TV HISTORY

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Peter Harries says "activity oh it was Hollywood it really was"

Simon Reeve says "there's a real history of good TV making in Perth and people who understand the industry" This year Australian Television celebrates 50 years on air - In Perth that birthday is still a couple of years away...

This is the very spot where television in Western Australia began, studio? Here at Channel Seven, the date was October 16 1959 .

"We had a shop full of people all the kids sitting on the floor and those that couldn't fit in were standing outside and looking in the widow", remember Peter Harries? Many of you will - the younger crew probably won't but let's just say he was big. These days it's Doctor Peter Harries - he's just finished a PHD on the history of Commercial Television in Perth between 1958 and 1990. Who better to help us compile Perth TV's top ten moments and favourite memories. "There was a children's show every afternoon, women's shows with live audiences, quizzes, tonight shows every facet of television which we still have today that mainly comes from the eastern states was made here"

Your Say

Do you have a top TV moment? Graeme and the crew at Perth's Today Tonight would like to know.





When Television began it was a mainly American affair, leave it to beaver and gunsmoke... but it soon found a distinctly Australian flavour. And one Australian bloke kicks off our countdown at number 10, Rolf Harris with Jake the peg.

Peter Harries says "it was ground breaking the fact that an Australian who spoke like an Australian could actually be an accepted entertainer" The entertainer was Rolf Harris - he began his television career here at channel seven Perth ... it was simple fun with an octopus called Oliver. Children's television has played a big part in the lives of W.A Kids. The Mickey Mouse club, Fat Cat and Percy and a Christmas parade that thousands still flock to today -

Number Nine on our list is dedicated to kids TV, see if you recognise this face from 24 years ago, "a big hi to mums dad boys and girls everywhere welcome to the telecast of the 1982 Christmas pageant" These days you'll see the Christmas pageant at night and you'll see Simon Reeve in the morning - as newsreader on Sunrise. "Back then the Christmas pageant was a big deal, I remember going to it, even as a young kid and so to be commentating for the Christmas pageant was HUUGE, you know"

Just as huge on Perth television was Simon's father, ABC newsreader Earl Reeve.

Simon Reeve says "certainly each night I remember watching him on television and initially wondering why he couldn't wave back at me when I was 5 or 6 years old or what ever". News has been a huge part of Perth's television - in 1968 a news event shook the people of W.A.. Literally - the Meckering earthquake comes in at number 8

Registering 6.9 on the Richter scale the earthquake destroyed the wheat belt town. The people of Perth were able to watch the events at home and overseas unfold in their lounge rooms - The people of Perth watched as a two year old boy was rescued after being stuck for two days in a bore hole. and saw a live manhunt for a crazed killer at lose on the streets of Perth "in the afternoons 7's head reporter bob cribb an Colin Gorry who was the audio man they'd just got an outside broadcast vehicle which was only one camera and it was only line of sight from where you were back to the station couldn't record anything buy of course bob went up there and there's these shots of all these people this was a bit later on cribb said police want people to come and help find the mad dog killer"

Overseas another killer stunned the world with the assassination of U.S president John F Kennedy. And further afield still, one small step for man a giant leap for television. But as remarkable as it was there was something missing - In 1975 that all changed. The birth of Colour TV is number 7 "you'll be able to see blue skies and green grass and the colours that make up the world colour television that was really sensational even the blarzay people who had got used to things happening all the time"

Just four years after the world of colour came to town - the colour of the world came to Perth . In 1979 the Miss Universe pageant was beamed live to a global audience from the Perth entertainment centre... its number 6. Miss Venezuela was crowned the most beautiful women in the world - but just seconds after the broadcast finished the stage came crashing down... something else crashing down the same year focused the world's attention on W.A. Number 5 is the firey return to earth of Skylab.

Next on the list is a star who shone brighter than Skylab - a moment in Perth 's television history few will forget and it happened right here

Over the years Telethon's welcomed so many stars, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and legends like Dr Christian Barnard - but no captivated Perth quite like Sammy Davis Junior. Peter harries says "he cam out and he sang and he danced and he sang some more super superb great pity he's gone to that great stage in the sky"

Coming in at number 3 on our list was someone who almost went to the great yacht race in the sky - who can forget the images of rescued sailor Tony Bullimore

Peter Harries says "the thought of a man being trapped in a boat way down in the southern ocean causes people a lot of constanation and people being voyeuristic as they are" When it comes to watching - there's nothing west Australian's love more than to watch their team win and on September 26 1992 - there was no sweeter victory - the eagles premiership comes in at number 2. It was another great win that tops our list - it didn't happen in Perth but it might as well have - number one on our list turned men at work's " down under" into our unofficial national anthem, bob hawke called bosses bums and Bondy became a hero, for a while - it was 1983 and the aussies had done the unthinkable. "Just before breakfast time I think old bob hawke sitting there down at the yacht club with the jacket on a distinctive jacket I don't know what it was saying that everybody should have the day off I won't use the rude word that he used to describe employers that morning"

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