I was appointed publicity director in the early 1970s. Crawfords was at its height.
Simon Wincer, Kevin Dobson directing, writers such as Everette de Roche,
Tom Hegarty, Luis Bayonas on staff. In fact there were 40 contract writers on
staff, a record in the industry then and now. We were filming nine hours a week.
Ryan with Rod Mullinar and Pamela Stephenson (now married to comic Billy Connolly). Homicide, Division Four, The Box, Matlock, Last of the Australians, with the beloved Rosie Sturgess and Alwyn Kurts..good story in here coming up.
Hector had his Sound of Music and of course the live show, Music for the People. A few moments stand out.
One day visiting wardrobe I noticed one of the girls sewing a label on a pair of Matlock trousers. "Why on earth do you need to do that, who will see it?" I asked. Answer: Michael Pate...He insists he is size X but he is in fact larger, i.e. size X-plus..so we just swap the label.
On a not so light note Last of the Australians was pretty well killed off by the
Hare Krishna's. The show featured mother, father and son.
Well into the season and rating well, the son, whose name now escapes me joined the Hare Krishna's. They took over his management and when it came time to sign up for the second series, they set down their demands. They were impossible for Hector to meet.
Anne Warren who holds all the secrets of Crawfords, may remember the day his parents came in and begged Hector to help draw their son away from the religious group. No avail...no contract..no lead actor. He was replaced but it is never the same..viewers are hardly fooled when they turn on their set and there is a stranger.
Hector did not often get upset, but I do recall on this occasion he was not a happy chappy.
I had joined Crawfords from the ABC tv publication TV Times...Packer bought it out
years later and it vanished..TV Week was the opposition.
David Parker was our photographer.
When I went across to Crawfords I was not happy with the set up which was a house photographer taking stock pics which were sent out to all publications. Having been a recipient at TV Times I knew these just went into the files. So David Parker came on board as a contract freelancer and his brief was to take the pics each publication wants.
That meant nude shots for Truth newspaper...
Family shots for W.Weekly and Wo.Day and cover shots for TV Week and TV Times.
So that is how we started out with colour shots of the stars of each of our productions...
They went into the foyer at Abbotsford, after of course they had graced a magazine cover.
There was a certain Homicide actor who refused to smile...Denis G.. he told me that he was worried his pic would make a cover and someone would black out a tooth. Finally, after much inducement, David Parker managed to get a smiling close up, cover shot of Denis.
Fred Robertson, editor TV Times ran same. I knew it was coming and alerted Loretta Crawford (casting) and the Homicide production team and when the Crawford mags were delivered...we blacked out a tooth on every cover and spread them around the building.
Crawford's were the best days of my working life. Loved them..
Since then moved around newspapers..mainly News Ltd..moved to Queensland.
Went into politics..first working for a Federal Member and then more recently for myself as a local government elected rep. on the Sunshine Coast. Lost last election by three preference votes..so went north to work for Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch...a former croc farmer who literally taught Steve Irwin from Aust. Zoo everything he does or doesn't know.
Married twice...See Gwenda Marsh (Monkey Gully Road, Mansfield) when I get down to Victoria.
Saw Everette de Roche for a bit when he was writing for Liberty Films in Brisbane. Chris Smith that was - The Box (she was close to Mark deFries at times) is now Chris Campbell and living in Darwin..saw her when she was in Brisbane.
Currently on the Caloundra Heritage Advisory Board and writing again...mostly travel as I still scuba dive..mainly Solomon Islands..Gizo..so if anyone wants to know about that site I have the latest and local information.
Divorced - short hair, blonde still thanks to Loreal 8.3.
Have the odd shot of Restalyne around the lips to get rid of the old cigarette smokers gutters.. stopped smoking..got fit...five years ago.
Re The Box...I am sure there are former crew out there who can tell the story of Ken James, the
speed boat, the safety rails being cut off Hectors house boat on Eildon Weir.
I was at the Abbotsford end and I know it wasn't pretty. Basically if I recall, a certain director assured Hector that if he handed over his houseboat as a prop, there would be no damage whatsover... Ken James was driving the speed boat and that should have been a message...I cannot quite remember if Hector's houseboat was just damaged or if it actually sank. Others will remember.
If anyone suggests there is anything defamatory in the statement here today, I point out all names, places, times are fictional.
3rd Dec. 2005