‘I don’t care if I don’t come back!’
Former Home And Away star Les Hill (pictured) has lashed out at the industry that had made him a popular teen star, claiming hurt and disillusionment. Before joining the series as a 16-year-old, he thought he knew what to expect. “I knew about all the photo shoots, interviews and what not, but as far as for people dealing with people, that’s where I got confused,” he told TV Week. “I didn’t even stop to think that people wouldn’t be straight… it just seems that if someone’s got it in for you, you’re a goner. There is not much you can do about it.” He is relocating to the United Kingdom and hopes to be able to re-start his acting career. “I don’t care if I don’t come back, and I don’t care if I change my career and become a street sweeper in London — it’s not important any more,” he said. “I just thought this industry was much more than what it is. People don’t care, they just don’t care. They have no respect for you, unless you’re worth money. The one thing that the past two years has taught me is that being famous isn’t important. Liking myself is more important and that old cliche that happiness is more important than anything else, is true.” Despite his criticism of the industry, Hill does recall good times with the cast and crew at Home And Away. “Ray Meagher has taught me a lot,” he said.
Tammy’s one of the boys again!
In ABC‘s Police Rescue, Tammy MacIntosh (pictured) plays the tomboy of the team. A feisty and tough character, it is a role close to her heart. And in Network Ten‘s new comedy series Bingles she plays the tomboy yet again as the daughter of the owner of a panel-beating workshop. “I kind of enjoy these tomboy roles more than playing a bimbo or somebody who is just a love interest, because they have more strength,” she told TV Week. Although Bingles has only just begun screening on Ten, two series of Bingles have been produced — but MacIntosh only appears in the first as she left the show when the Police Rescue role turned up.
Ben bows out
Neighbours‘ producers have told 13-year-old cast member Ben Geurens (pictured) that he is to be written out of the show. Geurens, who has played Toby Mangel for three years, is philosophical about the decision. “I was a bit sad, but I guess that’s the way the ball bounces,” he said. “They said they couldn’t do much with the character. There was nowhere for him to go.” Although there may the possibility of guest appearances in the future, he says this is unlikely. “Once you go, you go,” he said.
- Newspaper columnist and author Ruth Ostrow (pictured) is joining the on-camera team on Seven‘s Real Life, but don’t expect her to be a straight reporter. “There’s so much confusion about who we are and where we’re going,” she told TV Week. “Instead of writing in the third person, I take a personal stand and try to say, ‘I’m just like you and I’m confused too’.”
- The Seven Network has denied that comedy series Acropolis Now has been axed. “We want to go with it, but we want the same cast back, including Georgie Parker, and she is busy in Sydney starring in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” a Seven spokesperson said. “We’re looking at mid-year before we can do another series.”
- ABC is yet to cast the male lead to star opposite Ruth Cracknell in the proposed new sitcom Waiting For God. Adapted from the BBC series of the same name, Waiting For God is set in an upmarket retirement village, where Diana Trent (Cracknell) and her to-be-cast male colleague refuse to fit the stereotype of old age and terrorise the staff. The series is not expected to go to air until 1994, while fans of Cracknell’s other series Mother And Son will have to wait until 1995 for new episodes.
- John Barton is back on TV as a freelance reporter for ABC‘s Landline. Best known in Queensland as reporter and presenter on former current affairs shows This Day Tonight (ABC) and Today Tonight (QTQ9), Barton was virtually exiled from Queensland after he broke two controversial stories about then State Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. But Barton, who now lives on Stradbroke Island, is enjoying the more leisurely pace of freelance reporting, commuting to Brisbane by yacht when work calls.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“He (John Farnham, pictured) sleeps too much and he can never find his socks, even thought his wife insists they’ve been kept in the same drawer for 10 years. But, the revelation of those major personal defects aside, he’s not a bad bloke and he can sing a bit, and no-one could have been more deserving of the tribute which screened recently on Network Ten. The real classic was the 1967 footage of record company executive Clive Baxter and producer David McKay discussing the possibility of getting a vacuum cleaner company involved in the promotion of a new song called Sadie The Cleaning Lady — then actually sending a woman dressed as Sadie out to the radio stations with the fresh-faced singer. They don’t promote records now the way they used to.”
- “Do you always shower with a gun?” — Reverend Bob Brown (Tony Martin). “Yeah. You see, I’ve got problems with people pinching the soap.” — Jack Brown (Andrew Williams), E Street, Ten.
- “The look on your face could de-sex a cat.” — Martin (Robert Hughes) to Betty (Julie McGregor), Hey Dad!, Seven.
- “I actually fancy this guy… er, single.” — Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Nine.
Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 6-12):
Sunday: Nine’s Sunday and Business Sunday present their final shows for 1992. New Faces With Bert Newton (Ten) presents its Grand Final, with judges Ronnie Burns, Karen Knowles and Athol Guy. Sunday night movies are Out Of The Darkness (Seven), The Rose And The Jackal (Nine) and Broadcast News (Ten). ABC’s Sunday Stereo Special presents the Australian Opera production of The Turn of The Screw.
Monday: Healthy Wealthy And Wise (Ten) ends its first year with a Christmas special, with Iain Hewitson cooking Christmas dinner, Peter Wherrett presenting tips for holiday road safety, Jim Brown reporting on the best holiday places for families and Lyn Talbot learns how to set a spectacular Christmas table.
Tuesday: Nine crosses to Sydney for World Series Cricket — Australia versus West Indies. In the lead-up to 1993, the Year Of The Indigenous People, Aboriginal series Blackout (ABC) has adopted a new entertainment format — including comedy sketches, often based around role reversals.
Thursday: World Series Cricket (Nine) moves to Hobart, with Australia versus Pakistan. Documentary series Through Australian Eyes (SBS) looks at how the Aboriginal community approaches HIV/AIDS education in the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Mark Mitchell hosts the MBA Excellence In Housing Awards (Seven).
Friday: Burke’s Backyard (Nine) presents a special edition, Fatal Instincts, looking at Australia’s ever-increasing cat population and the recent controversy regarding the cat’s reign over bird and native animal life.
Saturday: Eddie McGuire and Grant Kenny present Ten’s coverage of the Uncle Toby’s Ironman Super Series from Bondi Beach. ABC’s The Late Show presents its final show for 1992.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 5 December 1992. Southdown Press.