The Year That Was… #7: Nine and WIN fight it out

This year’s big TV battle wasn’t just the high profile ratings stoush between Seven and Nine, it was also a boardroom battle between Nine and its largest regional affiliate WIN Television.

For almost twenty years WIN had enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Nine as its affiliate in regional markets in New South Wales (including the Australian Capital Territory), Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia with a schedule dominated by Nine Network product.

This year saw that somewhat cosy relationship almost fall to pieces as the affiliation agreement which gave WIN access to Nine’s program supply was up for renewal. WIN owner Bruce Gordon (pictured) had been mates with Nine’s owner Kerry Packer – but now with Packer passed away, and Nine no longer controlled by the Packer family, with a new management structure in place and a majority now owned by private equity firm CVC Asia-Pacific, it was now a different playing field.

Nine made it clear to Gordon that they now wanted to increase the premium that WIN already paid for the rights to Nine’s programs in its regional markets. The previous agreement between Nine and WIN had the regional network paying around 32% of all revenue to Nine in return for its program feed – a higher rate than WIN’s competitors were paying other networks Seven and Ten, but Gordon agreed as Nine was the top rating network and so therefore allowed WIN to also charge a premium to advertisers as its ratings would have followed Nine’s trend.

The new deal reportedly put forward by Nine was for WIN to pay 50% of all revenue for access to Nine’s programs, and also to lock WIN into a long-term deal up to ten years. Gordon felt such an increase was not justified in the wake of Nine’s lowered ratings performance which saw the network beaten this year by arch rival Seven, and also did not want to agree to such a costly deal for a lengthy ten-year term.

The negotiations between Nine and WIN appeared to make little progress – Nine wasn’t prepared to budge from its original offer, and Gordon wasn’t prepared to meet Nine on its terms. The process became very public as Gordon was happy to talk to the press about what he felt was an unjustified rate increase by Nine. Gordon also publicly questioned some of Nine’s programming decisions which, under the affiliation deal, WIN is normally obliged to emulate.

As the existing agreement lapsed, the situation turned nasty as WIN started pulling Nine programs off its schedule and replacing with programs it had sourced itself. Gordon is well established in international TV circles, having worked for many years as an execute with Paramount Television, and made the claim that WIN did not need Nine’s program supply to be sustainable, and could instead source its own programs independently – creating an unprecedented move to establishing a competitive independent regional network not to be fed programs from one of the capital city networks.

Separate to the affiliation negotiations, WIN was also in battle against Nine’s owner PBL Media as both were vying for control of the Nine Network’s affiliate stations in Perth and Adelaide – which were owned by Sunraysia Television and Southern Cross Broadcasting respectively. Sunraysia had accepted an offer by PBL Media to buy its STW9 Perth, which was less than a similar bid that WIN had already made – highlighting a long-running feud between Gordon and Sunraysia chief Eva Presser. WIN then took legal action against PBL’s offer, and eventually won control of STW9 for $163 million. The battle for control of NWS9 Adelaide was less frantic, as WIN bought the station for $105 million.

WIN also fought Nine for control over Northern NSW regional broadcaster NBN – representing a market of around 2 million viewers, making it comparable in size to a number of capital cities. The battle for NBN was not won by WIN, as PBL Media gained control for around $250 million.

With WIN now owning Nine’s affiliates in Perth and Adelaide, this gave them a stronger negotiation position in forcing Nine to review its affiliation demands – although NWS9’s program supply from Nine was assured as it had already entered into a renewed deal by its previous owners – because if WIN pulled out of the Nine program feed to its regional markets as well as Perth, that would severely impact Nine’s direct revenue as WIN’s affiliation potentially contributes as much as 30 per cent of Nine’s revenue. And the addition of the Perth and Adelaide markets to its portfolio meant WIN now had extra buying power in negotiating its own program supply deals away from Nine.

But Gordon’s ambition to program WIN independently from Nine was not a flawless proposition. Despite Gordon’s industry connections, it would be a challenge to be able to program WIN with a 24-hour schedule that would be competitive against the network-sourced offerings of its rivals. WIN would also have to source, fund or produce a required quota of Australian program content – with individual quotas also applied to first-run children’s and drama programming. Being of largely regional operations, WIN would have lacked the necessary infrastructure, at least in the short term, to support such levels of local production

An independently-programmed WIN would also hit walls in negotiating supply deals with the major US distributors as most of them are locked into exclusive deals with the Australian Seven, Nine and Ten networks – possibly preventing WIN entering into its own contracts.

