This week marks 50 years since the debut of the Sydney-based drama series You Can’t See Round Corners.

The 26-part series was an adaptation of the novel written by Jon Cleary. Its leading actor was Ken Shorter playing the part of Frankie, a draft dodger who made his living as an SP bookie.

The show marked the TV acting debut for a young star from Brisbane, 19-year-old Rowena Wallace.

Wallace had previous appeared on local TV in Brisbane including featuring in the long-running variety show Theatre Royal.

Among You Can’t See Round Corners other stars were Carmen Duncan, Slim de Grey, Derani Scarr, Judith Fisher and Lyndall Barbour.

You Can’t See Round Corners debuted on Sydney’s ATN7 on Wednesday 28 June 1967 at 8.00pm, leading into the popular comedy series The Mavis Bramston Show. The show’s debut aided by a two-page newspaper advertisement in that day’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Melbourne’s HSV7 followed the next night, though gave the show a 9.00pm start.

The series created controversy and attracted the ire of the broadcasting authorities — in particular over one scene in the opening episode where a kissing scene between Frankie and Margie (Wallace) saw Shorter slip his hand up Wallace’s skirt. It was an unscripted move that caught Wallace by surprise, meaning that her shocked reaction was quite real.

The Broadcasting Control Board dictated that the offending portion of the scene be cut after its Sydney airing.

Not only was the scene cut, but it became a no-go topic in subsequent press interviews. “I’m sorry,” Wallace told TV Times. “But I’m not allowed to talk about that scene at all.”

Having made her first major break in TV, what ambitions did the young actress hold for her career? “I’d like to do another TV series. I’d love to make a film. Probably I’ll end up as a waitress in the Cross.”

Source: IMDB, Wikipedia. TV Times, 28 June 1967, 9 August 1967.





4 thoughts on “You Can’t See Round Corners — and a star is born

  1. if that scene with Ken Shorter and Rowena Wallace got cut does any other 7 network stations have the unedited version of that episode exist or not?

  2. The scene was NOT cut, at least not on the original airing. I remember seeing it and the following episode was preceded by a lengthy statement (from the producer I think) about how he wished his teenage daughter had been able to see it to learn from Rowena Wallace’s reaction.

    1. Just for clarification, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board’s review into the episode:

      “The first episode of You Can’t See Round Corners, a drama series produced
      by station ATN Sydney, contained a brief scene of an attempted seduction. This was immediately reported to the Board by its officers, when televised by ATN, and it subsequently caused a large number of complaints to the Board. Following the report by its officers, the Board examined the programme and decided that the scene constituted a serious breach of paragraph 7 (a) (i) of the Standards which states that no programme may contain matter which is blasphemous, indecent, obscene, vulgar or suggestive, or of doubtful propriety. Stations which had already televised the episode were informed that the offending scene was not to be televised again; stations intending to televise the programme were informed
      that the scene must be deleted.”

      Australian Broadcasting Control Board, Nineteenth Annual Report, 1966-67.

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