Emily’s secret London wedding
While Emily Symons‘ Home And Away character Marilyn is getting engaged in episodes to air this month, Symons is in London planning her own wedding to fiance Nicholas Lipscombe. The pair met in 1990 when Symons (pictured) was in the UK working in a pantomime. “When I met him, I was not looking for a relationship,” she told TV Week. “Nick and I sort of became friends. It started to develop… of course, on the last couple of days of the show! I spent the last week in London with him.” Marilyn’s engagement to Phil Bryant (Vince Martin, last seen as E Street‘s “Mr Bad” serial killer) leads to her departure from the series after three years. “I joined Home And Away when I was 19 and I’ve learned so much as a person and an actress,” she said.
Sex? It’s all in a day’s work!
As a reporter for the Nine Network‘s controversial Sex program, Darren McDonald has had to push aside any inhibitions he had about the topic but it has made him more aware of issues such as safe sex. “I went through to the age of 22 or 23 before I knew anyone who was HIV positive… I thought I was immune, it couldn’t happen to me,” he told TV Week. “All of a sudden I’ve realised I’m a member of a sexual society and I’m a target.” McDonald admits that there was some discomfort in informing his mother of his new job. “When I first got the job I rang mum and said, ‘Are you sitting down because I’ve got a new show to do and it’s called Sex‘. There was this 10-second silence before she answered, ‘Yes, that would be right up your alley, darling’.”
Kristian crashes out of Neighbours
Neighbours producers have killed off one of their most popular characters in a bid to boost ratings. Kristian Schmid (pictured) has quit the series after playing the role of Todd Landers for almost five years — and producers have given Todd a dramatic exit by having him struck down in a car accident. “I’m pleased they have given Todd an exciting ending, instead of sending him off to Brisbane, or something like that. It’s a good way to go out,” Schmid told TV Week. Todd’s demise is only the fourth in Neighbours‘ seven-year history, with Daphne Clarke (Elaine Smith), Kerry Bishop (Linda Hartley) and her father Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) also terminally written out.
- A new family is moving into Neighbours‘ Ramsay Street… the Alessis. In charge of the clan are Benito and Cathy Alessi, played by George Spartels and Elspeth Ballantyne. For Ballantyne (pictured) it is a return to the Nunawading studios of the Ten Network as she worked there for eight years as prison officer Meg Morris in the long-running Prisoner.
- Burke’s Backyard host and producer Don Burke is giving nothing away when asked about his latest TV project to be shopped around to the networks. “The secrecy is so absurd, but the concept is highly stealable,” he told TV Week. Burke’s previous pilot, Mud Flaps, suffered when ideas were pinched and presenters were poached by other shows, so he is playing his cards very close to his chest this time around.
- Daryl Somers and the Hey Hey It’s Saturday team (including Melissa Hannan, pictured with Somers) are heading up to Darwin in the Northern Territory for an outdoor show to be staged at the city’s Diamond Beach Casino. The exercise is something of a logistical nightmare as all technical equipment has to be transported from Melbourne on semi-trailers and an outdoor stage is being constructed at the casino. More than 100 cast and crew are expected to fly into Darwin for the show.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“Forget whether Queen Elizabeth II or Caroline Chisholm or even Joan Child should be on our $5 note. Let’s make a stand now. Come out into the streets with me and demonstrate: Who do we want on the $5 note? TV stars! When do we want ’em? Now! If we can’t see any money being spent on TV — and at the moment we can’t — then let’s see some TV on the money we spend, if you follow my drift. Because it has to be a woman on the fiver, why not someone such as the late Pat McDonald (pictured)? The TV Week Gold Logie-winning actress, who sadly passed away in 1990, was a stalwart of one of the most controversial Australian soaps, Number 96. Or maybe we could have Rowena Wallace as her Sons And Daughters character Patricia “Pat The Rat” Hamilton, a role hailed as one of the best written for a woman in an Australian soap. What about Kylie Minogue from her early days in Neighbours? Originally, her character Charlene Mitchell was a mechanic, remember? We could stare at an overall-clad Charlene and reminisce about the motor industry (remember that?).”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 12-18):
Sunday: Sunday night movies are Navy SEALS (Seven), Look Who’s Talking (Nine) and The Abyss (Ten).
Monday: ABC debuts a new sketch comedy series — Kittson, Fahey — featuring comedians Jean Kittson (The Big Gig, Let The Blood Run Free) and Maryanne Fahey (The Comedy Company). This week’s Healthy Wealthy And Wise (Ten) has a distinctive Western Australia feel — with Jim Brown visiting Kalgoorlie, and Iain Hewitson visiting a marron farm in Margaret River.
Tuesday: The Big Gig (ABC) presents the special Flacco And Friends, featuring Flacco (pictured) (Paul Livingston), The Doug Anthony All-Stars, Andrew Denton, Kaarin Fairfax and Paul Kelly. In Chances (Nine), Wanda Starcross (Danielle Fairclough) joins the Inspirations Agency as the new receptionist, and Cal’s (Gerry Sont) life hangs in the balance when he is held hostage by Bogart Lo (Lawrence Mah).
Wednesday: Maggie Millar guest stars in Cluedo (Nine). In Hey Dad! (Seven), Betty (Julie McGregor) takes an advanced driving course for motorcycle riders. Nine presents the special Ray Martin With Paul Hogan, featuring footage from Hogan’s early career including his commentaries on the original A Current Affair in the 1970s and his later comedy specials.
Thursday: In Getaway (Nine), Tina Dalton visits Port Douglas, Jeff Watson catches the Darwin hovercraft, and David Reyne goes racing at the Thunderdome. In Embassy (ABC), as Ragaan moves closer to democratic elections, an Australian-initiated business deal looks set to take off. In Bligh (Seven), Bligh (Michael Veitch) and MacArthur (William McInnes) are in pursuit of a knighthood.
Friday: In Neighbours (Ten), Phoebe (Simone Robertson) tries to come to terms with boyfriend Todd’s (Kristian Schmid) death. Seven crosses to the Sydney Cricket Ground for live coverage of the AFL match between Sydney Swans and Collingwood.
Saturday: Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine) presents its special outside broadcast from Darwin’s Diamond Beach Casino.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 11 July 1992. Southdown Press.