On this day …….. 27th September 1956
Sandra Simpkins is a ventriloquist doll which was used by Merle Blaskett in the test transmission of GTV9 (channel 9) from Mount Dandenong, Melbourne on this day 1956, becoming the first puppet on Australian TV. Today “Sandra Simpkins” is believed to be a very rare Len Insull doll, circa 1948, as female dolls were believed to be undesirable. Merle and her husband Ron Blaskett decided to sell Sandra and subsequently remodelled her into a Male character. As a historical TV artefact the Blaskett’s tried refined the doll to no avail until it was rediscovered in 2013 and restored to the original female character by Gordon Ross in South Australia. Ron Blaskett refers to this doll as the most historical “transgender” ventriloquist doll in Australia.