Basically, WIN needs Nine as much as Nine needs WIN.

Gordon’s next play in the negotiations was to go through – to a small but significant extent – with his threat to withdraw from the Nine partnership. WIN had managed to switch its South Australian outlets (SES8 Mt Gambier and RTS5A Riverland) from a Nine Network format, to a Seven Network affiliation – effectively taking Nine’s programming out of the reach of viewers in those markets as the only other local commercial TV outlet there is a Network Ten relay, also operated by WIN. The total number of viewers this represents is small in comparison to WIN’s other markets but its entering into a deal with Seven showed that Gordon was willing to explore other options to Nine in sourcing programs

The deal between WIN and Seven proved to be the final straw in negotiations, as barely days later, WIN and Nine announced they had reached an agreement for its other regional markets, and for STW9 Perth, which would reportedly see WIN paying 35 per cent of all revenue for Nine’s program feed over a five-year period.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/the-year-that-was-7-nine-and-win-fight-it-out.html

Twas the night before Christmas

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Australia’s biggest Christmas carols event, Carols By Candlelight.

The idea for Carols By Candlelight was conceived by Melbourne radio identity Norman Banks, who in 1937 was strolling along a suburban street after a late-night on-air shift when he witnessed an elderly woman, her face lit only by candlelight, singing along to carols on the radio. This inspired Banks to approach his employer, radio station 3KZ, to put together the first Carols By Candlelight event on Christmas Eve the following year.

The first Carols By Candlelight was attended by 10,000 people at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens. The following year, 40,000 attended the event which began at 11.00pm and ended with a reproduction of the chimes of London’s Big Ben at midnight.

The first well-known identity to perform at Carols was Gladys Moncrieff in 1942 – hence beginning a Carols tradition of featuring famous performers.

From its earliest days, Carols By Candlelight operated as a fund-raiser for charitable causes. From 1949 the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (now Vision Australia) was selected as one of the main recipients of proceeds from the event. In 1965, RVIB became the sole beneficiary from the event.

The first telecast of Carols By Candlelight was presented by GTV9 as part of its pre-launch test transmissions in 1956, but it did not become an annual telecast until picked up by Melbourne’s ATV0 in 1969 — also the first year that RVIB took over the running of Carols from 3KZ. Three years later, the telecast was extended to other stations in the 0-10 Network, and in 1974 was televised for the first time in colour.

The Nine Network took over as the telecast partner of the event in 1979. GTV9 newsreader Brian Naylor took on the role of host for ten years before it was handed to national network identity Ray Martin.

Despite its early connections to radio station 3KZ, the radio broadcast partner for Carols By Candlelight has changed a number of times. In more recent times the event has been broadcast by Melbourne radio stations 3AW and Magic 1278, and relayed across Australia through its network of sister stations and also by Vision Australia’s own national radio network.

This year’s Carols By Candlelight will mark the 50th year the event has been held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Performers this year will include former Australian Idol winner Anthony Callea (who is also the ambassador of this year’s event), The Choir Of Hard Knocks (from the ABC series of earlier this year), the Australian cast of the stage production Guys And Dolls, Kate Ceberano, Rachael Beck, Ian Stenlake and Carols regulars Hi-5, Denis Walter, Marina Prior and Silvie Paladino.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Vision Australia’s Carols By Candlelight. Christmas Eve, 24 December, 9.00pm, repeated at 1.30pm Christmas Day, on Nine*

Source: Vision Australia
Picture: TV Week, 26 December 1981
* Melbourne. Other areas check local guides

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/twas-the-night-before-christmas.html

The Year That Was… #6: Drama makes a comeback

The year 2006 brought on all sorts of doom and gloom about TV drama production; ABC didn’t have money to make any, Seven had axed Blue Heelers after 12 years of loyal service, Ten had some luck with telemovies but Tripping Over didn’t fare so well, and their only ongoing production was the veteran soap Neighbours, and Nine had only McLeod’s Daughters as the main project on its drama slate.

However, the corner was turned this year as a number of new projects came to fruition and one old-timer got a new coat of paint.

The big newcomers this year were City Homicide (pictured, above) and Sea Patrol – with these shows headlining the crucial battle between arch rivals Seven and Nine, both shows were given huge budgets, lots of live action, and both also promised familiar faces – Shane Bourne, Noni Hazelhurst, Nadine Garner, Aaron Pedersen and Damien Richardson on City Homicide, and Lisa McCune, Ian Stenlake, Josh Lawson, Kristian Schmid and Jay Ryan on Sea Patrol.

