ABC TV at GH in the Fifties

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Opening Night
Opening Night of ABN Channel 2

First Senior Manager for ABC Television

At the end of 1955 Talbot Duckmanton was appointed to the General Manager's personal staff at the age of 33 as Co-ordinator of Television.

Program making had long been established in the ABC in Radio with Producers from various Specialist Departments directing the productions. Engineering support came from the PMG.

Television introduced two added structures to the ABC; a Film Department for film productions and news clips and a Technical Services group to provide Engineering support. Talbot's role was to Coordinate the activities of these added groups with the existing Radio establishment.

Many producers from Radio made the transition to Television Production.

The First Day of Transmission

The planning and training of staff to meet the production demands of television culminated in the first programs being broadcast in Sydney by the ABC on Monday, 5th November 1956 from the ABN Channel 2.

The Programme Schedules for Week 1 of Transmission

Programme Schedule 5th Nov
Programme Schedule 6-7th Nov
Programme Schedule 8-9th Nov
Programme Schedule 10-11th Nov
Programme Schedule 12th Nov
Opening Night
5th November 1956
6th-7th November 56
8th -9th November 1956

10th -11th November 1956

12th November 1956

Further details of Opening Night can be selected here.

Sportsman of the Year Award

This moved from radio to television in January 1957 when the GM Charles Moses presented the award to Betty Cuthbert, winner of three gold medals in the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956.

Some early Television programs

The Phil Silvers Show was one of the first comedy shows, bought from the CBS network.

Cafe Continental was one of the first light entertainment series produced by Harry Pringle.

Hal Lashwood's Alabama Jubilee produced by Harry Pringle had white artists painted black.

The first television program for very young children was Kindergarten Playtime produced by Margaret Delves (now Moore) which comenced in 1957.

Life of Riley and Amos'n'Andy were two early comedy shows. The Frankie Laine Show and Liberace provided musical variety.

Norman Hetherington's puppet Mr. Squiggle began running from ABN2 during 1959.

Any Questions with Frank Legg commenced in 1958.

People with Bob Sanders

The Critics was the first Arts show.

Woman's World with Mary Rossi went on air in 1956.

ABN2 on-air hours

ABN2 was on-air for 5 to 6 hours daily during 1956 and 1957


James Dibble, John Chance, Paul Maclay, Martin Royal, Bruce Webber, Bruce Webster and John West

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