Four of a kind!
Four of TV’s hottest young stars also happen to be two off-screen couples.  Toni Pearen (E Street) and Mat Stevenson (Home And Away) had managed to dodge the cameras for months before finally going public with their relationship.  “It’s been going on for so long now (16 months) and it got to the stage where pretending that we weren’t a couple was beginning was work against us,” Pearen told TV Week.  “Nobody ever thought we were together, because we kept it behind closed doors.”  But Chances star Jeremy Sims and A Country Practice‘s Kym Wilson were not allowed the same privacy in their developing relationship… they were snapped by paparazzi on their first date.  The pair also have to contend with long-distance separation, with Sims based in Melbourne and Wilson in Sydney, plus the added public interest in Sims’ frequent sex scenes in Chances.  “These female journalists all seem so obsessed with how I deal with Jeremy being on television with other women,” Wilson told TV Week.  “It’s really not an issue.”

The force is with Simon
He’s only been in E Street for three months but Simon Denny (pictured) is already becoming the show’s number one pin-up star — but the 22-year-old says the acting role almost came by accident.   “It was out of the blue,” he told TV Week.  “I was at Westside (Productions) every day in a regular nine-to-five office situation.  One day, (executive producer) Forrest Redlich‘s son Jason said I should audition.  I said no.  Then, a few weeks later, he said I should do a screen test.  He showed it to his dad, and that’s how it was.  I was just lucky… right place, right time.”

Lisa sets her sights on acting
As a teenage swimming champion, Lisa Forrest (pictured) was often referred to as the ever-smiling Golden Girl, but it was an image that sat uneasily with her.  “I was always trying to get away from being ‘Miss Smile’,” she told TV Week.  “I saw myself as the vacuous blonde on TV.”  Forrest then retired from swimming and went to New York for two years to gain some self-confidence and find a new identity.   She has since returned to Australia for a hosting role on ABC‘s lifestyle show Everybody, and will soon join Seven‘s Olympic Games commentary team, but is very keen to pursue an acting career.  “When it comes to TV, there are certain creative needs I have that aren’t met by just standing in front of a camera,” she said.  “I now have the confidence to know I can act.”

Former Perfect Match co-host Tiffany Lamb (pictured) has returned to the ATV10 studios in Melbourne seven years after leaving the game show to take up a two-month guest role in Neighbours.  The new role comes after appearances in Chances and children’s series Lift Off and a ten-month stint in the US that led to a role in the short-lived series Earth Force.

In a blow to E Street, stars Adrian Lee and Toni Pearen have opted not to renew their contracts and will leave the series later in the year.  Meanwhile, E Street producers Westside Productions have stopped sending in advance storylines to Network Ten, fearing that the network will pinch the plots to be written into the ailing Neighbours.

Former Sons And Daughters star Ian Rawlings is joining the cast of Neighbours as Philip Martin, the husband of the eldest Robinson daughter Julie.

The Ten Network is believed to be very interested in picking up Saturday At Rick’s, the Saturday morning show recently axed by Nine after a short run.  However if Ten is successful it will not be able to bring together the show’s presenting line-up:  Steven Jacobs is tied to Nine’s All Together Now, and Tania Lacy has been kept on at Nine to present reports for Midday With Ray Martin and Sex.  Lochie Daddo was spotted filming a children’s TV pilot for Banksia Productions in Adelaide, and Hali Gordon is pursuing a theatre career.

Former MASH star Loretta Swit has made a flying visit to Australia as the Ten Network starts yet another re-run of the classic sitcom.  Swit, a TV Week Logie Awards guest in 1973 and 1987, had been interviewed by Bert Newton on Ten’s The Morning Show, then by Derryn Hinch on his evening current affairs show, before heading to the Neighbours studio where she pictured with Neighbours stars Ben Mitchell and Rachel Blakely.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
Baby Crazy (ABC) is a Film Australia production from the same combination that brought the Baby Boomers’ Picture Show to television two years ago — Stephen Ramsey and author and mother of three Helen Townsend.  What they’ve done here is take a look at being a parent, past and present.  Four couples were outfitted with home video cameras and an obviously generous supply of videotape.  Over two years they filmed with various degrees of abandon everything from large tummies to birth itself, bringing baby home, breast feeding, bathing, christening, junior’s first steps and so on.  It is not all sweetness and light.  One of the four mothers is overcome with emotion as she recalls the “black cloud” of post-natal depression, her resentment towards her husband and her frustration at not being able to resume her career.  She is startlingly honest.  Interspersed with all this is archival film of parenthood in the Fifties, when many traditional and instinctive practices of motherhood, especially, were abandoned for what was believed to be a more scientific approach.  A film called Sister Knows Best is an absolute classic from the archives.  Did they really advise mothers to mix Vegemite with milk?”

Program Highlights (Melbourne: June 28-July 4):
Sunday:  Afternoon sport includes the AFL match between Brisbane Bears and Hawthorn, live from Carrara, Queensland, on Seven, and rugby union on Ten from Waratah Rugby Stadium.  Sunday night movies are Rain Man (Seven), Goodfellas (Nine) and the first part of mini-series In A Child’s Name (Ten).

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Hugo (Gavin Harrison) becomes jealous when Darcy (Kym Wilson) falls for boxer Glenn Garrison (Paul Williams).  SBS arts program Masterpiece presents Oondamooroo: A Profile Of Ernie Dingo (pictured).

Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Tracey Curro reports on the technological feats of the Panama Canal, Dr John D’Arcy introduced the latest mini computers, and Amanda Keller visits a house made of rubbish.  In GP (ABC), hospice patient Ruth Evett (Jeanette Cronin) asks Dr Steve Harrison (Michael O’Neill) to sign a letter she’s written requesting no artificial methods be used to bring her back to life.

Wednesday:  ABC’s one-hour special Baby Crazy focuses on what it’s like to be a first time parent — using home movies, interviews and archival footage — narrated by Noni Hazlehurst.  

Thursday:  In E Street (Ten), CJ (Adrian Lee) learns he may be blind for life.  In Embassy (ABC), Vince Cooper (John Polson) and his family have first hand experience with Ragaan’s racial and religious conflicts.  SBS screens the Australian film Bliss, starring Barry Otto, Lynette Curran and Helen Jones.

Friday:  Seven crosses to the WACA, Perth, for live coverage of the AFL match between West Coast Eagles and Melbourne, followed by delayed coverage of the Rugby League Third Test from Lang Park, Brisbane.  Flautist Jane Rutter is a guest star on Burke’s Backyard (Nine).

Saturday:  Ten crosses to Canberra for live coverage of the McDonald’s Independence Day Challenge: Australian Boomers versus NBL American All-Stars.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  27 June 1992.  Southdown Press.


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