Both programs earned strong ratings figures, though City Homicide was perhaps more consistent than its Nine rival however both series have been renewed for 2008.

ABC did manage to get some dramas to air during this year; the rural/farming drama Rain Shadow, the 1998 waterfront crisis in Bastard Boys and the historical Curtin starring William McInnes.

The year also saw an increased drama presence on SBS with a number of productions aired this year – all of which put new emphasis onto familiar themes. The Circuit put an outback and indigenous perspective onto legal drama but its 9.30 Sunday timeslot probably meant most viewers stayed oblivious to it.

Saturday evenings saw the much lighter drama of Kick (pictured, left) an eight-part series based in Melbourne’s multicultural suburb of Brunswick and featuring a diverse range of characters and cultures, though little is made of either. Hard to believe that Kick came from the same city that gives us the mono-cultural and sanitised Neighbours.

A late entry to SBS’ schedule this year was the Sydney-based East West 101, from the producers of ABC’s former series Wildside. Like with Kick, East West 101 was based in an area with a strong multicultural mix and covers the tensions that can come with that sort of diversity whether it be in the community or in the police force that is entrusted to protect it.

While all these new projects were seeing the light of day, one old-stager Neighbours was also in the spotlight. Ratings for the suburban soap have dropped in recent years in the wake of the high-profile battle between current affairs shows Today Tonight and A Current Affair in the same timeslot. With a healthy injection of funds to flow on from the show’s shift in the UK from BBC to Channel 5 – in a deal worth around $A700m over ten years – the show’s producers decided this year was the time to give the series a much-needed revamp to boost its profile in its home country.

A two-month teaser campaign on Ten promised ‘a change is coming’ and when the red-letter day, 23 July, arrived there were certainly changes but probably not as significant as the publicity had perhaps indicated. Sure there was a new family moving into Ramsay Street, there were some new sets and some more location filming, and the signature tune was re-worked, as was the iconic Neighbours logo, but apart from these rather superficial changes, there was little else to notice. Producers have been at pains to point out, however, that the revival of Neighbours is a work in progress and now with a new executive producer (Susan Bower) in charge, the changes are set to continue. Neighbours‘ ratings did take a spike when 23 July came and went, but soon settled back to familiar territory around the 600-700k mark – not a desirable position for a prime-time Aussie-made production but it still rates well in its desired demographic and gives Ten valuable drama content points.

Ten this year also gave us Murder In The Outback – The Joanne Lees Story which traced the mystery surrounding the murder of British tourist Peter Falconio, told from the perspective of his partner Joanne Lees.

Meanwhile at Seven, their drama content was well kept up by Home And Away and All Saints. Both series earning great results this year which considering the age of both programs (Home And Away is now up to its twentieth anniversary, and All Saints is up to ten years) is an amazing effort.

The Nine Network’s long-running McLeod’s Daughters limped through 2007 as producers may have struggled to find a way to keep finding long-lost ‘daughters’ to replace outgoing cast members. The series suffered a ratings drop this year, and Nine has already announced that the 2008 series will be its last.

The drama on our screens wasn’t just on the free-to-air networks either. This year Foxtel came up with more of Love My Way starring Claudia Karvan, new series Dangerous, the adults-only drama Satisfaction and the award winning telemovie The King: The Graham Kennedy Story (pictured) starring Stephen Curry.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/the-year-that-was-6-drama-makes-a-comeback.html

Christmas cheer from SBS! (1983)

More cheesy celebrity smiles at Christmas! Christmas usually brings out the inevitable Santa costumes – and in 1983, Network 0/28 host Basia Bonkowski was no exception, accompanied by newsreader George Donikian who instead opted for the traditional Greek costume.

Source: TV Week, 24 December 1983

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/christmas-cheer-from-sbs-1983.html

The Year That Was… #5: The dawn of HD

New Year’s Day 2007 marked a change to Australia’s digital television landscape. From that day on, commercial stations were permitted to open a dedicated high-definition (HD) channel with content separate to the analogue or standard-definition channels (or the core channels as ACMA identifies them)

Didn’t hear about it? You weren’t alone. We all thought the networks continued through the year as if it was still 2006 as not a word was uttered about this partial lifting of multi-channel restriction on commercial stations. (ABC and SBS have been allowed to offer multi-channelling since digital TV started in 2001)

Then, on 14 September, out of the blue comes an announcement from Network Ten that after months of planning, they are going to launch their ‘break-out’ high-definition channel TenHD in December.

