- The Early Bird Show
The Early Bird Show was a television show aired on Network 10 in Australia from 1985 until 1989. Produced by Dixie Duncan and directed by Spencer Wilson, Ray McKenna and Bob Loxton, the show regularly featured Australian rock singer Darryl Cotton as host, along with Marie Van Maaren and Marty The Monster. The show was so popular that a magazine about it was published in 1989. It ran for five hours every Saturday morning, and was considered to be a kids variety show. In 1989, the show was shortened to two hours and renamed Club 10. This version lasted just ten weeks before being replaced by Video Hits, a music video show.
An earlier version of the show had aired from 1977 until 1980. It featured hosts Mike McCarthy and Marie Van Maaren and was shown on weekday mornings. The show was replaced in 1981 by the long-running Good Morning Australia (breakfast TV). A similar but unrelated show named Early Birds was broadcast by SAS10 in Adelaide in the early 1970s. The show was hosted by Veronica Overton and Fat Cat and was a mix of cartoons, competitions and music clips. During one telecast, Overton resigned on camera, saying "Goodbye children. Fat Cat will be back on Monday, but I won't". Occasional stand-in DiDi James took over the show for a short while and later Jane Reilly became host.
TVW 7 Perth (TVW Enterprises owned TVW 7 Perth and SAS 10 Adelaide in the 70s) also had a very popular Earlybirds show in the 1970s and 1980s from 7 to 9 am. It featured Fat Cat and another character Percy Penguin, plus puppets, Wilbur Worm in the early days who had a sarcastic streak and Sunny Sandgroper who always told appalling jokes. There were two hosts, one male and one female, and some to appear over the years on the Perth version were Keith Geary, Ian Teasdale, Sandy Baker (nee Palmer), Carolyn Noble, Sharon Dale, Peter Dean, Ann Sanders and others. It was made at TVW Tuart Hill Studios and often did outside broadcasts at shopping centres etc. It ran mainly during each school holiday initially and then each weekday toward the end when networking pushed it out of schedules in favour of Agro's Cartoon Connection and ultimately new shows. TVW did a Saturday version of Earlybirds, calling in Fat Cat's Funtime Show. It ran throughout the late 1970s and 80s years until Saturday Disney brought about its demise.
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