Look­ing back with pride and pas­sion

The Press - The Box - - FRONT PAGE -

De­spite the ter­ri­ble quake fate suf­fered by CTV, a 20th birth­day se­ries will screen, writes James Croot.

CTV, Can­ter­bury’s lon­grun­ning re­gional tele­vi­sion sta­tion, is cel­e­brat­ing two decades of op­er­a­tion with a four-part high­lights se­ries be­gin­ning on Satur­day night (8.30pm) and con­tin­u­ing for the fol­low­ing three Satur­days.

CTV: We Are 20 se­ries pro­ducer Ian Cumming – who has been with CTV on and off since its in­cep­tion in 1991 and boasts al­most 50 years of tele­vi­sion ex­pe­ri­ence – says the hour-long episodes are a cel­e­bra­tion of re­gional tele­vi­sion in Can­ter­bury.

‘‘The first pro­gramme is en­tirely high­lights from the open­ing night’s trans­mis­sion on June 17, 1991. The re­main­ing three are a pot­pourri of clips vary­ing from one to eight min­utes of pro­grammes pro­duced from the stu­dios in Glouces­ter Street, Manch­ester Street and Madras Street.’’

Given the ter­ri­ble fate suf­fered by CTV in the Fe­bru­ary earthquake, many would find it amaz­ing such a show is pos­si­ble.

But Cumming says his col­leagues’ VHS and DVD col­lec­tions pro­vided a wealth of footage.

‘‘Among oth­ers, Sue Wells had a shop­ping bag full of tapes from the be­gin­ning, and the Green fam­ily pro­vided high­lights from their CTV days.

‘‘There was quite a num­ber of Beta tapes I would have liked to have used, too, but the cost of view­ing and trans­fer­ring them would have been pro­hib­i­tive.’’

While dis­ap­pointed he wasn’t able to source mem­o­rable pro­grammes such as the first con­cert trans­mit­ted live from the Christchurch Town Hall to Scott Base (com­plete with re­turn video) and a school­boy An­drew Mehrtens play­ing Press Cup rugby, he was glad to have ob­tained footage of Santa Pa­rades and Classical Sparks past and the open­ing of the Art Gallery.

‘‘View­ers will also en­joy, I’m sure, Jim Hop­kins’ in­ter­views with Robert Mul­doon and Alex Wyl­lie. And my favourite clip is a Hop­kins’ ‘‘vox-pop’’ in which he asked his ‘‘vic­tim’’ – a rather large and jolly lady – how she would feel about ap­pear­ing as a cen­tre­fold in a man’s mag­a­zine. It caused much hi­lar­ity!’’

Cumming says one of his high­lights of work­ing at CTV was the 1993 telethon, which raised more than $600,000. He is also proud they were able to pro­duce a pro­fes­sional prod­uct even as the num­ber of con­trol room staff was halved.

‘‘Each new ver­sion of CTV thought smarter, with the big­gest changes be­ing the move from film and mas­sive (by to­day’s stan­dards) video tape ma­chines to dig­i­tal.’’

CTV pro­gramme sched­uler Sacha Stevens says the fu­ture is look­ing bright for the Christchurch-based sta­tion.

‘‘Next year will be a huge year for CTV pro­gram­ming, with some amaz­ing shows com­ing to the chan­nel, in­clud­ing the ev­er­pop­u­lar Nip/tuck, a gar­den­ing re­al­ity show, a late-night mu­sic quiz show, new kids’ car­toons and much more.’’

CTV: We Are 20, 8.30pm, Satur­days, CTV (re­played on Sun­days at 2pm).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.