The new channel would offer around 50 hours per week of exclusive content not available on the core channels. Programming would include time-shifted content such as delayed broadcasts of Ten News, and would also include movies, sci-fi, documentaries and extensions of existing Ten programs such as Australian Idol.

The announcement from Ten seemed to spark some interest among its rivals, as only a day after their announcement the Seven Network said they will also be launching a separate high-definition channel, also to launch in December. However while Ten was able to spell out its program strategy and station identification for TenHD, Seven was only able to offer a vague statement as to its HD offering. There was no channel identification and no indication of programming. It looked as if Seven had been caught on the hop by Ten, and perhaps tried to ‘spoil’ Ten’s announcement with a rushed press release to state its intentions.

Then the Nine Network got involved with parent company PBL Media boss Ian Law making a statement to the press that Nine will be beating both Seven and Ten with their own HD channel to launch in November. No suggestion of programming other than a vague statement that it will be a mix of high-definition and standard-definition (something which defies the rules set out by ACMA), and nothing else to give away – not even a name of the channel (though 9HD seems a safe bet).

Also an interesting announcement by Mr Law given that Nine is regarded as being disadvantaged in the HD arena by not having the infrastructure in place to support it, as opposed to the more modern facilities operated by Seven and Ten. While Nine’s previous owner, the late Kerry Packer was happy to spend millions on hiring celebrities and buying content for his network, he was not known to show the same generosity in some of his stations’ infrastructure. One Nine staffer was quoted as describing some of Nine’s equipment as being archaic and that it is a pure miracle that Nine gets some of its stories to air in time. How Nine was going to get a functional HD channel on the air by November would certainly have been interesting – but Law was quoted in the same press article that Nine had been planning their HD channel in ‘top secret’.

Can you see a trend happening here?

Once all that initial chest-beating was out of the way, there wasn’t much else made public about these much-flaunted HD channels although Ten had started airing some well-made station promos to get the message out about TenHD – another sign that Ten was certainly more progressed than Nine and Seven appeared to be.


But then a month later, viewers of Seven’s high-definition channel noticed a different program being broadcast as opposed to their core channels. What was this about? Is this their new channel? As it turned out, yes, it was 7HD – but don’t worry about any pre-launch announcement or promotion, just put out a press release the next day to make the statement that Seven was now the first to launch their HD channel. But once they cut through the spin, viewers realised not to get too excited as 7HD was only offering two hours of late-night programming a night for the time being and still no firm indication as to the channel’s intentions. A case of rushing to air just so they could claim to be ‘first’? Perhaps.

But it’s not always a matter of who is first to launch – but rather who is best to launch, and it still appeared that Ten was going to lead even though still only snippets of information was being released to the public, but Ten was not going to be stirred up by Seven’s catch-up attempts and big statements.

Then November came and went – and there was no sign of Nine’s ‘top secret’ HD channel until new CEO David Gyngell told the press that Nine’s new HD channel would now not launch until March 2008, and would not be treated as a separate channel – as Seven and Ten were promoting theirs – but rather just an enhancement of their mainstream channel, although all three networks had been doing that anyway in providing an HD simulcast of many standard-definition programs – so Nine’s intentions were still not totally clear but at least being upfront enough to they are not going to fall for the ego trip that Seven seems to have taken.

When Ten announced that TenHD would launch on Sunday 16 December, you’d never guess what happened next – Seven decided to beat them to it by launching their full-scale 7HD channel a week earlier, prompting another proud press release. Seven was first yet again, but take a glance at 7HD’s ‘full’ line-up and a lot of its content appeared to be re-runs of programs from their archives, and not all of it was even produced in HD, another sign that the channel was rushed together just to beat any launch date that Ten had offered in advance.

TenHD did finally launch, as announced, on 16 December with some interesting programming initiatives such as a dedicated sci-fi night, and some time-shifted content as promised although this is so far limited to only a 30-minute ‘shift’ for the 5.00pm news, and the US daytime soap The Bold And The Beautiful. More sport is expected in the new year and when ratings return in February one hopes that there will be more of their promised 50 hours a week of exclusive content, and more time-shifted content.

