Strictly Christmas!
Stars from four networks gathered for TV Week‘s annual Christmas photo shoot, inspired by the box office hit of the year, Strictly Ballroom.  Joining cover stars Kym Wilson (A Country Practice) and Matthew Krok (Hey Dad!) are Simon Denny (E Street), Bruce Roberts (Home And Away), Gia Carides (Strictly Ballroom and ABC‘s Police Rescue) and Steven Jacobs (All Together Now)

Pregnant pause for Jacki
Healthy Wealthy And Wise presenter Jacki MacDonald is pregnant with her second child.  When she was pregnant with her first child, Lucy, she gave up TV work for a year — but Healthy Wealthy And Wise producer Gavan Disney says, “she’ll be working until the baby is born”.  Meanwhile, Disney is working on a Healthy Wealthy And Wise spin-off for Ten featuring chef Iain Hewitson.

Back to the wild
Network Ten has given the green light for continuing children’s program Totally Wild in 1993.  The weekly series, hosted by Trudy Smith with National Parks and Wildlife rangers Stacey Hogan and Tim Moore, could also find an international audience.  Producers are currently negotiating with networks in France, Canada and New Zealand.


  • Seven‘s planned new sketch comedy show, set in a shopping mall, currently has the working title It’s A Mall World.  From the producers of Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show, the pilot for It’s A Mall World is believed to have included Acropolis Now stars George Kapiniaris and Mary Coustas.
  • The Seven Network has axed its new Saturday night lifestyle show Live It Up, but has asked producers Trisha Goddard and Mark Grieve to re-work the concept into a half-hour program with fewer medical stories.
  • Troubled soapie E Street is about to lose two more stars.  Scott McRae is leaving the show following a row with producer Forrest Redlich, while Lorry D’Ercole has moved on in what Ten insists was a mutual decision.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“It’s become traditional around here for us to pull out all stops and do something special for our Christmas issue cover.  This year we decided to pick up on the theme of the phenomenally successful Australian movie Strictly Ballroom, and there were a couple of surprises.  First, we didn’t really hold out much hope of getting a star of the movie in our shots.  But Gia Carides (now in Police Rescue) managed to make time to be involved.  The second surprise was how young Matthew Krok managed to fit into all this, but he did it with ease and, as you can see from Michelle Day‘s cover shot, just about stole the show.  Certainly, I think the shots are a fitting way for all of us to wish all of you a merry Christmas.  It’s up to you to make sure it’s a safe Christmas, as well.”

Loose Talk

  • “When we first met, Jill thought I was gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that, Ian.” — John Farnham (to Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum), John Farnham’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, Ten.
  • “Jana’s left (A Current Affair) now.” — Steve Vizard.  “Can you blame her?  She’s bored and he (Mike Willesee) needs the money.” — George Negus, Tonight Live, Seven.
  • “The material things in life don’t mean anything to me.” — Dr Geoffrey Edelsten, Real Life, Seven.

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 20-26):
Sunday:  Afternoon sport includes tennis (Kooyong Classic) on ABC, golf (Australian Women’s Masters) on Nine, and windsurfing on Ten.  Sunday night movies are Supergirl (Seven), 10 (Nine) and Falling In Love (Ten).

Monday:  Ten launches its new early morning kids show The Big Breakfast, hosted by Tim Bailey.

Tuesday:  Seven presents the Midori Australian Dancesport Championships.

Wednesday:  ABC presents a repeat of the Melbourne Comedy Festival debate Is Laughter Better Than Sex?, featuring Jane Clifton, Andrew Denton, HG Nelson, Steve Crabb and Campbell McComas.

Thursday (Christmas Eve):  Ray Martin hosts Carols By Candlelight (Nine), live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, featuring performances by David Dixon, Marina Prior, Rob Guest, Tommy Emmanuel, Marcia Hines, Rhonda Burchmore, Julie Anthony, Suzanne Johnston, Denis Walter, Peter Cupples and Geoff Harvey with the National Boys Choir.  ABC presents the special Oz Christmas — Diesel, Dust And Diplomats, looking at what Christmas means to Australians in each state around the country and explores the various meanings of Christmas.  SBS screens the first of three-part series The Sounds Of Christmas, featuring the SBS Youth Orchestra.  Ten has the traditional Mass For You At Home — Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

Friday (Christmas Day):  ABC has a direct telecast of Midnight Mass from St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, followed by the special Peter Combe’s Christmas Under The Stars.  Nine’s Christmas morning schedule includes Christian Television Association: Christmas With The Archbishop, the Grace Bros Christmas Parade,  a Christmas edition of Turn Round Australia and a repeat of Carols By Candlelight.  Ten’s daytime includes a Christmas movie marathon — A Christmas Carol (1938), Bush Christmas (1947), White Christmas (1954) and Miracle On 34th Street (1947).  ABC’s Compass presents a Christmas Day edition, and Seven follows its 6.00pm news with the Darling Harbour Christmas Pageant.  The Queen’s Christmas Message is broadcast during Ten Eyewitness News and during the evening on ABC (twice), SBS and Nine.  Rebecca Gibney and Bryan Brown present a World Vision documentary, Children Are The Future (Nine).

Saturday:  Ten has two hours of live coverage from the start of the Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race.  Nine crosses to the MCG for Day One of the Second Test: Australia versus West Indies, picking up coverage from 3.40pm and continuing through to 6.00pm with a half-hour highlights package after midnight.  Jennifer Keyte’s World Around Us (Seven) features the special Melbourne City At 150.  Seven has a late night broadcast of Diana Ross Live In Australia, from the Leeuwin Estate Outdoor Amphitheatre in Western Australia.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  19 December 1992.  Southdown Press


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