Posts by Chris Bourn

Great auditions – act two

 Auditioning acts for Television had a success rate of about 300 to 1. Not every session could produce a Shona Laing or Bulldogs All Star Goodtime Band, and although my musical director and I treated everyone with courtesy, our patience was pretty stretched  by day’s or week’s end!

However, occasionally an act walked through the door, and though  unsuccessful as television talent, was never forgotten.

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Great auditions

For some years Chris travelled the country looking for new talent to make their debut on Television. New Zealand has a history of talent quests at the beach over summer or in local halls up and down the country raising funds for all sorts of projects. Radio and television had early versions called “Have a Shot” often compered by John Maybury.  But he remembers a few auditions which returned huge rewards.  

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TVNZ’s 60th – sort of…

Ten years ago TVNZ ‘celebrated’ its first 50 years.

A Light Entertainment programme  was hosted by Jason Gunn in front of an Auckland rent-a-crowd  at  the the Casino Theatre, and long term Television staff were incensed at what they saw.

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COVID-19 and The Meaning of Life

Recent isolation, and advancing years has led me to reflect on “THE MEANING OF LIFE?” and “WHAT HAVE I LEARNED ABOUT LIVING”?

As the famous song says,”What’s it all about Alfie”?

(In the interests of cordial marital relations it may not be a good idea to show your wife or partner this list!!!!)

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Remember radio  when it was – King?  

Before television, families gathered each night around the essential piece of lounge furniture – a stylish floor level radio console (perhaps branded Atwater Kent or Gulbransen) – or faced the ornate mantle model (Philco), waiting with expectation for the crackling  radio valves to warm up.

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Kiwi TV as we once knew it … Part three

Watching television was now beginning to be ingrained in the 60’s household social routine not entirely due to the magnetism of Ena Sharples and the Coronation Street’s Rover’s Return!

Waiting in the wings was Networking, the move of News to Auckland,  the advent of colour and the famous Philips K9 TV set and TV2’s first Telethon.

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Kiwi TV as we once knew it… Part two

Credit: ‘New Zealand Television – the first 25 years’, by Robert Boyd-Bell

The early television days were staffed by competent, experienced staff with mainly radio experience coping with second hand BBC equipment in small make shift studios with tape, lighting and telecine (film) operators in cramped uncomfortable cupboards/offices. Staff like Barry Warner, Colin Harrison, Geoff Eady, Robyn Petrie, Ian Hill, Stuart Murray and Russ Lambert and Bob Smith. We owe them so much.

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