Despite 7HD’s initial schedule perhaps being underwhelming, there is some potential for innovation with Seven planning some original content for 7HD such as new talk shows from Deal Or No Deal host Andrew O’Keefe, and from the producer of Sunrise, Adam Boland. The promise of original content specifically for HD shows that perhaps underneath all the bravado, there is a genuine opportunity for HD to experiment a little with formats that would perhaps never see the light of day on mainstream television which in turn may see some innovation filter through to the mainstream channels – and it is one aspect that Ten has possibly ignored with TenHD.

Thanks for MoeVideos, identsdotTV and galoresoftware for the YouTube clips.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/the-year-that-was-5-the-dawn-of-hd.html

The Year That Was… #4: Lots of laughs in ’07

Australians love their comedy on TV, but in the last couple of years, apart from a few stand out successes like Spicks & Specks and Thank God You’re Here, there wasn’t a great deal to laugh about.

Then 2007 came along and the tide was turning. ABC‘s The Chaser’s War On Everything was plucked from last year’s late-night timeslot to take The Glass House‘s spot on Wednesday nights, and virtually doubled its audience as a result of the change. Various stunts of the Chaser team (pictured) inspired many headlines and a lot of outrage – whether it be the team infiltrating the iron-clad security of the APEC Summit in Sydney, making crude remarks about deceased personalities or gate-crashing the offices of Today Tonight, a program that was the subject of much derision by the team.

Also on ABC this year was another comedy hit – Summer Heights High. This long-awaited follow-up from Chris Lilley, who gave us the mockumentary styled series We Can Be Heroes in 2005, received plenty of mixed reaction and also its fair share of headlines. Parents and teachers were outraged when school children were now mocking the crude phrases of troubled student Jonah. Similar outrage was also felt when one of the show’s central storylines, the death of a student from a drug overdose, was seen to mirror that of a similar real-life case where the victim happened to have the same first name as the fictional character depicted. In that case it was found to be an unfortunate coincidence as the series had been written and produced before the real-life incident occurred.

At the same time, Summer Heights High also received its share of accolades as Lilley, who wrote the series and performed the three very different key roles – private schoolgirl Ja’mie King (pictured), self-obsessed drama teacher Mr G, and student Jonah – very aptly covered various issues found in today’s schools such as drugs, bullying, racism, violence, disability and homophobia.

Following on from Summer Heights High was The Librarians – a title that doesn’t inspire much excitement but instead showed that inside a library is a pit of sexual tension, jealousy, bitchiness and bigotry in the lead up to the biggest event in the suburban library calendar, Book Week.

But possibly the biggest comedy event to hit Australian TV this year was the comeback of those foxy ladies, Kath & Kim. It was thought to be an April Fool’s Day gag when on 1 April, the Seven Network announced it had shelled out $3 million to drag the popular pair across from ABC where they’d presented three top-rating series and a telemovie. It was also ironic in that Seven is where the characters were formed in the first place, as characters in the sketch comedies Big Girl’s Blouse (1994) and Something Stupid (1998).

Success in the transition from ABC to commercial TV isn’t always a given, it has been tried before by others with mixed results, but Seven’s debut of series four of Kath & Kim on 19 August attracted over 2.5 million viewers in the capital cities and the series had a series average of 2.128 million – the highest of any TV series all year.

Network Ten presented a third series of Thank God You’re Here, providing more unpredictable performances from actors thrown into scenarios without the safety of a script. A creation of Working Dog Productions, Thank God You’re Here was the second most watched series of 2007 with 1.86 million viewers. The success of the format in Australia has seen it franchised around the world although it did stumble in the US after its initial six-week run when it was shown on NBC, currently the fourth-ranked commercial network.

Despite the format’s continued success in Australia, there is still uncertainty as to whether it will be back in 2008 although it looks like the rival Nine Network could be stringing together a similar concept in a bid to regain its ratings dominance. Nine will hope that the new show gives it something to laugh about because 2007 was a year they’d probably like to forget.

Nine’s ratings failings this year were not helped by Mick Molloy‘s The Nation which aimed to put a humorous spin on the week’s events – a concept not entirely new to viewers familiar with similar programs such as The Panel. The gamble on Molloy (pictured) was puzzling, given that his last venture at the Nine Network was the ill-fated Mick Molloy Show which set new benchmarks for questionable taste, and it would appear that viewers hadn’t quite forgiven him enough to give The Nation a go.

