We Are Family: Young Talent Time, 1979

We Are Family: Young Talent Time, 1979
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd
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The 1979 Young Talent Time team perform ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge.

Featuring Nicole Cooper (1976–81), Johnny Bowles (1977–81), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Karen Knowles (1975–80) and Bobby Driessen (1979–83). ‘Tiny’ Tina Arena (1977–83), who performs the lead vocals, stands out with her different costume. 

Sister Sledge’s hit song, composed by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, is an obvious choice for the family show. This is one of the many times the team performed it over its 18 years on air. 

In an interview in 2021 host Johnny Young said ‘The kids were with the show for 6 or 7 years, so it was a family – a group of people having an adventure together’.

That sense of family fun is on display here. The casual costumes, emblazoned with each team member’s name, along with some very 1970s choreography, transports viewers back in time.

It is easy to imagine fans dancing around their living rooms, emulating their favourite performers. 

Taken out of context, it is confusing that the set behind them – including sand, a boat, beach umbrella, surfboard and tent – bears no relation to the theme or content of the song. The episode has a summer theme and with minimal budget for sets the same backdrop is used throughout the episode – a convention that regular viewers would have been familiar with. 

This excerpt comes from episode 79/47B, which was broadcast on 8 December 1979.

Notes by Beth Taylor