The mere mention of the names ‘Margaret and David’ and anyone will know who you’re talking about — Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from ABC‘s At The Movies.
The pair have announced that after 28 years of reviewing and not always agreeing over movies that they will present their last At The Movies show in December.
As a result, At The Movies will not be returning in 2015.
Stratton, who has just turned 75, said it was time to go:
“After 28 years reviewing films on television with Margaret, ten of them at the ABC, I feel it’s time to go. We’ve had a wonderful time, thanks to very supportive and encouraging audiences, throughout that period. And we’ve worked with wonderful teams, both at SBS and at the ABC, people who discovered movies alongside us, helped and assisted us, and in the process became valued friends. We couldn’t have done it without them.
“Most of all, working with Margaret, whose enthusiasm, commitment and passion has been amazing (and only occasionally irritating) has been a joy for over a quarter of a century. But, since I turned 75 last week, I look forward to less pressure and more opportunities to enjoy the movies I love, in the years ahead.”
“As David says, it’s time to go from the small screen after a great innings, thanks to all our viewers and the fabulous teams we’ve worked with over the years. And thank you to the ABC and SBS. We’ve been lucky to work for two great public broadcasters, and long may they prosper.
“My gratitude goes to David who gave me credibility just by being prepared to sit by me and discuss film when I am just a film enthusiast, not the great walking encyclopedia of film that he is. He’s a grand person, a most generous, decent man, even if a little stubborn at times.
“We’ve seen Australian films continue to mature over nearly three decades on air and I look forward to a continued involvement in this wonderful industry of ours which explores and reflects our culture and our peccadilloes. It’s been such a privilege to have been on the sidelines, witnessing the talent that this country produces in all areas of film production.
“I’m very sad to have to call an end to our show, it started out as a very fragile thing and only survived because there are enough lovers of film in this country to support a specific program about cinema. Thank you all.”
Both Stratton and Pomeranz were employed at SBS when it began broadcasting as Channel 0/28 in 1980 — with Stratton as resident movie host and Pomeranz working behind the scenes as a producer. Six years later they co-hosted a new series, The Movie Show (pictured), initially with Silvio Rivier.
‘Margaret and David’ presented The Movie Show until they made the move from SBS to ABC in 2004, where they continued the same format under a new name — At The Movies.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott paid tribute to their contribution to ABC and to the wider arts community:
“The fact that everybody knows them as Margaret and David demonstrates how much they are loved by the Australian public. Their passionate and enthusiastic championing of the cinema art form, their articulate and always entertaining reviews and their personal rapport on stage (not to mention those earrings) have defined them. Their contribution to the ABC and to the wider arts community has been enormous. We are so proud to have worked with them for over a decade at the ABC and we will miss them. I give them five stars.”
SBS have retrieved from the archive the first edition of The Movie Show that went to air on 30 October 1986:
At The Movies makes its final appearance on 9 December.
YouTube: ABC TV Australia