Nine’s other new comic venture this year was nothing really new at all – Surprise Surprise Gotcha was a thinly-veiled attempt to repackage a series that it had made almost a decade ago, complete with segments simply cut-and-pasted from the original version. Nine also followed on from Surprise Surprise Gotcha with another cheap format, Commercial Breakdown, with former AFL footballer Dermot Brereton presenting packages of funny or quirky commercials. Again, a format that had been done plenty of times before.

Although ABC had good results this year from Spicks & Specks and The Chaser’s War On Everything, they had less success with The Sideshow, a show loosely modelled on the broadcaster’s former hit The Big Gig. Launching in ratings graveyard of Saturday nights, The Sideshow was always going to struggle to find an audience and the 7.30 timeslot was at odds with presenting the more risque humour better suited to a later timeslot. Then ABC did shift the program to 9.30 but perhaps by then the damage was done, and it was cancelled shortly after.

Finally, over to SBS who delivered their own humorous take on the news with Newstopia, a creation of comedian and radio host Shaun Micallef (pictured), though was said to be a local take on the US series The Daily Show. SBS also aired a sixth series of urban comedy Pizza.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/the-year-that-was-4-lots-of-laughs-in-07.html

TV Week’s Strictly Christmas (1992)

The hit Australian movie of 1992 was Strictly Ballroom – so TV Week‘s celebrity Christmas issue that year was titled Strictly Christmas.

Gathered for the annual celebrity Christmas photo shoot was Steven Jacobs (All Together Now, and these days on Today), Bruce Roberts (Home And Away), Gia Carides from Strictly Ballroom and also in the ABC series Police Rescue, Simon Denny (E Street) before his transformation to US star Simon Baker – and of course, that ‘little fat kid’ from Hey Dad!Matthew Krok.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/tv-weeks-strictly-christmas-1992.html

An unlikely New Year’s tradition

Television often gives us quirky traditions that become a part of popular culture – and SBS is guilty of probably the two quirkiest on Australian TV – the Eurovision Song Contest in May, and every New Year’s Eve it presents Dinner For One.

Dinner For One was a comedy sketch regularly performed in British music halls since the 1920s and in the early 1960s a German TV producer caught a performance in the UK and decided to adapt the performance for a one-off TV special back home. The special, produced in black-and-white, was made in 1963 starring actors Freddie Frinton and May Warden – and is spoken entirely in English.

The sketch is based around an elderly woman Miss Sophie (Warden) hosting a dinner for her 90th birthday. Unfortunately Miss Sophie has outlived all of her male admirers, so it is up to her butler (Frinton) to impersonate each one at the dinner table – and on the insistence of Miss Sophie, the butler drinks a toast at every course and progressively becoming more drunk each time.

The program was not initially of much significance but when a local network NDR decided to slot it in for a New Year’s Eve screening in the early ’70s it became something of a favourite with Germans and consequently would appear on German TV every New Year’s Eve, receiving massive audience figures every year. Catchphrases from the program have become a regular part of the language in Germany.

Despite the program being made in English and being known across much of Europe (for instance, in Norway it is a long-running pre-Christmas tradition, shown on 23 December), it is virtually unknown in the English-speaking world – except for Australia where the multicultural SBS added the sketch to its own New Year’s Eve schedule in the late 1980s and has appeared every year since then.

Dinner For One. New Year’s Eve, Monday 31 December, 8.00pm, SBS.
Source: Dinner For One

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/an-unlikely-new-years-tradition.html

The Year That Was… #3: Telling it how it really is…

For over thirty years, Mal Walden has been a journalist and news presenter on Melbourne television – so he is perhaps justified to speak his mind when something just isn’t right:

… referring to an earlier story in the news bulletin about former air hostess Lisa Robertson doing a sexy photo shoot for mens magazine Zoo, after being accused of having sex with actor Ralph Fiennes on a flight from Australia to India.

Mal’s on-air swipe appeared on 10 April.

Thanks to bigdan for posting the clip to YouTube

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/the-year-that-was-3-telling-it-how-it-really-is.html

Merry Christmas from QTQ9! (1967)

Brisbane QTQ9‘s Christmas wishes to TV Week readers in 1967. The angel at the top of the tree is QTQ9 presenter Annette Allison. Children’s presenter ‘Captain Jim’ (Jim Iliffe) is left on the middle row, and newsreaders Don Seccombe (centre) and Brian Cahill (right) on the bottom row.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2007/12/merry-christmas-from-qtq9-1967.html