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Lynagh in Seven's play

Author: RACHEL BROWNE
Date: 08/07/1995
Words: 672
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: NEWS
Page: 134
FORMER Wallaby skipper Michael Lynagh is the latest sports star to make the transition from field to commentary box.

After announcing his retirement from rugby last week, Lynagh promptly signed a contract to join Channel 7 as a rugby union commentator.

Now he has his work cut out for him with the State Of The Union game to air today and the Bledisloe Cup telecasts on July 22 and 29.

Lynagh will be ably guided by Seven's commentary team, Gordon Bray, Chris Handy and Andy Raymond.

TEACHER'S PET

VETERAN performer Diane Craig has cornered the market in school administration. Most recently seen playing a tormented teacher at Home And Away's Summer Bay High School, the actress has joined Heartbreak High's Hartley High as the headmistress from hell.

Craig, wife of Garry MacDonald, is one of a number of new faces to join the fourth series of Heartbreak High, which went into production last week.

Co-executive producer Ben Gannon has not sold the new series to an Australian network, although the third series is being aired by Channel 10.

The fourth series of the drama was commissioned by the BBC in and other major European broadcasters which are airing the show. Heartbreak High has been sold to almost every country in Europe as well as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Indonesia.

UNDER WRAPS

THE producers of current affairs satire Frontline have achieved the seemingly impossible - finding a replacement for the late Bruno Lawrence for the new series of the show which goes to air on the ABC on July 24.

Lawrence, who died of lung cancer last month, put his stamp on the character of Frontline's morally-bankrupt executive producer.

Frontline Productions said a replacement for Lawrence had been found but they wanted to keep his identity under wraps until the media launch of the series on July 17.

TEN BOYCOTT

THE normally laid-back residents of the NSW North Coast are up in arms about regional channel Ten Northern NSW axing its local news service.

Grafton mayor Bruce Sahlqvist is leading a campaign to boycott Ten Northern NSW since the local news service was cancelled by the channel's Townsville-based owner, Telecasters Australia Ltd, in May.

"It's really got my back up and I said Channel 10 can go jump," Sahlqvist said.

"I am a fourth generation Graftonian and I have a lot of friends and relatives in this area so I have put the word out among them and they are simply not watching Channel 10 anymore.

"If Channel 10 isn't loyal to the North Coast, why should the North Coast be loyal to Channel 10?"

But Telecasters Australia Ltd chief executive officer David White said North Coast viewers were already serviced by two local commercial stations as well as the ABC and SBS, which is why he cut Ten Northern NSW's news service, replacing it with The Brady Bunch and Neighbours.

"The Brady Bunch and Neighbours are rating better than the news bulletin so it's unfortunate the mayor of Grafton has chosen to take this narrow-minded stance," White said.

SCORCHER

CHANNEL 7's top-rating drama series Fire has been burning up the airwaves in the UK, where it was sold to satellite operator SKY Television Network.

Fire, which aired on Seven earlier this year, has stayed in the list of UK satellite television's 10 most popular programs since its premiere in May.

The series, featuring Georgie Parker and Peter Phelps, has also been sold to Northern Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The second series of Fire will go into production in November but it is still not known whether Parker and Phelps will reprise their respective roles. "They are still negotiating with the producers," a Seven spokesman said.

AM HONOURS

YOU win some, you lose some. Eleven AM reporter Nancy Farley was thrilled to receive a letter informing her she'd won a Tiffany Award for the Best Money Market Report from the CNN Network in the US as part of its annual World Report Competition.

Channel 7 entered the 22-year-old reporter's story on alpaca farming in the contest and it was one of only seven reports worldwide to win the award.

The only problem was the CNN Centre in Atlanta posted the wrong trophy to Farley.

She posted it back to the US and is now awaiting her Tiffany Trophy with great anticipation.

Meanwhile, former Seven Nightly News reporter Emma Rossi, who has been travelling the world on an extended six-month holiday, has returned to Australia and joined Eleven AM.

It's a little known fact that Rossi's mother, Mary Rossi, was the first woman on Australian television and hosted her own show, Women's World, on the ABC for many years.

 
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