Eight children from the Young Talent Time team are pictured with Johnny Young in the centre. It is a studio shoot. Featured: Vanessa Windsor, Beven Addinsall, Greg Poynton, Vince Del Tito, Dannii Minogue, Karen Dunkerton, Katie Van Ree, Joey Perrone
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Young Talent Time

Young Talent Time 50th anniversary

'All My Loving...'

Young Talent Time is celebrating 50 years since its debut on 24 April 1971.

The variety show, which ran for more than 800 episodes, was an important part of many Australian childhoods with its enduring mix of music, dance, fun, friendship and family.

The team line-up changed over time, with 40 talented performers joining pop singer-songwriter and host Johnny Young over the show’s 18-year run.

The show kick-started many successful careers including Tina Arena, Dannii Minogue, Debra Byrne, Jamie Redfern, Jane Scali, Sally Boyden, Karen Knowles and Philip Gould.

The collection below captures key memories from the show, including first and last performances by team members, live shows, birthday specials, incredible costumes and rare footage. Relive the razzle dazzle!

With special thanks to Johnny Young, Dannii Minogue, Tina Arena, Beven Addinsall and Milton Hammon.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons.

Young Talent Time 50th anniversary
Courtesy:
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd. and Seven Network
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This video montage celebrates the 50th anniversary of Young Talent Time's first episode on 24 April 1971.

Seen together the short clip captures the variety show's high-energy brand of music, dance, fabulous costumes and family-orientated fun.

The broad range of popular songs that the talented youngsters perform gives an idea of the longevity of the show, which ran for 18 years.

The songs in this clip are, in order: 'Celebration', 'Neutron Dance', '1999', 'We Are Family', 'She Loves You', ‘Get Ready’, 'Physical', 'All You Need is Love' and ‘You're the One That I Want’.

The last song, 'All My Loving', was the show's signature number that the team and host Johnny Young sang at the end of every show.

Team members seen here, in order of appearance and starting with the photograph at the beginning of the children sitting around Johnny Young: Sally Boyden (1973–76), Debbie (now known as Debra) Byrne (1971–75), Philip Gould (1971–76), Trevor Hindmarch (1972–77), Derek Redfern (1973–76).

They are followed by Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988), Mark Stevens (1985–88), Vince Del Tito (now Deltito) (1983–88), Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987), Dannii Minogue (1982–88), Vanessa Windsor (1983–87), Natalie Miller (1985–88), Karen Dunkerton (1981–85), Joey Perrone (1980–84), Nicole Cooper (1976–81), Johnny Bowles (1977–81), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Karen Knowles (1975–80), Tina Arena (1977–83), Bobby Driessen (1979–83), Jamie Redfern (1971–72), Greg Mills (1971–75), Rod Kirkham (1971–73), Rikki Arnot (1987–88), Joey Dee (1987–88), Courtney Compagnino (1986–88), Juanita Coco (1987–88), Debbie Hancock (1975–78, 1979), Robert McCullough (1976–79), Vikki Broughton (1971–73), and Julie Ryles (1971–75).

Team members not featured in the clip are: Jane Scali (1971–76), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Jodie Loebert (1980–83), Michael Campbell (1981–83), Mark McCormack (1982–83), Greg Poynton (1984–88), Tim Nelson (1984–87), Jamie Churchill (1988), Johnnie Nuich (1988) and Keith Williams (1988, one of The New Generation team).

Notes by Beth Taylor

Stars of Young Talent Time
Courtesy:
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd. and Seven Network
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This compilation celebrates some Young Talent Time team fan favourites: Tina Arena, Dannii Minogue, Vince Deltito, Beven Addinsall, Debra Byrne, Jamie Redfern and Joey Perrone.

The clips are taken from the NFSA collection, which includes hundreds of episodes of the show, as well as still images and an oral history by the show's host and co-creator Johnny Young.

There is also a guest appearance by Kylie Minogue, who sings 'Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves' alongside her sister Dannii.

Longer clips of all of these performances can be found in the Young Talent Time curated collection.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Young Talent Team: rare footage, 1972
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Rare footage shows six members of the original Young Talent Time team singing a medley of songs, starting with an up-tempo version of the show’s signature tune ‘All My Loving’.  

It’s easy to see why Australia fell in love with these talented young people and their successors. Young Talent Time, with its winning mix of music, dance, fun and family atmosphere, went on to enjoy a staggering 18-year run from 1971 to 1988. 

The Beatles’ song ‘All My Loving’ plays an integral role in Young Talent Time with every episode since the very first one in April 1971 closing with a rendition by host Johnny Young and the cast. 

Young released his slower version of the Paul McCartney song in 1967 and it became his signature tune, making it a natural choice for the Young Talent Time theme. 

Rod Kirkham (1971–73) sings ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ which was written, composed, and originally performed by Ray Stevens.  

Vikki Broughton (1971–73) sings the Simon & Garfunkel classic ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’.

Philip Gould (1971–76) sings ‘Hooked on a Feeling’, a 1968 pop song written by Mark James. Originally performed by BJ Thomas, a later cover by Blue Swede reached No. 1 in the US charts in 1974. 

Rod Kirkham and Debbie (now known as Debra) Byrne (1971–75) sing ‘Jackson’, written by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber. The song is best known through two contrasting 1967 cover versions: a pop rendition by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, and a country version by Johnny Cash and June Carter. 

Debbie sings ‘I Don't Know How to Love Him’ from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Debbie won the Logie award for best teenage personality in 1974 and 75. 

Greg Mills (1971–75), who went on to work on the show as musical director, and Julie Ryles (1971–75) round out the team but don’t have any solo songs. 

Jane Scali and Jamie Redfern, who were also original team members, are not in the footage.

Variety show Young Talent Time was popular viewing for Australian kids and families in the 1970s and 80s. It ran from 1971 to 1988 and was hosted by musician Johnny Young and a changing team of young performers. 

This clip comes from Don’t Mourn Buzzy, a tribute concert held at Sydney’s State Theatre for comedian Buster Fiddess, who died in January 1972. The concert, hosted by Tony Barber, features Kamahl, Johnny Farnham and others.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Young Talent Team at Australia's Wonderland, 1988
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Special episodes like this one shot at Australia’s Wonderland in Sydney were popular with Young Talent Time fans. 

