tvweek_250591 ‘I’m not pregnant!’
Home And Away star Nicolle Dickson has responded to reports by the British tabloids that she is pregnant.  “Top Aussie star Nicolle Dickson has some happy news – she’s pregnant,” one British newspaper recently reported.  The report continued: “But Nicolle, who plays Bobby Simpson in Home And Away, has been keeping mum about the happy event because she is terrified she could lose her job.”  The young star has hit out at the reports.  “I’m not pregnant.  I’ve been thinking about it, but how could they write that I am?  How could they write this stuff and not talk to me?” she told TV Week.  The British reports have had wider implications as Dickson (pictured, above right, with young co-star Ryan Clark) is booked to appear in a Christmas pantomime and the ‘news’ of her pregnancy had led to some frantic calls between the producers of the pantomime and her agent in Australia.  “I assured them I wasn’t pregnant but they didn’t believe me! They rang my agent to double check,” Dickson said.

Penny’s heart stolen in bank robbery!
For the first time in a decade, actress Penny Cook is about to take on a role that doesn’t involve her tending to the sick or feeble.  After playing the roles of vet Vicki Bowen in A Country Practice and Dr Elly Fielding in E Street, Cook is soon to appear in ABC’s GP as the love interest of Dr Steve Harrison (Michael O’Neill, pictured above left with Cook).  Her character, Beth Paige, works at a bank where Dr Harrison is a customer.  A robbery at the bank ends up bringing them together.  So does this mean that Elly Fielding has gone from E Street for good?  “Well, she’s gone for good at the moment,” Cook tells TV Week.  “But that’s open as well.”

alyceplatt Alyce’s dramatic new role
Alyce Platt
(pictured), recently departed from Sale Of The Century, has landed a major role in a new drama series.  Animal Park, a 16-part series being produced by Sunshine Films for the Seven Network, is set in north Queensland and tells the story of a widowed mother of three who inherits a run-down property of holiday cabins and a small animal park.  Platt plays the role of Christina Gurney, a wildlife ranger who befriends the family.  It is not Platt’s first dramatic role – she appeared in Sons And Daughters for two years and also filmed a guest role in Family And Friends.  The Seven Network has yet to announce a screening date for Animal Park.

‘I’m too fat for Oz TV’
Australia’s Jonathan Coleman, now hosting chat show Swing Shift on British network BSkyB, says he would fail to break into Australian TV these days if he was just starting out.  “People like me wouldn’t stand a chance of getting into TV now – we’re too fat,” he told TV Week.  “You’ve got to have the right figure, the right hair… you’ve got to be a soap bimbo.”

joansydney_0001 Briefly…
Former A Country Practice star Joan Sydney, who played Matron Sloan for seven years in the rural-based series, has now joined the cast of E Street.  She will play Mary Patchett (pictured, with co-star Adrian Lee), the British cousin of Aunty Vi (Bunney Brooke).

The producers and actors from ABC’s Embassy are hoping that tensions between Malaysia and Australia sparked by an episode of the series will soon die down and be forgotten.  “To have another country say we are belittling them is very disappointing,” producer Ian Bradley told TV Week.  “The push of the show is that Australians must live by different laws and customs when they are abroad.”  The drama series is set in the fictional country of Ragaan but an episode caused upset to the Malaysian government when they interpreted similarities between events in the fictional country and statements made by their own prime minister.

camerondaddoalisonbrahe Alison Brahe (pictured with fiancee Cameron Daddo at the TV Week Logie Awards) has completed a pilot for a children’s show to be produced at the Nine Network studios in Adelaide.

Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
”Congratulations to Crawfords Australia on the about-to-be-announced $5 million purchase and redevelopment of what eventually will be a four-studio complex covering about 3.25 ha of Box Hill, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.  About two-thirds of the facilities will be leased to other producers, with Crawfords using the rest for its continuing drama series The Flying Doctors, the expensive new children’s series Half Way Across The Galaxy And Turn Left and a third series, still to be announced.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, May 25-31):
  Singer Debbie Byrne is a guest performer on this week’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine).  Phil Scott, Colleen Hewett and Rod Marsh are this week’s celebrity contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven), while Agro, Ann-Maree Biggar, Sofie Formica and Fat Cat take on the body builders in Celebrity Family Feud (Seven).

Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Turner And Hooch (Seven), Frantic (Nine) and The Gods Must Be Crazy II (Ten).

Tuesday:  At midday, Seven crosses to Hobart for live coverage of the AFL State Of Origin clash between Tasmania and Victoria.  Seven then goes back to Hobart in the evening for the follow up game between South Australia and Victoria.  In GP (ABC), the doctors rally to protect an Iraqi refugee family from racial harassment from members of the community.

Wednesday:  In E Street (Ten), Alice (Marianne Howard) has fallen for the much-older Adam (Mark Owen-Taylor) – but will he tell her that he is married?  In Hey Dad! (Seven), a mysterious neighbour nominates Martin (Robert Hughes) as Father of the Year.

juliemcgregor Thursday: Hampton Court, the spin-off series from Hey Dad!, debuts on Seven, starring Julie McGregor (pictured) as wacky secretary Betty Wilson from Walgett.  ABC launches the second series of Embassy, the series focusing on the Australian Embassy staff in the fictional country of Ragaan.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  25 May 1991.  Southdown Press

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