Midday (television show)

Midday (television show)

Midday (commonly referred to as The Midday Show) was a television show that aired on Australia's Nine Network from 1985-1998. The show aired, like its title suggests, at noon on every weekday and was a 90 minute variety programme with international and local guests. It featured interviews, musical performances and comedy spots. The format of the show was similar to that of its predecessor "The Mike Walsh Show" which it replaced in the lunch time slot.

Ray Martin

Following Mike Walsh's resignation from "The Mike Walsh Show", Ray Martin was appointed as his successor in 1985, despite being known primarily as a journalist from the Australian production of 60 Minutes. The program was re-titled to "The Midday Show with Ray Martin", which was later shortened to "Midday With Ray Martin", and finally "Ray Martin at Midday" in 1993. Although Martin was seen as a shock choice at the time of his appointment, he soon became increasingly popular with viewers.

During his time on the show, a highly publicised on-air scuffle took place in 1991 between former pop idol Normie Rowe and radio personality Ron Casey.

While Martin was at the helm, members of the Midday on-camera team included band leader Geoff Harvey; comedians Graham Pugh, Ross Daniels (actor), Ewan Campbell; trumpeter Bob Bouffler; and pre "Big Brother (Australia)" star Gretel Killeen. Ray Martin remained as host until late 1993, when he was moved to replace Mike Willessee as host of A Current Affair, which had seen a ratings decline over the previous year.

Derryn Hinch

Following Martin's departure to "A Current Affair", Derryn Hinch was appointed as host shortly after being sacked from his self-titled current affairs program on the Ten Network. The show effectively reverted partially to its old title by becoming "Midday With Derryn Hinch". Hinch's appointment was seen by many as a shock decision, as he had previously been known as a hard-hitting, outspoken personality. Many were therefore surprised to see him showing a softer side in his role as "Midday" host, but gradually-declining ratings over previous years saw the show axed at the end of 1994 (Derryn had offered to resign for the good of the show, but stated in interviews that Nine Network executives made it clear that it was the "show" that was being axed rather than the "host").

Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne

Following the announcement of the program's axing at the end of 1994, it had been stated that the show would be replaced by a new talk program. After a six-month absence, a lower-budget hour-long program using the "Midday" title began. In its new form, the show had a more generic feel to it, with no live band and none of the loose 'variety show' feeling of the program in its previous incarnation. Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne were the hosts of this version, which only lasted six months before the program was again reformatted, effectively making it more reminscient of the Mike Walsh/Ray Martin eras.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley

In 1996, Kerri-Anne Kennerley was appointed to the new incarnation of the show, with the title becoming "Midday with Kerri-Anne". Geoff Harvey re-joined the show from a period of semi-retirement, albeit with a streamlined, six-piece band and not the full orchestra the show had had in previous days. Initially, Kerri-Anne caused a resurgence in ratings, with her enthusiasm and her tendency to physically interact with guests (i.e. doing dance steps with dancers, attempting to play the respective sports of sporting personalities) rather than confining herself to sit-down interviews. She gained three consecutive Gold Logie nominations for her work on the show, and was widely praised for "bringing the magic back to "Midday". However, the show was eventually not able to compete with better rating, imported programs on other networks, and the general decline of locally-produced daytime talk shows and budget concerns that prompted the 1994 axing caused the show to again be axed at the end of 1998. In 1999, Kerri-Anne was appointed to co-host the cooking show "What's Cooking", alternating host Jeff Jansz's cooking segments with her interviews which were not related to cooking. This was seen as an awkward change to the show, which was axed at the end of that year, causing Kerri-Anne to leave the network, openly criticising the format that "What's Cooking" was given. After spending some time in other media and a stint at Network Ten, Kerri-Anne returned to Nine to host "Mornings with Kerri-Anne", a morning talk show with some similarities to "Midday", but without a live audience and with heavy infomercial content.

External links

* [http://colsearch.nfsa.afc.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A280049;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 Midday at the National Film and Sound Archive]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.