Team members featured include Juanita Coco (1987–88), Joey Dee (1987–88), Rikki Arnot (1987–88), Courtney Compagnino (1986–88), Jamie Churchill (1988) and Johnnie Nuich (1988). 

The opening number ‘Get Ready’, written by Smokey Robinson, was made famous by The Temptations. It had recently been covered by Australian singer Carol Hitchcock in a 1987 version produced by Stock Aitken Waterman in the UK.

This opening clip is effectively an advertisement for the fun park which opened in 1985 (and eventually ceased operation in 2004). 

Hordes of fans follow the team around as they go on rides including the Bush Beast roller coaster, Dastardly's Flying Circus, Boo Boo’s Balloon Race, Bounty’s Revenge pirate ship, the Zodiac ferris wheel, HMS Endeavour and Snowy River Rampage. 

The sound of screaming crowds on the soundtrack boosts the segment's excitement, and the colourful costumes and playful antics of the performers add to the cheeriness.

By this time, the show’s 18-year run was almost at an end. It is noticeable that there is no longer a wide age range among the singers, with the cast members looking a lot younger. 

This excerpt comes from episode 88/44 which was filmed in September 1988. The show’s final episode was broadcast on 23 December 1988. Young Talent Time was rebooted in 2012 but only ran for one series. 

This episode is also an advertisement for a spin-off called The New Generation which was filmed in Australia and screened in the US in 1988. 

The show’s cast, only seen briefly here, includes recent graduates Danielle (Dannii) Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88), Natalie Miller (1985–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Lorena Novoa (1984–88) and a new member, Keith Williams, from Los Angeles. The show ran for 13 episodes. 

Other special episodes of Young Talent Time include a live show at World Expo 88 in Brisbane and a concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Dress You Up by Dannii Minogue: Young Talent Time, 1986
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Danielle Minogue, now known as Dannii, joined the Young Talent team in 1982 after first appearing as a talent contestant in 1979 on her 8th birthday. She stayed with the show until 1988.  

Madonna was one of the world’s biggest recording artists of the 1980s, so she is a natural choice for Dannii to emulate here. ‘Dress You Up’ was written by Andrea LaRusso and Peggy Stanziale and comes from Madonna’s 1984 album Like A Virgin

Dannii’s hairstyle and costuming pays homage to Madonna’s iconic ‘Material Girl’ music video. In another nod to the clip, tuxedo-clad team members Vince Del Tito (1983–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88) and Mark Stevens (1985-88) play the role of back-up dancers.

Vince and Dannii perform a series of lifts in the bridge of the song highlighting the pair’s dancing chops. 

The multicamera shooting style and set design (including having her name written in lights) utilises conventions established in music videos and concert coverage.

The studio audience creates a live feel which compensates for Dannii miming her vocals over a pre-recorded vocal track. 

Like the Young Talent Time cover of Wham!’s ‘Edge of Heaven’, the original lyrics have been sanitised for a family audience.

For example, instead of ‘Feel the silky touch of my caresses / They will keep you looking so brand new’ Dannii sings ‘Feel the silky glow that love possesses / It will keep you looking so brand new’. The song is also half the length of Madonna’s original. 

This excerpt comes from episode 86/42 which was recorded on 13 October 1986. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Kylie and Dannii: Sisters are Doin' It for Themselves
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It is delightful to see sisters Kylie and Dannii Minogue perform a cover of ‘Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves’ on the variety show Young Talent Time in 1986. 

The original song was written and performed by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart as Eurythmics with guest vocals from Aretha Franklin in 1985.  

Kylie joined Neighbours the same year this was recorded and her career was taking off, although she’d been acting since she was just 8 years old with a role in The Sullivans

Dannii was a regular on Young Talent Time from 1982 to 1988 and has gone on to have a successful career in music and television. 

Young Talent Time was compulsory viewing for Australian kids in the 1970s and 80s. The series ran from 1971 to 1988 with musician-host Johnny Young and his team of young performers. This is episode 86/37 and was broadcast on 18 October 1986.  

This is a good example of the high production values the show was known for as well as the talent and professionalism it fostered. The song itself has become something of a modern feminist anthem which makes the 1980s glamour – big hair, miniskirts, high heels, mirror ball, pink set, pyrotechnics and sequins – seem a little incongruous.

Nevertheless, the Minogue sisters harmonise beautifully and it’s interesting to see how professional and polished the pair already were back then. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Tina Arena sings ABBA, Whitney Houston: Young Talent Time
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Tina Arena’s first appearance as a contestant on Young Talent Time in 1974 is part of the show’s folklore.

This is one of the many instances the footage of her as a nine-year-old singing ABBA’s ‘Ring Ring’ was broadcast, this time for a 15th birthday concert special in 1986. Her raw talent and confidence stands out today as it did then. 

Host Johnny Young’s introduction exemplifies the idea that any child with enough talent and hard work could be a member of the coveted Young Talent Team, which was an important part of the show’s appeal for its young audience. 

Showing footage of successful graduates like Tina during their subsequent appearances is a trope the show utilises throughout its impressive 18-year run to build a sense of family and tradition. 

Tina embarked on her solo career after graduating from the show in 1983, releasing her debut album Strong as Steel in 1988. Here, she sings the ballad ‘Saving All My Love for You’ which was written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin in 1978 and made famous by Whitney Houston in 1985.  

In this 1986 clip, Tina is still undergoing her metamorphosis from child performer into the global solo artist she is today, and her diva-like song choice and the overtly mature costuming and jewellery speak to this. 

The multicamera coverage and edit fades mimic any other live concert from the 1980s, giving the young audience a concert vibe. 

This excerpt comes from one of the show’s best-of compilations, episode 86/41, which was recorded on 13 October 1986.

The Young Talent Time team made an impressive 44 live programs each year. The other 10 weeks of the year they created a best-of summer series, like this episode, for the non-ratings period.  

Today Tina is one of Australia’s highest-selling artists, having sold over 10 million records worldwide. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 2011 she became the first Australian to be awarded a Knighthood of the French National Order of National Merit for her contribution to French culture. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2016.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Tina Arena's last show: Young Talent Time, 1983
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Cast member graduation shows are a fan favourite and here it is Tina Arena’s turn to say goodbye to the show she has called an ‘extraordinary apprenticeship’. 

