‘I’m still a country bumpkin’
As the saying goes, you can take new Hey Dad! star Rachael Beck (pictured) out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of Rachael Beck. The 19-year-old actress, who started her career in the musical Cats at 16, says that despite the bright lights of showbusiness she is still a country girl. “I am still a country bumpkin at heart,” she told TV Week. “My parents are back in the country now and it’s wonderful to go and home and visit them and a lot of my friends who are still living there.” Beck has also chosen to debut her new one-woman show, based on the early career of Judy Garland, on the NSW north coast.
During the 1970s and early ‘80s, Susan Hannaford (pictured) was better known to viewers as Kitty Sullivan, the youngest member of The Sullivans. After the show ended, Hannaford moved into the fashion industry and set up a thriving career in design while maintaining ties to acting. When she was approached to design clothes for the US soap The Bold And The Beautiful she ended up appearing on the show, as herself, for around 18 months. She is currently back in Australia for a guest appearance, again as herself, in the Nine Network series Chances. “Chances was a fun little script and I had great fun doing it. It really felt comfortable,” she told TV Week. “It’s fun coming back to the Nine studios and seeing people I had worked with on The Sullivans.” One of those people was former The Sullivans co-star Michael Caton, who plays Bill Anderson in Chances.
A bid to aid the world’s starving
The stars of Australian showbusiness will be doing their bit to help raise funds for the World Vision 40-hour famine to be held this week. Stars including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Craig McLachlan, Paul Hogan, Rebecca Gibney, Marina Prior, Steve Vizard, Jana Wendt, John Farnham and cast members of Neighbours, The Flying Doctors and Fast Forward will be contributing items of personal memorabilia to be auctioned off over the weekend. The auctions will be broadcast through the entire weekend on radio stations TTFM in Melbourne and 2UW in Sydney. Craig McLachlan has donated his first guitar to the auction, while Marina Prior has donated the ballet slippers she wore on the opening night of Phantom Of The Opera in Melbourne. Steve Vizard and Ray Martin (pictured, with Midday reporter Rachel Friend) have donated merchandise from their respective shows. Glenn Robbins has donated clothes worn by his one-time alter-ego Uncle Arthur.
Newsreader Jo Pearson is back at Network Ten, reading Melbourne’s Ten Eyewitness News again with David Johnston, and has spoken to TV Week about the three years she spent at Nine, which included hosting short-lived programs Live At Five and Body And Soul. “In hindsight you could say it was a mistake for me to go, but at the time I went with promise and expectation of a new career,” she said. “I think I had a lot of bad luck. There were political and geographical differences that made it extremely difficult for me and the shows.”
Victor and Sveta (Peter Moon and Jane Turner), those groovy hosts of Fast Forward’s “Good Morning Moscow” are about to hit the charts with a double A-side release featuring Tutti Frutti (I Want A Rutti) and the Soviet rap, The Soviet Bloc. Proceeds from the sale of the record will aid children of the Chernobyl disaster.
Tessa Humphries, daughter of comedian Barry Humphries, is returning home to Australia after several years in the UK. Having starred in London’s West End and in the UK soap Families, Humphries is back home for a guest role in GP… and is keen to stay in Australia if there is the opportunity for more work. “It is very important for me to work in Australia,” she told TV Week. “After all, it is my home.”
John Laws says…
”Often it’s the really off-beat, and sometimes silliest, ideas that translate into the best TV programs, be they drama or light entertainment. Soccer star Craig Johnston’s The Main Event (hosted by Larry Emdur, pictured) is an example. It’s a pretty wacky format – celebrities playing a quiz game on behalf of various families out there in suburbia – but the ratings have been promising, which is further proof of the theory that in a recession the viewing public demands “fun” entertainment on a grand scale.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 15-21):
Saturday: SBS crosses live to Portugal for the match between Australia and Trinidad and Tobago in the FIFA World Youth Cup.
Sunday: Sunday night movies are Police Academy IV: City Under Siege (Nine) and Manhunter (Ten). Seven debuts mini-series Love Lies And Murder, which concludes Monday night. Later, Nine crosses live to Madrid for the 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Monday: In Neighbours (Ten), the future of Paul (Stefan Dennis) and Christina’s (Gillian Blakeney) unborn baby is under serious threat after Christina collapses while out shopping.
Tuesday: In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Amanda Keller reports on a breakthrough diagnosis for one of Asia’s most crippling diseases, while Dr John D’Arcy introduces a device capable of projecting three-dimensional objects on to a wall. In Chances (Nine), Alex (Jeremy Sims) is shocked when he learns the true identity of his father and aims to punish the entire family.
Wednesday: SBS makes an early-morning cross to Portugal for Australia versus USSR in the FIFA World Youth Cup. Ten begins a re-run of the two-part 1989 mini-series Bangkok Hilton, starring Nicole Kidman, Denholm Elliott, Judy Morris, Hugo Weaving and Joy Smithers.
Thursday: Judy Banks guest stars in The Flying Doctors (Nine). Nine presents the heavily-censored ‘modified TV version’ network premiere of 1972 movie Deliverance. SBS presents live coverage of Australia versus Egypt in the FIFA World Youth Cup.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 15 June 1991. Southdown Press