Content feed Comments Feed

TVW Special Projects Department

Posted by ken On April - 13 - 2009

Max Bostock described TVW as a family, with many people working as a close knit group coordinating the many facits of production. There were no one man bands, and often up to half a dozen people at a time were dedicated to promotional projects. At it’s most grandest, the Miss Universe Quest, which was part of the crowning glory of the 150th anniversary of Western Australia. To achieve all this, Max established a department to undertake these tasks.

Max Bostock

TVW Special Projects Department

By Richard Ashton

Channel 7 in 1972 put together a department called Special Projects, later to be known as special events. As the title suggested the projects we would be involved in would be large promotions which would help to promote Channel 7 and show our community involvement, and hence encourage more viewers two only watch seven giving us a better rating. I was transferred to it. My partner in this new department was Ron Christie. Ron was a senior television producer who had transferred to Perth from our sister station SAS-10 Adelaide. As a producer in Adelaide at NWS-9 he was producer for the very popular Ernie Sigley’s Adelaide Tonight show. He and I were to produce special projects and promotions for Channel 7 these included the introduction of the annual Christmas Pageant, Bath Tub Derby, and the very successful Bird Man Rally. This was an event in which people were invited to fly at least 50 metres in an un-powered aircraft.


The very successful Birdman Rally held at Two Rocks Marina Yanchep


Our Special Events department secretary Louise Borsje entered Jeff Newman’s Bathtub in the first event. We made him the craft in the TVW scenery workshop; note the big yellow outside broadcast truck on the South Perth foreshore behind the big crowd.




Ron Christie

Ron eventually transferred back to South Australian as production manager for SAS-10, later to become SAS Channel 7 Adelaide.

My new partner in crime was Vern Reid who transferred from the news department. Vern was later to be involved in Channel 7’s charity fund raiser Telethon, including the Telethon Trust, the group responsible for giving out funds for the various medical projects to better children’s lives. Telethon’s major contributor was to the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital. Much later Vern resigned from television to become general manager for the new Fremantle Football Club called the Fremantle Dockers. I’m sure all his skills learnt in the special events department were put to good use to promote the “Dockers.”


Fremantle Dockers Float

We in special events department put together and produced many other things including the AFI Awards, a very large production at the Entertainment Centre. And introduced many characters including Sunny Sandgroper. By 1975 we produced many programs and promotions. One such program was the Introduction of Colour TV into Western Australia and we also produced the opening of the Perth Entertainment Centre Boxing Day 1974. We produced programmes like the Celebrity Challenge in conjunction with the production department. Our department gradually changed perspective by the late seventies joined the special unit away from the studio in a special factory unit set up for the purpose in the production of the American TV special Bob Hope Down Under, culminating in 1979 with 150th Anniversary of Western Australia. Our, that is Channel 7 contribution was the Miss Universe Pageant, with a live TV program being broadcast by satellite to America and many other countries around the world.


Some of the many TVW Special Events…

Opening of the Perth Entertainment Centre


My 10,000 helium filled balloons fly from the balcony at the opening ceremony of The Perth Entertainment.

Christmas Pageant


The Christmas Pageant 1973 opening sequence in St Georges Terrace



Richard Ashton’s not so well fitting Official cap as Chief Marshall for the parade



Nativity Float


Riverboat Float

The Mississippi steam boat was the second one Peter McDermott from the TVW workshop built to my design. It was strong enough to cope with a full jazz band on the top deck. the first one was too tall the funnels had to be lowered to clear the Murray St over-way. This one is still in use in Pageants to this day.



Richard’s design of Father Christmas Float is still in use to this day. The five reindeer section is a separate trailer.


The reindeers were made by MG Car Club’s Patron John Goff. This float for the first time had stereo sound from speakers under each float section.


Gulliver’s Travels float

The idea was that Gulliver was captured by the Lilliputians and was held down with ropes on either side.  Noel Dixon for the workshop built and carved the body and head of Gulliver. He scaled measured from me lying along his carpenters bench.



Choc Carton Regatta



The huge aeroplane won the best craft for that year. The event was held at Hillarys boat harbour.


Tent touring shows for Disney


Cinderella segment of Disney on Parade inside the big tent at Perry Lakes rugby field


Celebrity Challenge



The wheelbarrow race was one of the events held at the warm-up track at Perry Lakes reserve. The producers of that event that year were Marion Leyer and Jo Ledger. Judy Thompson is on the far left, then Sandy Palmer and Ann Sanders..


Bob Hope Down Under an international TV special to be played on USA TV



Bob Hope Down Under segment insert into the show was filmed at Royal Perth Yacht Club with a group of Perth models.

1980 World Professional Ballroom Dancing Championships


Miss Universe

1979 MissUniv stage a.jpg

Building the Miss Universe Set


Building the main setting for Miss Universe on stage at the Perth Entertainment Centre. The use of centre was one of the main reasons the show was televised from WA.



Miss Universe 1979 winner Maritza Sayalero from Venezuela

Miss Universe 1979 was held at Perth Entertainment Centre, Perth, Australia on July 20, 1979. 18-year-old Maritza Sayalero earned Venezuela’s first Miss Universe crown.

An unfortunate outcome, after the successful broadcast, occurred when a mob of news photographers rushed to the throne of the new Miss Universe, they overloaded the stage supports causing part of the stage to collapse, in which 20 contestants were involved. Costa Rica’s Carla Facio Franco, and Philippines Criselda Flores Cecilio suffered bruises. Malta’s Dian Borg Bartolo, and Turkey’s Fusin Tahire Dermitan had leg injuries.

One Response to “TVW Special Projects Department”

  1. Robert Munslow says:

    fond memories of workig in this great group of people

Leave a Reply