When Tina joined the cast in 1977 the representation of people from migrant backgrounds on Australian television was extremely low, so her immense popularity with fans was a significant moment.

Tellingly however, producers from the show advised her to change her Italian first name from Filippina to Tina to make her more ‘relatable’. 

The genuine emotion of the segment shines through before Tina sings her farewell song ‘MacArthur Park’, which showcases her incredible vocal range.  

It is touching to see Dannii Minogue hand flowers to Tina and share a tender embrace because Tina was Dannii’s coach when she first started in 1982.

There is a lovely ‘live television moment’ while Johnny Young is paying tribute to her when you can hear a small child calling out in the audience.   

It is easy to see the lineage from variety shows like Young Talent Time to this century's reality music shows such as The Voice (2012–present), X Factor (2005, 2010–2016) and Australian Idol (2003–2009). Common ingredients include a stage set-up where the singer is surrounded by adoring fans and the live concert atmosphere created by pyrotechnics, lighting design and back-up dancers.  

Today Tina is one of Australia’s highest-selling artists, having sold over 10 million records worldwide. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 2011 she became the first Australian to be awarded a Knighthood of the French National Order of National Merit for her contribution to French culture. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2016.  

This excerpt is from episode 83/07.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Neutron Dance: Young Talent Time, 1986
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Host Johnny Young calls Young Talent Time ‘your big hour of the week’, which it was for the show’s numerous fans watching at home. 

As is traditional for the show, a child from the studio audience introduces Johnny Young. It’s a bit disturbing to see the large furry puppet shake the girl to give her a cue to speak – this wouldn’t happen today!

This is a strong example of the type of big show openers the show often featured. The sets, complete with a moving train, costumes and choreography are all impressive.  

Care has been taken to give each child a role in the scene. Vince Del Tito (now Deltito, 1983–88) and Mark Stevens (1985–88) play the leads, with back-up from Danielle (Dannii) Minogue (1982–88), Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988) and Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987). 

It is interesting to see how the various strengths of the kids are incorporated. Natalie Miller (1985–88) and Vanessa Windsor (1983–87) showcase their tap dancing skills, while Beven Addinsall (1983–88) performs an acrobatic leap.  

The younger team members Courtney Compagnino (1986–88), Tim Nelson (1984–87) and Greg Poynton (1984–88) have smaller bit parts. 

With all this colour, music and movement it is easy to see why the show remained a hit throughout its 18-year run.  

The song ‘Neutron Dance’, was a Top 10 hit for the Pointer Sisters. It was written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello and featured on the Beverly Hills Cop (USA, Martin Brest, 1984) soundtrack. 

This excerpt comes from episode 86/49 produced on 10 November 1986. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Bohemian Rhapsody: Young Talent Time, 1983
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Bobby Driessen (1979–83) leads the Young Talent Time team in a rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, written by Freddie Mercury.  

The higher production values in this segment make it stand out from the show’s usual pared-back set design.

Johnny Young recalls that the show’s budget and the large number of shows they did each year (up to 44) often meant they needed to borrow sets from other Network Ten shows, such as Neighbours. The costumes, as always, are a stand-out. 

Team members graduated from the show when they turned 16 years old and Bobby and Tina Arena (1977–83), who appears briefly, are almost ready to leave here.

The mix of ages means that different kids are suited to different songs, and it’s satisfying to see older performers like Bobby getting to sink their teeth into more demanding numbers like this one.

Bobby and Tina also sing ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from Grease in this clip

Other team members featured include Dannii Minogue (1982–88), Joey Perrone (1980–84), Karen Dunkerton (1981–85), Michael Campbell (1981–83), Jodie Loebert (1980–83), Vince Del Tito (1983–88) and Mark McCormack (1982–83). 

This excerpt comes from episode 83/01, which was a best-of episode. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

The Beatles medley: Young Talent Time, 1977
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This is a lovely example of the popular music medleys the variety show was known for.

It also highlights the show’s appeal to family members of all ages with a mix of contemporary music alongside classics from the 1960s by artists like The Beatles, The Supremes and Elvis Presley. 

Every episode of Young Talent Time ends with the cast singing ‘All My Loving’, so the music of The Beatles is part of the show’s DNA. 

The relatively low production values seen here – from simple costuming and choreography to basic set design – give the show a homespun charm. Nevertheless, the accompaniment from the Young Talent Time band is polished and the singing talent of the performers is obvious. 

The Beatles' songs featured are ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘She Loves You’, which are all credited to the prolific songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  

This is the 6th birthday episode. As was customary for these birthday shows, the cast is joined by special guest stars from the ‘Young Talent Time family’: Jamie Redfern (1971–72), Derek Redfern (1973–76), Philip Gould (1971–76), Jane Scali (1971–76), Sally Boyden (1973–76), Greg Mills (1971–75), Rod Kirkham (1971–73), Vikki Broughton (1971–73) and Trevor Hindmarch (1972–77). 

It is interesting to see ‘Tiny’ Tina Arena (1977–83) at the very beginning of her highly successful career here. She is the youngest member of the cast and has some trouble with the dance moves at the end of the song. 

The clip also features the rest of the 1977 cast: Karen Knowles (1975–80), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Debbie Hancock (1975–78, 1979), Robert McCullough (1976–79), Nicole Cooper (1976–81) and  Johnny Bowles (1977–81). 

The series ran from 1971 to 1988 with musician host Johnny Young and his team of young performers. This is episode 77/12 and was broadcast in June 1977 (hence the winter setting and wardrobe!).

Notes by Beth Taylor

Physical by Juanita Coco: Young Talent Time, 1988
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An important element of Young Talent Time was making sure audiences could identify with the team members, as well as looking up to them, and this behind-the-scenes segment featuring Juanita Coco is a good example.  

Juanita joined the show in 1987 when she was 11 years old and stayed until the program ended in 1988. Her parents and sister Belinda feature in the clip.

It is arresting to see the mountain of fan mail Juanita receives – proof of the show’s dedicated fanbase. 

