series which is due to complete production soon.  Frantic last-minute negotiations have since seen Truswell agree to appear in the next batch of 13 episodes to be taped later in the year – but how many episodes he will appear in is up to him.  “Chris may do two, four or six episodes,” Seven’s programming chief Glen Kinging told TV Week.  Truswell is interested in pursuing film roles and also has musical ambitions.  “I enjoy singing more than acting,” Truswell told TV Week.  “But acting pays the bills.”  Meanwhile, production is ready to begin on the Hey Dad! spin-off Hampton Court (formerly Hampton House), starring Julie McGregor as ditzy secretary Betty.  The new series is also set to star Adam Willits (Home And Away), Henri Szeps, Danielle Spencer and Rod Zuanic.

annehaddy Street’s ahead!
Australia’s most successful series, Neighbours, chalks up another milestone this week – its 1400th episode.  The milestone will see Neighbours overtake The Young Doctors (1396 episodes) as the longest running Australian soap opera.  It will be a particularly special celebration for cast members Anne Haddy (pictured), Alan Dale and Stefan Dennis, who have been with the series since episode one went to air in March 1985 on the Seven Network.  They survived the show’s controversial switch to the Ten Network in 1986 and have seen the rise to fame of younger cast members including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Craig McLachlan and Peter O’Brien.  For Haddy, her casting in the series showed enormous faith by the producers as her health had caused interruptions and script re-writes for other Reg Grundy productions that she had worked on.  “I really caused them so much trouble,” Haddy told TV Week.  “And the darlings cast me in this very important new show knowing I could drop dead at any moment.”  Dale was the producers’ second choice for the role of Jim Robinson, but took on the role when the original actor chosen had backed out.

larryemdur What an Event!
”A pizza with everything on it!” – that’s how Larry Emdur (pictured) described his latest television game show.  The Main Event – created by former soccer player Craig Johnston – makes its debut soon on Seven in the competitive Sunday 7.30pm timeslot.  Despite the strength of the competition it will be up against – 60 Minutes on Nine and The Simpsons on Ten – Emdur is confident of success.  “I have a very good feeling about this,” he told TV Week. It is a rapid turnaround for Emdur who only four months ago was “retrenched” from the financially-troubled Ten Network where he was a reporter for Good Morning Australia and had earlier hosted the ill-fated Family Double Dare.

Legendary actor Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell might be the new producer on the set of Ten’s Col’n Carpenter, but he and the show’s star Kim Gyngell are old mates. “I directed Kim in an episode of Cop Shop,” Tingwell told TV Week. “We’ve known each other as long as that.” Tingwell has also worked with actress Kaarin Fairfax, a newcomer to the show’s cast. They worked together on mini-series Poor Man’s Orange and he was familiar with Fairfax through her performances with St Martin’s Youth Theatre in Melbourne.

Seven’s Home And Away is about to introduce a second generation foster mum, with Bobby Simpson (Nicolle Dickson) taking on a foster child, seven-year-old Sam (Ryan Clark). Dickson said her new co-star was a joy to work with. “He’s the sweetest little boy to work with. He has a lovely charm,” she told TV Week. “He hadn’t acted before, and he’s only seven, but he knows his lines and takes direction.”

Network Ten’s Eddie McGuire and Steve Quartermain have had to give up their Sunday night social routine since launching their new weekly sports program, Sportsweek. The late-night show, according to Quartermain, will feature AFL prominently but will also give a wrap up of other sports including basketball, tennis and golf and will catch up with other overseas events from during the week. “I think that’s something that’s lacking in weekend news services,” he told TV Week.

John Laws says…
Kerry O’Brien and the ABC must have been completely satisfied with the way Lateline performed last year because the 1991 series has brought not one single change in the rigid format. Even the host’s nightly affliction of the current affairs program disease “interviews interruptus” shows no sign of abating. O’Brien, you see, is one the world’s great interrupters. I often wonder if he brings guests on his program to hear them talk or just for the pleasure of interrupting them mid-sentence.”

Program Highlights (March 30-April 5):
Saturday:  Seven
’s Saturday evening includes highlights of the day’s AFL matches plus live coverage from Carrara, Queensland, of the match between Brisbane Bears and Melbourne.

Sunday:  Ten crosses to Bathurst for coverage of the James Hardie 12-Hour Race, hosted by Tim Webster.  Coverage starts at 6.00am for an hour, then resumes at 2.00pm for the next three-and-a-half hours. Sunday night movies are Unnatural Causes (Seven), Tess (Nine) and Miracle Of The Heart: A Boys’ Town Story (Ten). ABC’s Compass looks at the implications for parenthood when a child has been created by artificial insemination.

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), pandemonium reigns at Wandin Valley Hospital as new matron Rosemary Prior (Maureen Edwards) arrives amid an outbreak of food poisoning.

Tuesday:  Former Number 96 and Home Sweet Home star Arianthe Galani and Steve Bastoni are guest stars in GP (ABC). Former Cop Shop star Lynda Stoner guest stars in Nine’s All Together Now as a groupie from Bobby Rivers’ (Jon English) rock’n roll days.

mauriefieldsvaljellay Thursday:  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Vic Buckley (Maurie Fields, pictured with wife and co-star Val Jellay) decides to turn his staid Majestic Hotel into the ultimate Outback Aussie experience and bring in loads of overseas tourists.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  30 March 1991.  Southdown Press.

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