The studios of GTV9 Richmond have been the home to some pretty special TV since it was converted from a piano factory in 1956 to be the home of Channel 9. Lights, Camera, Party – Television City Celebrates was a justifiably celebratory & nostalgic look at some of the amazing work that has come out of 22 Bendigo St Richmond. It’s one hell of a roll call (in no specific order & not comprehensive by any means):

  • Sale of the Century
  • The Paul Hogan Show
  • A Current Affair
  • The Mick Molloy Show
  • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
  • The AFL Footy Show
  • Hey Hey It’s Saturday
  • Nine News Melbourne
  • Chances
  • The Price Is Right
  • The Sullivans
  • The Don Lane Show
  • Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
  • Keynotes
  • Graham Kennedy & In Melbourne Tonight

Not too shabby at all (well, for most of the time). The special, hosted by Eddie McGuire & Bert Newton, had an amazing guest list honouring some of those who’ve gone before and remain currently stars within the Ch9 stable. A stable that, with the passing of Packer ownership, has changed decidedly.

A lot of the guests attending/featured have seen remarkable changes in television within their careers – black & white broadcasting; a move to colour; network ownership; changes in network ownership; Standard Def/High Def television; Digital multi-channelling. The move from Richmond to Docklands was necessary due to the detiorating state of the property & the high upkeep therein, and while we can lament the rich history of the property it really was what happened inside the buildings that made it special. If the money continues to be invested by the Nine Network then the new home will deliver just as many memories in the years to come.

The special was fun, but almost ARIAs bad: Restrained anger from Ernie Sigley; An interrupting Bert; Sam Newman’s penis; Jo Hall’s hair; Crossing to the other side of a studio for a hello; Stuart Wagstaff’s “old age sucks” message; the back slapping; a wooden Eddie; vapid smiles from vacuous starlets sitting in the background of many a shot. All it needed was a slurring conversation with a tired & emotional anyone (but better if it had been Molly, but Baby John Burgess was close) and we’d have had a lay down mozaire. Televisual navel gazing at it’s finest, and a job done for whoever was preparing the Ch9 Christmas tape (sans the really rudey nudey or sweary bits).

Tragedies aside, some of the highlights packages were a great insight into what made Channel 9 worthy of the tag being “Still the One” in times past. Of all the stars – ALL of them – none shone brighter than Graham Kennedy. Appallingly the package they offered for him was so terribly small & missing so many great moments. I was going to show it here, but it doesn’t do him justice by any stretch. Instead – Kids show highlights (and some of these are pretty funny considering, including the previously only twice-aired ad for What’s Up Doc featuring Sophie Lee)…

Will Docklands deliver the same number of hit shows (and as many misses)? Stay tuned, we’ll find out soon enough…


Image/Video sources – Channel 9.