After the behind-the-scenes clip Juanita sings ‘Physical’, a song written by Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick and made famous by Olivia Newton-John. 

Other team members featured include Danielle (Dannii) Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88), Joey Dee (1987–88), Rikki Arnot (1987–88), Natalie Miller (1985–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Courtney Compagnino (1986–88), Greg Poynton (1984–88) and Mark Stevens (1985–88). 

The set behind the gym props is a confusing jumble of lights, curtains and fake stone columns which does detract from the performance, however Juanita and the team perform well. 

Tragically, Juanita died in a car accident when she was 17 years old. 

This excerpt comes from episode 88/14 which was produced on 17 April 1988. This was the final year that the original Young Talent Time was produced. The last episode was broadcast on 23 December 1988. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

We Are Family: Young Talent Time, 1979
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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

Young Talent Time team: 1971–1984
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Young Talent Time frequently uses birthday shows as an excuse to feature successful graduates from the team. This excerpt comes from episode 87/16, recorded on 16 May 1987, to celebrate the show’s 16th birthday. 

Host Johnny Young introduces a montage of some of the most popular graduates, each one singing a different song.

Fans love to hear what the Young Talent Team get up to after they leave the show and host Johnny Young gives a smattering of details. 

There is nothing particularly slick about this montage but it is an efficient way of compiling a lot of information into a relatively short package.

This clip is engaging and achieves its aim of appealing to fans, both old and new. Switching from black-and-white to colour footage highlights the longevity of the show, which had been produced since 1971. 

Jamie Redfern (1971–72) sings ‘I’m Your Little Boy’ by Dutch wunderkind Heintje Simons. Jamie was part of the original cast of the show and went on to record four albums, win multiple accolades and tour with Liberace.  

Vikki Broughton (1971–73) and Rod Kirkham (1971–73) sing ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ by Boudleaux Bryant, made famous by the Everly Brothers.  

Philip Gould (1971–76) went on to star in musicals in Australia and abroad. Here he sings ‘Falling in Love Again', a 1971 hit for Ted Mulry. 

Logie award winner Debbie (Debra) Byrne (1971–75) sings ‘I Don't Know How To Love Him’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Debra Byrne went on to have a notable solo recording career and to play starring roles in film and TV and on stage in Cats and Les Misérables

Sally Boyden (1973–76) sings Judy Garland’s signature song ‘Over the Rainbow’, written by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg, which features famously in The Wizard of Oz (USA, Victor Fleming, 1939). In addition to singing, Sally went on to act and become a songwriter.  

Greg Mills (1971–75) became the show’s musical director. Here he sings Don McLean’s ‘La La Love You’. 

Singer and performer Jane Scali (1971–76) is also a founding member of the team. She has gone on to win multiple Mo Awards. Here she sings ‘Rock with You’ by Rod Temperton, which was a hit for Michael Jackson. 

Steven Zammit (1975–80) also sings ‘I’m Your Little Boy’.

Joey Perrone (1980–84), who still performs today, is singing ‘Mr Bass Man’ with Johnny Young, a signature song for Johnny Cymbal. 

Karen Knowles (1974–80) sings ‘Amazing Grace’. She also still performs today.

Tina Arena (1977–83) sings ABBA’s ‘Ring Ring’, written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson. Tina remains an international star, having released 12 studio albums to date in both English and French. 

Jodie Loebert (1980–83) sings ‘Edelweiss’ by Rogers and Hammerstein from the musical The Sound of Music, as featured on a Young Talent Time Christmas episode. 

Finally, Michael Campbell (1981–83) sings 'The Puppy Song' by Harry Nilsson.

Notes by Beth Taylor

All My Loving: Young Talent Time, 1979
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The Beatles’ song ‘All My Loving’ plays an integral role in Young Talent Time with every episode since the very first one in April 1971 closing with a rendition by host Johnny Young and the cast. This example is made unique by its outdoor setting in Melbourne.  

Young released his slower version of the Paul McCartney song in 1967 and it became his signature tune, making it a natural choice for the Young Talent Time theme.  

Eight years into its staggering 18-year run the coverage and staging of this clip follows the conventions established by the show, such as the cast swaying to the music and their formation around Johnny resembling a family portrait.

John Young says today that ‘All My Loving’ was an important part of the program because it ‘said we were a family’. 

Cast featured are Karen Knowles (1975–80), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Debbie Hancock (1975–79), Robert McCullough (1976–79), Nicole Cooper (1976–81), Johnny Bowles (1977–81), Tina Arena (1977–83) and Bobby Driessen (1979–83). 

Johnny Young had a string of pop hits during the mid-to-late 1960s including a No. 1 hit with 'Step Back' / 'Cara Lyn' (by Johnny Young and Kompany).

He also wrote hits for other artists; 'The Real Thing', recorded by Russell Morris, was named one of the Sounds of Australia by the NFSA in 2013.

This is episode 79/08. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Beven Addinsall: Young Talent Time, 1988
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Beven Addinsall joined the Young Talent Time team in 1983 and was with the show until 1988.  

The show regularly includes behind-the-scenes vignettes like this one illustrating the team members' interests and introducing their family and pets.

Designed to enhance the family feel of the show, it also encourages fans to choose their favourite team members to emulate and identify with. 

After seeing Beven at home with his dog, he performs a song he wrote called ‘You Mean the World to Me’.  

Although Johnny initially references Beven’s humour and sense of fun, what really stands out in this performance is his professional approach to show business.

A singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, he’s still singing and performing today. He also heads up the team behind the 50th anniversary Young Talent Time reunion special in 2021. 

Later in this sequence Johnny mentions that John Farnham is a hero of Beven’s. Along with his strong voice, his hairstyle here is reminiscent of Farnham during his Whispering Jack album and tour of 1986–87. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Favourite Things: Young Talent Time, 1983
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An essential part of Young Talent Time’s success was the way it not only showcased the talent of individual team members, but also shared details of each child’s life and their diverse interests outside of performing.

This clip from episode 83/02 is an excellent example of how the show distinguished the team members, giving the audience at home the sense that they were getting to know them. 

Earlier in this episode graduate Sally Boyden (1973–76) shares a rendition of ‘My Favorite Things’ from a stage production of The Sound of Music, which she was starring in at the time.

