BIRTH OF BOXING CORNER

This is how Ray Mitchell remembered the birth of a new sporting sporting show at Gore Hill in the 1950’s.

On Tuesday, November 11, 1958, I paid a visit to Bernard Kerr, Superviser of ABC Federal Sporting. 1 had known Bernie for years, had answered boxing questions for him over the phone, and had given many short talks on the ABC radio.

I suggested a programme on which I would answer boxing questions. Bernie called in Dick Healey, the ABC Director of Sporting for N.S.W. The idea was discussed for half an hour. "I have a spot to fill next Saturday, November 15," said Dick. "We'll start then." lt should go well for six to eight weeks," interposed Bernie.

(Years later Bernie recalled that remark. My goodness," he said, "I certainly under-rated the popular, appeal of that show. Why, I've had three kids since then!")

On- November 15, 1958, Ray Mitchell's Boxing Corner came on the TV screens unheralded. There was no prior mention of it in newspapers, radio or TV, except that a few minutes before I made my initial appearance on the show, the announcer, Wilf Buckler, invited viewers to phone questions to, the studio.

Only ten viewers did so. The programme lasted for ten minutes.

The following week 20 questions were received. The show lasted for 15 minutes. By the fourth week Boxing Corner had extended to what became its normal length of time – 20 minutes,

By the 21st showing, Channel 2 had decided that the programme was there to stay for sometime.

By the 21st showing, Channel 2 had decided that the programme was there to stay for some time, so a graphic was made. It was a card on which an artist had drawn a boxer and painted the words Ray Mitchell's Boxing Corner. Over the years the graphic was renewed and varied many times.

So were the announcers who spent time on the camera with me, asking viewers' questions. In all, ten of them shared the spot with me in the 289 performances of Boxing Corner. All were (and sti11 are) great blokes. In fact, all the men at Channel 2 - the announcers, producers, technicians, cameramen and all those who keep TV programmes functioning, are the greatest bunch I've ever known.

 

Extracted from the book Ray Mitchell’s Boxing Quiz, Horwitz Publications 1966

 

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