Rebecca’s baby tragedy
Rebecca Gibney is drenched in sweat, traumatised and wracked with pain — and she couldn’t be happier. For Gibney, playing the part of a woman who tragically gives birth to a stillborn child for an episode of GP, the role makes a change from glamorous-looking roles. “I think I’ve needed to show that different side of me, because I think people are so used to seeing me made up, not a hair out of place and dressed up in those glamorous suits,” she told TV Week. “This is good, because the bags show, the lines show, I look like I’m a 30-year-old woman who is going through an enormous amount of pain.” She is joined in the GP episode by John Howard, who plays her husband.

Current affairs boss quits
The 7.30 Report has been dealt a blow with the show’s national editor Philip Chubb resigning to join a private production company. Chubb had worked to revamp The 7.30 Report over the past two years but expressed his disappointment that the state-based format couldn’t be made a national program. “Essentially, it was a states’ right argument,” he told TV Week. “You have to balance the interests of the states against the national interest. It’s a very frustrating experience.” Chubb was also sorry that the show lost journalist Jill Singer, who he believed had been promoted to host Melbourne’s The 7.30 Report before being snapped up by Seven to host its new Today Tonight show in Melbourne. The matter of Singer’s last minute defection to Seven is currently with the lawyers, with ABC demanding around $50,000 as reimbursement. Despite his disappointment at losing Singer, Chubb was pleased to have journalist Sarah Henderson take over the host’s chair at 7.30. “There’s no question in my mind that we got the better end of the deal. I’ve been quite pleased at the way things have emerged.”

markmitchell_0003‘I’m a bit of a girl!’
In the children’s series Lift Off, now in a second series on ABC, Mark Mitchell (pictured) has played 34 different characters — many of them female. “I actually enjoy playing women best,” he told TV Week. “Men spend a lot of time trying to suppress the female aspects of their personalities. But I don’t feel cut off from that knowledge.” Mitchell, whose Comedy Company characters of Con the Fruiterer and his wife Marika are still popular, is also not worried by the fact that most of his characters are less than handsome. “There’s something warming about ugliness. There’s no sense of envy or alarm. Children are not as prejudiced against ugliness as adults. They interpret it differently.” He also suspects that many Lift Off viewers don’t realise he is behind so many of the characters in the show, such as Cecile de Vichyssoise, Amanda Tetra, Matron Snapper, Mrs Fish the Younger and Mrs Fish the Older. “I bet there are many adults who have watched Lift Off and don’t even realise it’s me playing all those characters.”


  • Twenty-year-old Martin Henderson has been signed up for Network Ten‘s new soapie Echo Point. The New Zealand actor had previously been seen in that country’s long-running soap Shortland Street, which has had a brief season here on SBS.
  • Former Heartbreak High star Alex Dimitriades and ex-Neighbours star Dan Falzon are to play street kids in the upcoming $6 million film The Ringer. The movie, to be shot in North Queensland, also stars Bill Hunter and Bradley Byquar, recently seen in ABC‘s Heartland.
  • hugoweavingIn The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Hugo Weaving played a drag queen. His next role is far less flamboyant — playing the part of Liverpudlian school teacher Kenneth Pearson in ABC‘s new drama, Bordertown. The 10-part series, set in the Boringa migrant camp in the Fifties, also stars Cate Blanchett, Linda Cropper, Peta Toppano, Norman Kaye, Robert Mammone, Ray Barrett, Petru Gheorghiu, Joe Petruzzi and Christine Tremarco (pictured with Weaving), last seen in The Leaving Of Liverpool.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 12 March): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1770000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1683000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1666000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1648000
5 Very Best Of The World’s Worst Drivers II Nine Tue 1626000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1617000
7 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1602000
8 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1577000
9 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1567000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1535000
11 Money Nine Wed 1486000
12 National Nine News Nine M-F 1482000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1481000
14 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1443000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1442000
16 MacGyver Seven Sat 1434000
17 National Nine News Nine Sat 1427000
18 The Nanny Ten Wed 1420000
19 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1417000
20 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1417000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Are we experiencing the quiet evolution or a new cycle of drama production on Australian television? That certainly seems to be the case and, surprisingly, it is the Nine Network that is leading the way. I say “surprisingly” because Nine has long prided itself as the market leader, but drama has been one area in which it has fallen down repeatedly in recent years. While the Seven Network has been able to get Blue Heelers up, and now Fire, Nine has had more mild success with several series of Law Of The Land, Snowy and Banjo Patterson’s The Man From Snowy River. Dotted in that landscape are a few other titles that weren’t even mildly successful. Now Nine appears to have it near enough to just right with Halifax fp and The Feds. While both have been tinged with controversy over their adults-only content, each has had its own, distinct style and flavour. They are not so-called “event” television by any means, but reaction to them indicates that they have been regarded by audiences as way above the average fare.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 1-7):
Saturday: The AFL premiership season starts this week with Round One highlights (6pm, Seven) hosted by Drew Morphett, featuring Geelong versus Melbourne and Richmond versus Fremantle. Recording artist Peter Gabriel is the celebrity guest in this week’s Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten). The First Test, Australia versus West Indies, is live from Barbados (12am, Ten) and continues again on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night overnight.

Sunday: Round One of AFL continues with West Coast Eagles versus St Kilda, live from Perth (2pm, Seven), followed by highlights of the Carlton versus Collingwood game at the MCG (5pm, Seven). Sunday night movies are Blindside (Seven) and Blindfold: Acts Of Obsession (Ten), with mini-series Million Dollar Babies debuting on Nine.

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) makes a spectacle of himself at Shane’s (Dieter Brummer) bucks night. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) reports on the growth of games and educational programs on CD Rom.

Tuesday: In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), while romance develops between Nick (Peter Phelps) and Morgan (Georgie Parker), Ted (Daniel Roberts) becomes a prime suspect in the hunt for the pyromaniac.

andrewdenton_0001Wednesday: Andrew Denton (pictured) hosts The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Charity Gala (8.30pm, Seven) from Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, including performances by Magda Szubanski, Steady Eddy, Flacco, Rachel Berger, Anthony Morgan and Emo Phillips.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Curtis (Shane Ammann) decides to go to Italy to be with Laura (Claudia Buttazzoni). In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), Michael Kidd (Chris Haywood) defends a man charged with an ugly crime.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) has some harsh words for Danni (Eliza Szonert) and tells her to smarten her act up or face losing friends. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Ailsa (Judy Nunn) finds Curtis (Shane Ammann) in shock following Laura’s (Claudia Buttazzoni) death. AFL Today (8.30pm, Seven) begins Round Two with Fremantle versus Essendon, live from Perth.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 April 1995. Southdown Press



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