Here host Johnny Young and the team share their favourite things finishing with a rendition of the song, written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. 

Tina Arena (1977–83) plays ‘Music! Music! Music! (Put Another Nickel In)’, written by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum, on the piano.

Joey Perrone (1980–84) does a magic trick. Karen Dunkerton (1981–85) brings in some of her porcelain Pierrot doll collection. Bobby Driessen (1979–83) has his dog Shep. Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987) loves animals and has brought in her lamb Wolfie.  

Danielle (Dannii) Minogue shares a doll in a doll’s pram. Vince Del Tito (now Deltito, 1983–88) has brought in his cockatoo Fred. Michael Campbell (1981–83) loves parasailing. Jodie Loebert (1980–83) rides her motorbike on set.

Johnny says that his favourite things are the nine team members in the type of corny moment the show often embraced. 

The camera and sound team do well to cover what would have been a chaotic shoot, with nine children, a host of animals and a loud motorbike on set in front of a live studio audience.

There are some awkward moments in the banter, such as Johnny calling Bobby’s dog Shep a ‘dumb dog’, but overall the clip is illuminating and engaging. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Young Talent Time 16th birthday, 1987
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Birthdays are a big deal in the Young Talent Time universe and this excerpt comes from episode 87/16, recorded on 16 May 1987, to celebrate the show’s 16th birthday. 

Kool & The Gang’s 1980 song ‘Celebration’, which is sung here, has been covered many times including by Dragon and Kylie Minogue. 

Team members include Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988), Mark Stevens (1985–88), Juanita Coco (1987–88), Danielle (Dannii) Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88), Natalie Miller (1985–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Courtney Compagnino (1986–88), Greg Poynton (1984–88) and Tim Nelson (1984–87). 

The studio audience are enthusiastic participants in the celebration, waving balloons. The editing is quick and uses slow dissolves and some cute but dated effects to place the heads of team members onto floating balloons.

The costumes are vibrant and the sets give a big concert feel to the number. These ingredients add up to a sense that all the stops have been pulled out, appropriate for a big celebration. 

The voice-over by announcer Gavin Wood (also known for his long-running stint announcing on music program Countdown) points out that Young Talent Time is Australia’s longest running TV variety show. It ran for 18 years from 1971 to 1988. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Dannii Minogue's Young Talent Time Debut, 1979
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It is amusing to see host Johnny Young’s mispronunciation of Dannii’s surname in this short clip of her first performance as a talent show contestant in 1979.  

Little did he know that the Minogue sisters Dannii and Kylie would become household names in Australia and around the world. The chance to see up-and-coming stars was a big appeal of the show for audiences and this is a classic 'before they were famous' example. 

Dannii performs the Shirley Temple classic ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’ composed by Richard A Whiting and Sidney Clare.  

Although Dannii doesn’t win her heat, judge Evie Hayes says ‘I’m sure that with proper coaching and tuition she will have a very fine future’. Dannii became a cast member in 1982 and stayed with the show until 1988. 

Dannii transitioned into an acting and pop music career and has since sold over 7 million records worldwide. Since 2007, she has been a popular talent show judge in Australia and the UK on programs like Australia's Got Talent (2007–2012), The X Factor UK (2007–2010) and The Masked Singer Australia (2019–current).

This excerpt is from episode 79/38. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Debra Byrne on Young Talent Time
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Debra Byrne, known as Debbie to fans of the show, features on this Young Talent Time 17th birthday special.

She was a hugely popular team member and won the Logie award for best teenage personality in 1974 and 75. 

Host Johnny Young leans into the history of the show in his introduction and we see file footage of Debbie’s last performance as a team member where she sings ‘I Don't Know How to Love Him’ from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.  

We also see a short excerpt of her on stage as Fantine in Les Misérables singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.

The excerpts, and subsequent studio performance, give a sense of Debbie’s career success and her incredible voice. 

This appearance follows the formula the show developed for birthday specials where successful previous team members are invited back to perform.

She sings a full-throated cover of ‘Tell Him’ by Bert Berns and immediately has the studio audience clapping along.

It is moving to see her go from the young girl in the black-and-white photograph to the accomplished star that she became, seen here giving a captivating performance during her triumphant return to the program. 

This excerpt comes from episode 88/11 of the show which was broadcast on 23 April 1988. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Close to You by Vikki Broughton: Young Talent Time, 1971
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Vikki Broughton’s beautiful rendition of ‘Close To You’ comes from the first episode of Young Talent Time. She was part of the cast from 1971 to 73. 

Although the talent line-up changed throughout the variety show’s history (there were 40 cast members in all), this clip demonstrates how little the show’s basic formula changed over time: a focus on popular music sung by talented young people. 

Microphone pops and clicks hamper the sound quality initially but there’s no denying Vikki’s natural talent and charm. The choreography feels somewhat awkward and the staging looks basic compared with later numbers in the show’s 18-year history, for example ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (1983) and ‘Neutron Dance’ (1986). 

The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and made famous by The Carpenters. 

The series ran from 1971 to 1988 with musician host Johnny Young and his team of young performers. This is episode 71/01 and was broadcast on 24 April 1971.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Fame by Asher Keddie: Young Talent Time, 1983
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This is actor Asher Keddie’s first appearance on Young Talent Time as a talent quest contestant. She sings ‘Fame’, written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, in a classic 'before they were famous' moment.

The song was made famous by the film of the same name, released in 1980. 

This is a good example of the show’s centring of the children’s performances in a studio setting with basic sets in front a studio audience.

The show, which ran for 18 years, provided a start to many big names in Australian music, including Debra Byrne, Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue.  

It is a joy to watch Asher really getting into her performance here, knowing what was to come for her.

Her acting credits include Offspring (2010–17), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Stateless (2020). She has won seven Logies to date, including the Gold Logie in 2013. 

The lyric 'You ain't seen the best of me yet' seems particularly prescient with hindsight!

This excerpt is from episode 83/28. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

(I've Had) The Time of My Life by Vince and Dannii: Young Talent Time, 1988
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Live shows like this one were a chance for fans to see their Young Talent Time idols and 12,000 people attended this concert held at the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, which was broadcast on 7 May 1988. 

