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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.