20 Years of TV - the early days of In Melbourne Tonight

20 Years of TV - the early days of In Melbourne Tonight
Nine Network
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In these clips from Nine’s TV anniversary special, host Bert Newton chats with former Nine Network personality and 'King of Television’ Graham Kennedy about his start in television in 1957. Graham's invitation to host GTV9's five-nights-a-week variety show, In Melbourne Tonight (IMT), came via his appearance with other 3UZ radio personalities on Australia’s first radio and TV simulcast for the Red Cross appeal.

The second clip shows the opening of an early edition of IMT. Graham references, ‘Corkey’ (Geoff Corke), who joined the show not long after its commencement. Corkey also came from a radio background. Graham tells Bert Newtown that IMT initially had no scriptwriters, relying on the talent’s ability to ad lib. While the show maintained the appearance of spontaneity over the years, in reality it was well planned and rehearsed. The freshness of IMT resulted from Graham’s unique delivery and his impeccable timing, plus the occasional diversions from the script. As English comedian and IMT actor Johnny Ladd told writer-actor Graeme Blundell, ‘we had the same script that Graham had but sometimes things varied a bit'.