The enormous popularity of Young Talent Time, which ran from 1971 to 1988, and its two young performers Dannii Minogue and Vince Del Tito (now Deltito), is emphasised by the sweeping crowd shot.

The coverage follows expected conventions for concert footage with vision from multiple cameras switching between wide shots and close-ups of the pair. 

‘(I've Had) The Time of My Life’ is the Oscar-winning theme song from Dirty Dancing (US, Emile Ardolino, 1987) composed by Franke Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz.

The sentiment of the song has additional resonance because Dannii was about to graduate from the show – the next episode was her last.  

This performance is a key memory for many fans of the show and it’s easy to see why. The two singers have a great chemistry and appeal on stage and the live band adds to the atmosphere. 

Special mention needs to be made of Dannii’s costuming which is pure 1980s: big hair, cropped t-shirt, bubble skirt, wide elastic belt, slouched socks and Reebok pumps.  

This clip is from episode 88/13. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Beat It / Thriller: Young Talent Time, 1984
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This is a striking example of the popular music medleys Young Talent Time was known for. The show often started with a whole cast number like this one, which features ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. 

The cast here is Dannii Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88 and soloist on 'Thriller'), Karen Dunkerton (1981–85), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987), Vanessa Windsor (1983–87) and Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988). 

MTV launched in the US in 1981, changing music television forever, and this performance mimics the choreography and costuming (particularly Vince’s red jacket) of Jackson’s seminal music videos from the Thriller (1982) album. 

The camerawork follows the show’s familiar formula of a combination of group shots and close-ups of each performer singing direct to fans at home. 

In 1984 Michael Jackson was a global phenomenon but in subsequent years he became a controversial figure with multiple allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against him. He was later acquitted and died in 2009. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Dannii Minogue's last show: Young Talent Time, 1988
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Team members’ final shows are always emotional and bittersweet. This is a perfect example of the formula Young Talent Time followed for these rites of passage.

A song is followed by a speech and gift presentation from host Johnny Young and the team members, similar to a 21st birthday party. Then the departing cast member sings a final song. Other team member's last shows include Tina Arena (1983) and Joey Perrone (1984).

The theme of family is always emphasised on the show and the camera regularly cuts away to Dannii’s mother Carol and sister Kylie (already a star on Neighbours at this stage) watching with the other team members. Johnny’s own daughters even make an appearance.

Danielle Minogue, now known as Dannii, joined the Young Talent Team in 1982 after first appearing as a talent contestant in 1979 on her 8th birthday, and remained one of the show’s most popular team members. She stayed with the show until 1988.

These episodes were emotional for fans who have watched the team members grow up and the show maximises the impact by including footage of Dannii as a youngster, demonstrating how far she has come. 

Her first song is a cover of 'Cry' by Kids in the Kitchen, written by Claude Carranza and Craig Harnath. Her final song is ‘How Do You Keep the Music Playing’, composed by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, from the movie Best Friends (1982). 

After she graduated from Young Talent Time Dannii joined the cast of All the Way (1988) and then Home and Away (1989–90) and has had success as a singer, actor, television personality and fashion designer.

In a full circle moment since her appearance as a contestant on Young Talent Time, Dannii now features as a judge on multiple talent show formats, including Australia’s Got Talent, The X Factor (UK and Australian editions) and The Masked Singer Australia.

As a singer, she has sold more than 7 million records worldwide.

This excerpt comes from episode 88/14 which was produced on 17 April 1988. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Joey Perrone's last show: Young Talent Time, 1984
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Episodes featuring a Young Talent Time team member graduating are extra popular with fans. 

This clip from Joey Perrone’s last episode in 1984 is a fine example of a formula the show established for these rites of passage. Shots of Joey’s family, a group farewell set-up and speeches reminiscent of those at a 21st birthday party are used to heighten emotions.  

Johnny Young’s tribute to Joey’s talent and professionalism – and Joey’s emotional reaction – adds to the sequence’s raw emotional power.  

The coverage of this moment is handled well in a live studio setting using multiple cameras. Apart from members of Joey’s family crying, a cut-away of a tearful audience member wearing an ‘I love Joey Perrone’ T-shirt raises the stakes of the farewell and exemplifies the dedication of the show’s fans. 

Joey was a team member from 1980 to 1984. Examples of other farewell episodes include Tina Arena and Dannii (then known as Danielle) Minogue.  

Joey chooses a joyful rendition of ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ – written and made famous by American singer Lionel Richie in 1983 – as his final song before breaking his composure to cry in the arms of his fellow team members. 

This clip comes from episode 84/37 and was broadcast on 20 October 1984. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

My Mother's Eyes by Rikki Arnot: Young Talent Time, 1988
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Rikki Arnot joined the Young Talent Team in 1987 and was with the show until it finished in 1988.

The show regularly includes behind-the-scenes vignettes like this one illustrating the team members' hobbies and introducing their family and pets.

Designed to enhance the family feel of the show, it also encourages fans to choose their favourite team members to emulate and identify with. Clare Atkins' short story I Am Rikki (2021) dissects this phenomenon, with Clare offering the perspective of a young girl who felt like she couldn't belong to the team she adored because of her ethnic background.

In the clip we see Rikki after school and with her family. She then performs 'My Mother's Eyes’, written by Abel Baer and L Wolfe Gilbert.

The song has been covered many times, but it was famously performed by Frankie Valli in 1953 (credited to 'Frankie Valley'). Young Talent Team member Sally Boyden released a cover version of the song in 1976.

Johnny Young's comment about Rikki's fondness for sweets belying her 'slim' appearance illustrates cultural expectations around women's weight and appearance, which still persist today but are sometimes expressed more subtly.

This excerpt comes from episode 14, which was produced on 17 April 1988.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Twist and Shout by Tina Arena: Young Talent Time, 1980
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It is impressive to see ‘Tiny’ Tina Arena’s vocal range and confidence as a performer in this episode of Young Talent Time from 1980.

Tina performs ‘Twist and Shout’ here. Written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns in 1961, it was made famous by the Isley Brothers and later The Beatles. 

While the puppets that inexplicably appear as back-up singers, sounding like the Chipmunks, hint at the family audience demographic for the show, Tina’s vocal performance belies her young age (she was 12 at the time).  

