How to succeed away from Wandin Valley
A Country Practice star Georgie Parker (pictured) is suddenly hot property on the theatre circuit, with two producers vying for her services for upcoming stage productions. Parker, who is currently taping her final scenes for A Country Practice, has been offered the lead role in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, scheduled to premiere in Sydney in September, and has been called for a second audition for the revival of the classic Gypsy. Parker has also been offered a role in the Seven Network’s upcoming comedy Newlyweds, but has turned it down citing reluctance to accept another television series role so soon after ACP.
‘We’re great together!’
Garry McDonald and Ruth Cracknell, about to return to screens in a new series of Mother And Son, believe the series could go on indefinitely… or at least as long as writer Geoffrey Atherden writes the scripts. “Over the years it’s become funnier,” Cracknell told TV Week. “Good comedy doesn’t go away.” And the two actors quite happily continue their light-hearted banter even when the cameras stop rolling. Cracknell confides that McDonald tells all the jokes, but her trademark one-liners on screen are carried over off screen with just as much success. “We’re great together,” she chuckles. “It would have been a wonderful marriage!”
‘I was absolutely shaken…’
When A Country Practice star Joyce Jacobs (pictured) heard that her fellow cast-mates Syd Heylen and Gordon Piper were being written out of the series, she thought she would be next. “I was absolutely shaken!,” she told TV Week. “It was a great shock and my first thought was, ‘It’s me as well’. I have been more involved with the doctors in the past year or two and in fewer scenes with Cookie (Heylen) and Bob (Piper). We’ll miss them. There was always laughter, although you could thump them sometimes.” Jacobs is now in her 11th year in A Country Practice as snoopy Esme Watson, but she was not the first choice for the role. In the series pilot she played an extra, Wilma, who had little dialogue. It was a character that Jacobs didn’t think would go anywhere, much like the woman she used to play in Number 96. “I used to go into Mr Godolfus’ shop and buy a quarter of a pound of tea, but they blew them all up didn’t they?,” she said. But she was later chosen to play Esme Watson in A Country Practice after the actress originally cast for the role had dropped out. But like any television performer, Jacobs admits nothing is forever. “I think if and when A Country Practice finishes I’d be glad to do a little cameo role in a film now and then. It would be nice. I couldn’t go into another series. I’m too old… past retirement age, you know.”
All Together Now’s Steven Jacobs (pictured) and former Countdown Revolution co-host Tania Lacey have signed on as presenters of Nine’s new Saturday morning show, Saturday At Rick’s. The program, to go to air live for two hours each week, is reminiscent of the early days of Hey Hey It’s Saturday. The new show, to debut later this month, is expected to be produced at Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast. Two more presenters are also to be signed up.
Network Ten has commissioned a second series of sitcom Bingles before the first series has even gone to air. The series, set in a panel-beating workshop, stars Shane Bourne, Tammy MacIntosh, Nick Bufalo and Russell Gilbert.
Acclaimed young actor Russell Crowe (pictured) will be a guest star in the second series of ABC’s Police Rescue. Crowe, who won an AFI award for his role in Proof, is currently appearing on the big screen in the long-awaited Spotswood. In Police Rescue he plays Senior Constable Tom Younger, a local football hero and new member of the squad. Producer John Edwards is excited about Crowe joining the show. “Russell is a fabulous actor,” he said. “He’s also a charismatic and exciting personality.”
Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
”When he took my call, Ian Frykberg was on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It was windy rather than sunny, but, anyway, he was doing some work preparatory to a 12-metre yacht challenge later this year. Then he was due to leave for Albertville, France, not just for a dramatic change of climate, but for the 1992 Winter Olympics. Before the Winter Olympics are over, Frykberg is going to be casting an anxious eye towards places as far flung as Mackay in Queensland, Berri in South Australia and Napier, New Zealand. They are just some of the venues for the World Cup of cricket. And before that’s over, there’s the not inconsequential matter of the NSW Rugby League starting its 1992 season on 20 March. Such is life when you’re director of sport at the Nine Network…”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 1-7):
Saturday: Afternoon sport includes a repeat of last Monday’s NFL Superbowl (ABC) and Fifth Test Cricket, live from Perth, on Nine.
Sunday: ABC’s rural affairs program Landline returns for another year. Afternoon sport includes Test Cricket on Nine and the Ironman Super Series on Ten. At 6.30pm, Ten launches Bert Newton’s New Faces, reviving the title and format that Newton hosted at the Nine Network from 1976 to 1985 in the same timeslot. Also at 6.30pm is the return of Seven’s The Main Event, hosted by Larry Emdur, followed by US sitcom Full House and debut of new US series Dinosaurs. The Simpsons returns with new episodes on Ten at 7.30pm, followed by the debut of locally-made sitcom Late For School, starring Frankie J. Holden, Sarah Chadwick and Matthew Newton. Sunday night movies are Runaway Train (Seven), Gulag (Nine) and Uncle Buck (Ten).
Monday: Current affairs programs Four Corners and Lateline are back for another year on ABC, while Seven’s late-night variety show Tonight Live With Steve Vizard returns for its third year. Although it was widely tipped for a Saturday night timeslot, Ten debuts its new lifestyle/magazine show Healthy Wealthy And Wise on Monday, hosted by Jacki MacDonald (pictured) and Ronnie Burns and featuring Iain Hewitson, Ross Greenwood, Jim Brown and Lyn Talbot.
Tuesday: In A Country Practice (Seven), Shirley (Lorrae Desmond) is suspicious of Muldoon’s (Brian Moll) sudden generosity, while Matron Prior (Maureen Edwards) tries to keep Kate (Michelle Pettigrove) away from Harry (Andrew Blackman). Gordon Bray and Karen Tighe present the 41st annual ABC Sports Awards, from the New Maritime Museum in Sydney. In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Amanda Keller (pictured) examines virtual reality systems where the observer exists in a 3D, computer-generated world.
Wednesday: In E Street (Ten), Steven (Vince Martin, pictured) makes a bold move, while Alice (Marianne Howard) gets an offer she can’t refuse, and CJ (Adrian Lee) gets advice on wooing the modern woman.
Thursday: In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Penny (Sophie Lee) turns to Guy (David Reyne) for comfort, little realising the strength of their mutual attraction. In Home And Away (Seven), Sophie’s (Rebekah Elmaloglou) fears for her baby’s future seem justified. Seven presents an ‘encore’ screening of US series Dinosaurs from Sunday night.
Friday: Documentary series A Big Country returns to ABC, this week focusing on the Spencer family who live in the far north of the Cape York Peninsula. Seven years ago they made the break from society. Nine crosses to the Sydney Football Stadium for the Seven’s International Rugby League, with commentators Ray Warren and Darrell Eastlake. Nine’s late-night music show MTV returns for the new year, hosted by Richard Wilkins.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 February 1992. Southdown Press