tvweek_181293Cover: Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills 90210)

Andrew to join beach party
Actor Andrew McFarlane is returning to television after three years working in the theatre. The former The Flying Doctors star is making a three-week guest appearance in Nine‘s Paradise Beach. “I’m going to play high-powered book publisher Gordon Fleet, a love interest for Zoe Bertram‘s character, Paula Taylor,” he told TV Week. “I see Paradise Beach as another chapter to my many and varied characters and I’m really looking forward to it. I find I’m getting diverse roles with age.” The guest role reunites McFarlane with former Patrol Boat co-star Robert Coleby.

joansydney_0003Look who’s back in Wandin Valley
Four years after leaving A Country Practice, actress Joan Sydney (pictured) is returning to the series in its upcoming revival on Network Ten. For seven years Sydney played ACP favourite Matron Sloan. She joins the four other cast members from the ‘old’ A Country Practice so far confirmed for the ‘new’ series — Andrew Blackman (who plays Dr Harry Morrison), Paul Gleeson (ranger Ian McIntyre), Claudia Black (Claire Bonnaci) and Joyce Jacobs (Esme Watson). Shane Porteous, who played Dr Terence Elliot for ACP‘s entire 12-year run on Seven, has been approached to return in a guest role. There is also speculation that Shane Withington, who appeared in ACP from 1981 to 1986, may also join the new series.

Actors banned in Britain
Britain’s Department of Employment is cracking down on Aussie actors flocking to the UK for coveted theatrical roles. The Department claims that Aussie actors are putting British actors out of work, particularly during the busy pantomime season at Christmas, and intends to fiercely govern the rules over foreign workers. It is estimated that there are as many as 23 Australian actors working the pantomime circuit this Christmas. From next year theatre producers will have to prove that the imported star is the only person for the job. Meanwhile, former Home And Away star Les Hill is suing the department over its refusal to allow him to accept a role in comedy series Class Act, co-starring with Joanna Lumley. “The producers of Class Act specifically wanted me to play the part of an Australian, but my hands were tied and they looked elsewhere,” he told TV Week.


  • Derryn Hinch (pictured) has thanked his former boss, Network Ten news chief Carmel Travers, for axing his current affairs program as it led to him being offered the role to host Midday for the Nine Network. “I am very grateful to Ms Travers for the opportunity,” he told TV Week with a smirk. “I suspect some people at Ten must be scratching their heads and saying, ‘Hold on, didn’t we bury this guy?’, and then for him to pop up on one of the prime shows on the network… oh it’s fantastic! It’s like being thrown in the gutter and the Nine Cadillac sweeps past and picks you up and says, ‘Hey, have we got a ride for you’.”
  • Mother And Son stars Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald will be teaming up on stage in Hotspur, written by Mother And Son creator Geoffrey Atherden. The play will be performed for both the Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Companies.
  • lorraedesmond_0003Former A Country Practice star Lorrae Desmond (pictured), now starring in the musical High Society, says she wouldn’t want to go back to series television… but concedes to never say never. “As long as it’s funny,” she told TV Week. “I don’t want to do anything serious anymore. But I’ve been very busy since I left ACP — I haven’t stopped! I’ve been having a lovely time.”
  • Gary Sweet and Zoe Carides have recorded two songs together for the Police Rescue — The Movie soundtrack. The film is due for release in March 1994.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“Love him or hate him — and there don’t seem to be many grey areas — you have to hand it to Derryn Hinch. For a bloke who keeps getting the sack, he keeps finding himself in some awfully good jobs, too. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago I wrote that, like the Terminator, he would be back, and that it was just a matter of where and when. Little did I know at the time that it would be so soon, and in one of television’s plum jobs — host of the Nine Network‘s Midday. I think you will see a mellow version of Hinch in the Midday chair, but one who will speak his mind just the same. And if he succeeds, the victory will be, in the words of Paul Keating, the sweetest of them all. And at Channel Ten, they’ll just have to remind themselves — that’s life.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 18-24):
Saturday: Mal Walden hosts The Young Achiever Awards (5.30pm, Ten) from the Hilton Hotel, Melbourne. Sydney’s Carols In The Domain (8.30pm, Seven) features performances by Girlfriend, Toni Pearen, Jackie Love, Rob Guest, The Salvation Army Choir, Suzanne Johnston, David Hobson, The Wiggles, Lee Kernaghan, Tara Morice and a special appearance by Santa.

Sunday: Australian Test captain Allan Border is honoured in a testimonial cricket match from the Gabba, Brisbane (12.30pm, Nine). Sunday night movies are Spaced Invaders (Seven), Club Paradise (Nine) and Dragnet (Ten).

Monday: The draw for the 1994 FIFA World Cup (7am, SBS) is televised live from Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, featuring performances by Elton John, Rod Stewart and Julio Iglesias. Olivia Newton John hosts the special Judith Durham And The Seekers’ 1993 Silver Jubilee Reunion Tour (7.30pm, Seven), tracing the success of Australia’s first international pop group of the Sixties. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) goes into re-run mode for the Christmas break. The 1988 mini-series The Dirtwater Dynasty (8.30pm, Ten) is given a repeat screening over four nights.

raeleehillTuesday: In Paradise Beach (7.30pm, Nine), Grommet (Anthony Hayes) makes a disturbing discovery, while Roy (John Holding) and Loretta (Raelee Hill, pictured) are stranded on Stradbroke Island.

Wednesday: Jim Waley hosts the documentary A Dangerous Cocktail (7.30pm, Nine), looking at the Australian drinking culture and how the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour can become blurred. The program documents a typical night from the viewpoint of a taxi driver, a student and a social worker, providing insights into the behaviour of people affected by alcohol. Former Prime Minister John Gorton is interviewed by George Negus in A Life (9.30pm, ABC). The Australian Dancesport Championships (9.40pm, Seven) feature the country’s finest ballroom dancers.

Thursday: The series final of Youth Express (7.30pm, SBS) looks at the issue of mental health for adolescents. The documentary Different Lives — Heart Of The Matter (9.30pm, ABC) looks at Australia’s cultural diversity through the eyes of three couples about to marry. Lynda Stoner guest stars in Cluedo (9.30pm, Nine).

Friday (Christmas Eve): Kathryn Greiner and Rev Gordon Moyes host the Darling Harbour Christmas Pageant (7.30pm, Seven). Ray Martin hosts Carols By Candlelight (9pm, Nine) live from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, featuring performances by Tina Arena, Rhonda Burchmore, Debbie Byrne, Tommy Emmuanuel, Toni Pearen, Rick Price, Marina Prior, Denis Walter, Anthony Warlow, James Morrison, David Dixon, Daryl Somers and Linda and Vika Bull. Santa and Humphrey Bear will also appear.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 18 December 1993. Southdown Press

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