Graham Kennedy Coast to Coast - highlights
The clip includes highlights from Graham Kennedy’s popular five-night-a-week evening news show, Coast to Coast. Characterised by TV writer Barbara Hooks as 'Kennedy offer[ing] news leavened with wit' (The Age, 25 April 1988, p 12), the program was created by the Nine Network to combat the success of Seven’s late night news show, Newsworld, hosted by Clive Robertson.
Titled Graham Kennedy’s News Show in its first year, Graham selected Nine News sports journalist and presenter, Ken Sutcliffe as his first co-host. In the show’s second year Nine Network TV journalist, George Mangos joined Kennedy at the Coast to Coast news desk.
Part of the success of the show was Graham’s ability to bring his co-hosts to laughter and tears with his delivery and impeccable timing. In the clip Graham explains that the press have incorrectly stated that the series was coming to an end because he had resigned, rather than the simple fact that he was at the end of his contract. During the clip director Randall Churchill comically distorts the picture using a video special effects generator, the ADO (Ampex Digital Optics). Graham uses the name 'Sir Frank' about one of the distortions, a reference to Sir Frank Packer, Australia’s then media mogul and owner of the Nine Network.
Success for the series came when the pre-recorded show was performed before a studio audience, replicating his days on IMT and the Graham Kennedy Show. In addition the writers found the solution for presenting difficult news items on the show, employing news reader George Donikian to read the news highlights at the beginning of the program (Graeme Blundell, King: The Life and Times of Graham Kennedy, 2003, p 375). The program also included regular guest and video reviewer and long-term friend, Jim Murphy.
Notes by Helen Tully