Lisa’s still dogged by doubts
Despite the success of Blue Heelers and the popularity of her character, Maggie Doyle, actress Lisa McCune (pictured) still worries about her performance. “It’s been a year since we made the pilot, but every Monday morning I still get nervous,” she says. “I get to work and think, ‘Can I really do this?’.” But a friendly, supportive crew and cast helps, she adds. So does the fact that there are no romances between cast members. “When we started the show, we all realised no-one was interested in anyone else in the cast. There was no-go with any of us.”
Four weddings and a fun role!
Actor Richard Piper says he is the perfect candidate for playing the part of divorced man Lex Dexter in Seven‘s upcoming comedy series Wedlocked — he has been divorced three times. “I can go back over my own life and put some of what’s happened to me into the show,” he told TV Week. Wedlocked is the story of two divorced men (played by Piper and Brandon Burke) who share a house. Into their comfortable, uneventful lives comes a wild Italian woman (played by Dina Panozzo) to ensure they are never bored again. Wedlocked is due to go into production in August.
And away we go…!
Home And Away stars John Adam and Matt Doran (pictured) are both leaving the show. Adam’s character Luke Cunningham exits Summer Bay following a romance with Fisher’s (Norman Coburn) daughter Rebecca (Danielle Carter). “Luke’s departure has really more to do with family reasons than a broken heart,” Adam told TV Week. Meanwhile, Doran (Damian Roberts in the series) will exit after two-and-a-half years when his contract expires in October. “I’m not disappointed because this is how soapies work — bringing in people, keeping them there, picking up ratings, taking them out and then bringing in fresh faces again to keep them (ratings) up,” Doran told TV Week. “I really enjoyed the time I had here.”
TV stars in the horrors
Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune and former The Flying Doctors star Brett Climo lead the cast in the new Australian horror-comedy film Body Melt. The film also stars McCune’s Blue Heelers co-star William McInnes, Andrew Daddo, Gerard Kennedy, Tiffany Lamb, Rosemary Margan and former Neighbours star Ian Smith. “If you were an actor who took yourself incredibly seriously, then you’d never have done this film,” McCune told TV Week. “It really was a fun thing to do.” In one scene, McCune’s character Cheryl loses her placenta, which shoots across the room and attacks her husband (Climo). “I loved that scene,” McCune said. “When I read it in the script I thought, ‘Oh my goodness… oops!’.” Andrew Daddo could hardly contain his laughter when he was asked to take part. “The film takes a lot of well known people and kills them — there’s something really glorious about that,” he said. “You are never going to see this sort of s*** going on in Neighbours.”
- The Nine Network has a list of drama projects for 1995. Mini-series Violent Earth, set in New Caledonia, is being produced by Crawfords Australia. Also in planning is a $10 million adaptation of Robert Hughes‘ book The Fatal Shore, to be a co-production between Nine, Village Roadshow Pictures, Turner Network Television and British Sky Broadcasting. Nine also has three two-hour telemovies with the working title Drover’s Girls, to begin filming in the new year. The telemovies tell the story of Julia Morgan, a 23-year-old who enlists the help of eight women to run a cattle station she has taken over from her estranged father. Plus there are the six The Feds telemovies are two Singapore Sling telemovies.
- Doug Mulray, famously dumped by Kerry Packer during the screening of the one-off Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show in 1992, is about to launch a new Saturday night show, Mulray, on Seven. “We’ll be live, spontaneous and wacky and they (other channels) will be showing movies with Clint Eastwood. I imagine. He usually pops up on a Saturday night, old Clint,” Mulray told TV Week. He credits Packer for giving him a national profile. “I was an unknown (outside Sydney) until Mr Packer lent his extraordinary well-known name to my cause.”
- The Little Squirt, an episode of children’s series Round The Twist, has won the Prix Jeunesse award for excellence in children’s television. “It’s the most prestigious award one can win in children’s television,” Round The Twist star Mark Mitchell told TV Week. “Children’s television has always been the poor relation. For a sane and healthy society you need to get children’s television right.”
- Kerry Armstrong (pictured) says she couldn’t resist the offer of a role as a plumber in Nine‘s The Bob Morrison Show. “I thought it would be very confusing for viewers to see Beth Sumner (the character she played in All Together Now) in the Morrison house,” she told TV Week. Armstrong said that working at Nine always feels like coming home. “I started my career at Channel 9 doing the weather,” she said. Also joining the cast of The Bob Morrison Show is former Neighbours star Natalie Imbruglia. “The only bad thing about my role is that I don’t have any scenes with gorgeous Bob!,” she told TV Week.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“If you like your police dramas slick and formularised, then this is not for you. If you like them slightly gritty, but still with a rakish hero — such as NYPD Blue‘s Detective John Kelly (David Caruso) — then this probably isn’t for you, either. But if you fancy a police series that’s written with flair, that is uncompromising and in which the regular characters are flawed, then Between The Lines comes with my wholehearted recommendation. Between The Lines, from the BBC, is not the type of fare usually associated with prime-time slots on commercial networks in Australia. Hopefully, it might be the start of something.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 25-July 1):
FIFA World Cup: SBS’ coverage of the FIFA World Cup from the US continues this week — with mid-morning and overnight telecasts of matches through to Wednesday, and one match on Friday morning. Nightly highlights packages continue to screen 7.30pm and 11.00pm.
Saturday: The Rugby Union Second Test — Australia versus Italy — is broadcast from Melbourne (2pm, Ten). In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Ian (Paul Gleeson) brings home a destitute, pregnant woman and becomes emotionally involved when he helps deliver the baby — but Claire (Claudia Black) has suspicions about the woman.
Sunday: Sunday AFL includes Brisbane Bears versus Collingwood (2pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, and highlights of Essendon versus Sydney Swans (5pm, Seven), from the MCG. Sunday night movies are Fortress (Seven), Batman Returns (repeat, Nine) and My Cousin Vinny (Ten).
Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) is horrified to find Dave (Ivar Kants) posing nude for Helen’s (Anne Haddy) sketches. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Lyn Talbot joins a camel safari, Peter Wherrett discovers that the days of the grease monkeys are being replaced by comprehensive electronics, Jim Brown visits South Australia’s Murray Riverland, and Ronnie Burns is up a ladder clearing gutters.
Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), when a bag of snakes ends up on the enquiries desk, there are signs of illegal snake trapping. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), while on work experience, Donna (Tracie Sammut) makes friends with an intellectually disabled girl, Vicki (Nicolle Dickson).
Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), Stella’s (Peta Toppano) ex-husband arrives to surprise everyone, trying to convince everyone he has changed when really he hasn’t. In Hey Dad! (8pm, Seven), Betty (Julie McGregor) moves to a new flat but a mix-up with the removalists leads to her furniture going to Queensland while she is landed with somebody else’s collection of antiques.
Thursday: TVTV (6.30pm, ABC), the nightly discussion program about television, makes its final appearance… for now. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Finlay investigates a system which will eliminate every shopper’s nightmare — supermarket check-out queues, while Anthony Griffis looks at how a NASA space suit is helping MS sufferers, and Andrew Waterworth reports on new inflight map information for pilots. In The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh (8.30pm, ABC), Harvey (Aaron Blabey) is rumoured to be gay.
Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Doug (Terence Donovan) has a new room mate who bores everyone to tears. In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Penny Cook visits Kakadu National Park after the wet season, Frankie J Holden takes a ride on the River Cat from Circular Quay to Parramatta, guest reporter Ann-Maree Biggar visits Canberra, and Bridget Adams discovers an underwater world.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 25 June 1994. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.