Performances like this are a good example of the experience the children received from being team members on the show. Tina herself called it an ‘extraordinary apprenticeship’ in an interview in 2017.

In an interview John Young likens it to a university course and pays tribute to the dedication and focus of the young performers, which is so evident here in Tina. 

Today Tina is one of Australia’s highest-selling artists, having sold over 10 million records worldwide. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 2011 she became the first Australian to be awarded a Knighthood of the French National Order of National Merit for her contribution to French culture. She was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2016.  

This excerpt is from episode 80/13 which was broadcast on 19 April 1980. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Dead Heart Dance: Young Talent Time, 1988
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This clip comes from a special episode of Young Talent Time featuring Aboriginal performers.  

Athlete and model Lee Madden initiated a talent quest for Aboriginal kids and sits next to host Johnny Young as he introduces some of the contestants. 

Most of the show’s team members (numbering 40 young people by 1988) come from European backgrounds, so this series of performances represents a powerful moment in the show’s history.  

Introduced only by their first names, Yvonne, Kelly, Paula and Rachel from the Aboriginal Dance Theatre in Redfern perform what Johnny calls a ‘semi-traditional Koori dance, The Dead Heart’. 

The mesmerising dance, complete with dramatic costumes and an Uluru backdrop, is striking. In contrast to the show’s usual formula the dancer’s individual faces aren’t shown in close-up, making the performance stand out. 

They dance to an instrumental version of Midnight Oil’s ‘The Dead Heart’ composed by Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey and Peter Gifford.  

The song is about the defiance of Australia's First Peoples after 'white man came took everything'. The lyric 'white man came took everyone' sought to raise awareness of the Stolen Generations and the government policy of forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

Midnight Oil composed the song for the handing back ceremony of Uluru (previously known as Ayers Rock) to its traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara people in 1985. 

This excerpt comes from episode 88/10, recorded on 26 March 1988. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
1999: Young Talent Time, 1984
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The choice of song in this clip – Prince’s pop hit ‘1999’ (1982) – exemplifies Young Talent Time’s use of international hits from the time. 

Team members in order of appearance are Katie Van Ree (1981–87), Karen Dunkerton (1981–85), Joey Perrone (1980–84), Dannii Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88) and Vanessa Windsor (1983–87). 

The purple dips to colour are jarring and seem an odd stylistic choice. The coverage gives a nice combination of group shots and close-ups – foregrounding the excellent costumes and choreography as well as individual team members.

The focus on individual team members was an important part of John’s original idea for the show as you can hear in this oral history excerpt. 

Pyrotechnics at the end of the song add production value and a concert atmosphere and it is easy to see it as a precursor of musical reality shows such as The Voice (2012–current), X Factor (2005, 2010–2016) and Australian Idol (2003–2009). 

This clip comes from episode 84/37 and was broadcast on 20 October 1984. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

You're the One That I Want by Tina Arena and Bobby Driessen: Young Talent Time, 1983
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Tina Arena and Bobby Driessen perform ‘You're the One That I Want’ from the film of the musical Grease, which starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. The song was written for the film by John Farrar. 

Keen to stay appropriate for younger viewers the lyrics are changed from ‘I need a man’ to ‘I need a friend’, though the choreography seems more in keeping with the original lyrics! 

The cast’s contracts stipulated that they needed to graduate from the show before their 16th birthdays to make way for new performers. It is clear from the pair’s tight costumes and Tina’s pose with her foot on a prone Bobby (mimicking Olivia Newton-John in Grease), that the pair are reaching the upper age limit for the show. They both left in 1983. 

The kaleidoscopic edit effects at the beginning of this clip need to be seen to be believed, and firmly date the production to the 1980s. The sets and props are simple, with the focus on the young performers.

The homespun feel of the show is underlined by the colourful balloons and birthday candles. 

The team made an impressive 44 live programs each year. For the other 10 weeks of the year they created a best-of summer series for the non-ratings period, including this episode (83/02).

Notes by Beth Taylor

We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) by Lorena Novoa: Young Talent Time, 1986
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This clip comes from a series of behind-the-scenes segments called ‘Close-up’ where we get to know Young Talent Team members and their families.  

Lorena Novoa, who was born in Argentina, joined the team in 1984 and graduated in 1987, returning to the show briefly in 1988. 

The voice-over track is mixed too low so it is hard to hear at times, but the pictures speak volumes. The tape recorder, Walkman, typewriter and her Duran Duran scrapbook dates the piece beautifully to the 1980s. 

Seeing the introduction, and her fabulous grandmothers from Detroit and Argentina, before her rendition of Tina Turner’s ‘We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)’ gives context to the huge amount of personality Lorena brings to her performance. 

As always, the costumes are eye-catching. The production team makes good use of the relatively simple set, giving a live concert atmosphere with the use of lighting and dry ice.

The only thing that detracts from the performance are the unnecessary and somewhat inexplicable cutaways to volcanic lava. 

The song, written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, was first performed by Tina Turner and featured memorably in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

This excerpt comes from episode 86/42, recorded on 13 October 1986. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Girls Just Want To Have Fun: Young Talent Time, 1985
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The Young Talent Team performed numerous concerts over its 18-year run, and this is an excerpt from one of them, filmed at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in 1985. 

Vanessa Windsor (1983–87) and the team sing Cyndi Lauper’s 1983–84 hit ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’, which was written and first recorded by American musician Robert Hazard in 1979. 

As with most of the performances on the show, the vocals have been pre-recorded and the kids mime to the backing track. The sped-up vocal effects after the first chorus stand out as a strange choice.

The choreography and costumes complete with pom poms are simple but effective. The camera coverage succeeds in giving the audience front row seats at home with a range of angles covered. 

Other team members featured include Karen Dunkerton (1981–85) Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987) and Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988). 

This excerpt comes from episode 85/12 which was recorded on 18 March 1985 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Other live shows include the Expo 88 show and their appearance at Australia's Wonderland in 1988.

Notes by Beth Taylor

Dannii's first song as cast member: Young Talent Time, 1982
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Danielle (Dannii) Minogue and Mark McCormack sing ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in their first appearance as cast members on Young Talent Time in 1982. 

