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The Sydney Morning Herald

New Today for Dalley

Author: Andrew Conway
Date: 01/02/1999
Words: 1061
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 2
CHANGES are afoot at Channel 9's weekend morning news program Today on Saturday, with Sunday reporter Helen Dalley taking over as anchor from next weekend.

Today on Saturday has been co-hosted by Richard Wilkins and Tara Brown, but both are returning to their respective shows: Wilkins to co-host the new weekday entertainment show, Woman's Day ET, with Brisbane Extra reporter Marie Patane, and Brown to concentrate on her role as a reporter on A Current Affair.

Nine has decided that Dalley, who anchors Sunday when Jim Waley is away on assignment and was fill-in presenter for the most recent ACA summer edition, is more than qualified to anchor Today on Saturday on her own. Her duties at Sunday will remain unchanged. Today on Saturday airs at 8am.

Yoga in the stars

FOXTEL is expanding its local production portfolio with two new short programs starting next month. The five-minute Astrology fX, hosted by Laiyee Leong, will air at 11.55am and 2.55pm on weekdays and at 2.55pm on weekends. The 10-minute Dynamic Yoga, hosted by Brad Warren, will air weekdays at 6.50am and 9.50am. Both shows will debut on the fX channel on Monday, March 1.

Warren, a cousin of McFeast comedian Mark Warren, has worked as a stuntman on movies starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and the legendary Jackie Chan. He's a health, fitness, yoga and martial arts guru, so no slacking if you're following the routines at home.

Astrology fX will be filmed at Foxtel's Sydney studios. Dynamic Yoga will be shot on location around Australia.

SBS's touchdown

THE great summer of sport continues unabated today with SBS screening the 1999 NFL Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. Former Wallaby-turned-newspaper-columnist, cable TV sports anchor and biographer Peter FitzSimons will host the live telecast at 10am, with a replay at 10.30 tonight. Nine has traditionally screened the event, which draws a worldwide TV audience of some 800 million viewers, but SBS now has the rights. Watch out for Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder headlining the half-time entertainment.

London calling

GOOD news for fans of the long-running British soap Eastenders with word that cable channel UKTV will screen first-run episodes of the London-based drama from Friday. The ABC originally aired the soap before pulling it, much to the chagrin of diehard fans, in 1991. UKTV will air the all-new episodes Monday to Friday at 6pm.

One more time

IT'S not often an academic delivering a late-night TV lecture can spark the public's imagination, but the ABC has had such a huge response to Canadian writer John Ralston Saul's recent address to the Australian Association of Environment Education that the network will repeat it tomorrow at 10.30pm.

Ralston Saul, the David Suzuki of environmental education, was keynote speaker at the Association's International Conference here last month and the ABC slotted his stirring address into the late-night schedule as a last-minute broadcast.

Whatever he said - mostly about the perils of global economic rationalisation and its effect on the environment - sparked an outburst of support from viewers, who flooded the ABC switchboard in Sydney and Melbourne with hundreds of calls.

No kidding

THE makers of Kidspeak, Seven's new Sunday night comedy (7pm) hosted by Andrew Daddo and Ernie Dingo, knew working with children could be a problem but no-one mentioned the parents.

Given that the show is based on amusing interviews with young children, the production team asked parents of kids at selected child-care centres to fill in a consent form.

All was going swimmingly, when in walked the parents to pick up their anklebiters. Big trouble. One parent was furious that his child had been filmed, saying he had not only refused consent but had expressly asked that his child not be included in the show.

The reason for all the fuss? The irate parent was a Nine executive who was adamant that no child of his would appear on a rival network. Ain't TV grand?

Bad news week

WHILE fans of the ABC's Lateline will be happy to see it return next Tuesday, there are whispers that sections of the news department are unhappy. Word is the department was promised a long-awaited national late-night news bulletin in place of Lateline, but managing director Brian Johns couldn't bite the bullet when it came to axing the current affairs show. One source said the mood among the upper echelons of the news department was "very angry" with the three-nights-a-week Lateline being described as a "protected species".

Affair to remember

PRESS the name Ben Fordham in your memory book because you'll probably be hearing a lot more of him in future. The Walkley Award-winning radio reporter, formerly with 2UE, has joined Nine's A Current Affair and is being tipped for big things.

Although Fordham (right) will start as a producer, his contract includes time as a reporter and it's in this role that the ambitious 22-year-old is set to shine. Industry sources say Fordham could even end up as anchor of ACA or a similar show in years to come. "His potential is enormous, he's definitely one to watch," said a TV insider.

ACA executive producer David Hurley says Fordham must learn the TV current affairs ropes before any on-camera work, but is delighted with the signing. "He certainly looks like he's got the goods," he said.

In three years as a 2UE reporter, Fordham and Justin Kelly won a joint Walkley for their Thredbo landslide coverage and Fordham was nominated for another Walkley for his coverage of the Parliament House union riot. For the past 10 months, he's been

a producer at Sky News and joins ACA next Monday.

Fordham is carrying on a family media tradition. Father John runs a management company, representing Mark Taylor, Ricky Stuart and John Laws, while uncle David is a Channel 7 sports commentator.

 
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