Striking close-up shots are employed here to introduce the two new faces. It is interesting to watch the excerpt in the context of Dannii’s subsequent success in music and television.

She spent six years on the show and is one of its most famous alumni. Her incredible screen presence at only 10 years old is obvious, even in this short clip. 

The song was written by American composer Cole Porter and first sung by Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm in the film High Society (1956). The relatively adult subject matter makes it an odd choice for two children to sing together.

The clean-cut costuming and low-key make-up choices are a good example of the care the show’s team took to not sexualise the young performers. 

The series ran from 1971 to 1988, hosted by musician host Johnny Young. This episode was broadcast on 29 May 1982.  

Notes by Beth Taylor

Raquel Mendoza: Young Talent Time, 1982
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In addition to song and dance numbers by the regular cast, Young Talent Time hosted a talent quest. Actor and singer Evie Hayes and others judged the contestants and chose the winner each week.  

Here 12-year-old dancer Raquel Mendoza appears as a contestant in 1982. She goes on to win the contest with her interpretation of the traditional Thai fon lep (or fingernail dance). 

It is disappointing to see the detail of her beautiful costume lost under the red spotlight but this doesn’t detract from Raquel’s precision moves.  

As can be seen from this example, the show achieved more diverse ethnic representation through the talent quest contestants than the cast of the show, who mostly came from European backgrounds. 

This clip is from episode 82/24. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Tina Arena Fan mail and Asher Keddie: Young Talent Time, 1983
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Young Talent Time fans are a dedicated bunch and this is a fine example of how the show consciously paid tribute to them and endeavoured to centre them in the show. 

It’s touching to see Tina Arena’s response to Dawn Miller’s biography of her.  

Australians watched ‘Tiny’ Tina grow up on the show. Now a global music superstar, she made her debut on the show’s talent quest segment singing ABBA's ‘Ring Ring’ in 1974 at the age of eight.

She joined the cast in 1977 and became the longest serving cast member. This clip was filmed in 1983 when Tina was about to graduate from the show. 

In another example of stars who got their start on Young Talent Time, actor Asher Keddie appears here as a young talent contestant.

She sings ‘Dr Love’, written by Biddu Appaiah and a Top 20 hit for disco artist Tina Charles in 1976. 

This excerpt is from episode 83/33 which was broadcast in August 1983. 

Notes by Beth Taylor

Johnny Young: Young Talent Time
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Johnny Young speaks with John Bannister in this excerpt from his 2008 NFSA oral history interview.

He talks about the formula for the show, which included lots of close-ups of the kids and vignettes about their school life, family and interests.

We see this formula in action in clips about the team members' favourite things from 1983, as well as individual pieces about Juanita Coco (1987–88), Beven Addinsall (1983–88) and Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988).

Johnny Young had a string of pop hits during the mid-to-late 1960s including a No. 1 hit with 'Step Back' / 'Cara Lyn' (by Johnny Young and Kompany).

He also wrote hits for other artists; 'The Real Thing', recorded by Russell Morris, was named one of the Sounds of Australia by the NFSA in 2013.

Notes by Beth Taylor

The Edge of Heaven: Young Talent Time, 1986
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Variety show Young Talent Time was compulsory viewing for Australian kids in the 1970s and 80s.

The series ran from 1971 to 1988 with musician host Johnny Young and his team of young performers. The kids sing covers of chart hits, dance and act in sketches echoing the US’s Mickey Mouse Club.

This episode features regular favourites Dannii Minogue, Beven Addinsall, Vince Deltito, Katie Van Ree, Lorena Novoa, Courtney Compagnino and Natalie Miller as well as Neighbours guest stars Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Geoff Paine and Kylie Flinker.

After the opening titles, featuring some very 1980s computer graphics, the performers mime to a pre-recorded cover of 'The  Edge of Heaven' by Wham!

The production values are high with different costumes and sets for every number. The musical accompaniment is tight and upbeat, performed with a full band.

The performers sing together with solos used to highlight each singer’s strengths and match the story line of the performance.

The original lyrics, which have an S&M vibe, have been amended for children's viewing. For example, instead of ‘I would chain you up / If I’d thought you’d swear’ they sing ‘I would chain you up / but I thought you’d tear’ and ‘I would wrap you up’ instead of ‘I would strap you up’.

Echoing the references in the lyrics to the devil (‘My Daddy said the devil looks a lot like you’), Dannii Minogue is dressed as the devil for the song and swings her tail provocatively.

The ‘edge of heaven’ the original song talks about is sexual, but in this sanitised version Courtney Compagnino is dressed as cupid and Natalie Miller as an angel.

The Neighbours stars pretend to play drums, guitar, harp and bass on a podium above the dance floor.

Dannii Minogue’s dancing is a stand-out. The singing is as slick as the choreography and it’s easy to forget how young the performers are as they are so professional.

Wham! was English duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. They were massive in Britain and abroad, including Australia, from 1982 until their break-up in 1986.

'The Edge of Heaven', written by Michael, was their farewell single and reached number 2 on the ARIA charts. It was released on the CBS label as part of their last studio album The Final.

The pair took part in the Live Aid concert in July 1985, another milestone event of the 1980s, with Michael famously singing 'Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me' accompanied by Elton John.

This is episode 86/37 and was broadcast on 18 October 1986. The performers felt like family and at the end of every show they joined Johnny Young and sang 'All My Loving' as they waved good night to the camera and viewers at home.

Notes by Beth Taylor

John Farnham meets the Young Talent Team on Holiday
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This is a short excerpt from a promotional film for the Caravan Trade and Industries Association. It features the Young Talent Team from Young Talent Time, who are on a caravaning holiday in the country.

John Farnham makes a cameo appearance in one of the holiday parks that the kids stop at along their journey. Young Talent team members featured include Jane Scali, Jamie Redfern, Vikki Broughton and Debra Byrne.

Despite it being only a very brief sequence, we still get to see how comfortable John is in front of the camera delivering lines. And while he is playing himself in this clip, he still manages to display capable acting skills as a caravanning holidaymaker.

Variety show Young Talent Time was popular viewing for Australian kids in the 1970s and '80s. It ran from 1971 to 1988 and was hosted by musician Johnny Young and a changing team of young performers.

Notes by Beth Taylor