Big Girl’s Blouse is an Australian skit program that aired on the 13th of October 1994 on the Seven Network.

The show was created by Gin Riley, Jane Turner and Magda Szubanski who all went on to star in Kath and Kim. The show ran for one season with 9 half-hour episodes. 

The phrase “Big Girl’s Blouse” is a British English idiom meaning “ineffectual or weak, someone failing to show masculine strength or determination”.

Riley, Szubanski and Turner had all become recognisable faces from their time on sketch series Fast Forward, the creation of Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight.

Amidst the largely male team of comedians writing and appearing in the series, the trio (along with Marg Downey) had some of the most memorable characters and sketches, but it wasn’t until they were given their own series in 1994 that they carved out their own voice — the subtly subversive voice that would go on to be at the core of Kath and Kim.

The three comedians had to work hard to convince Vizard and Knight to give them their own special on Channel Seven, which was eventually turned into a series.

That series struggled in the ratings — it was scheduled up against the first season of ER — so was cancelled after just one season.

But the eight episodes were released on DVD in the early 2000s (after Kath and Kim became popular) and many of the sketches and characters have taken on a cult following thanks to YouTube.

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On Monday the 24th of May 1965, Humphrey B. Bear an icon of Australian children’s television was first broadcast on Adelaide’s NWS-9.

The show became one of the most successful programs for pre-schoolers in Australia. The part of Humphrey was played by Edwin Duryea, an actor, singer and dancer whose human identity was never revealed.  In the early days the character was known as Bear Bear and was named Humphrey B. Bear as the result of an on air competition.

The ‘B’ in Humphrey B Bear stands for Bear, but this has rarely been acknowledged on air.⁣

During the morning of May 19, 1905, Mrs. Tierney, who lived with her husband at his farm at Gymbowen, complained of a feeling of weakness and the loss of the use of her legs. Not much importance was attached to the attack, as in a few hours, Mrs. Tierney was well again, and performed her household duties as usual. During the afternoon the same feeling came over her, this time accompanied by twitchings of the body. ⁣

Her husband drove her to Dr R. K. Bird, of Natimuk, who examined her. When questioned by the doctor she stated that she had partaken of some tart for breakfast. Portions of the tart had a bitter taste, and the tea she had at that meal also had a bitter taste. The doctor suggested that some poison was in the tart and advised her not to eat anymore of it. Mrs. Tierney by this time had quite recovered, and with her husband drove home the following morning. ⁣

In the evening Mr. Tierney killed a sheep, and his wife, who had been watching him, went towards the house, but when she had gone about 50 yards she collapsed. Her husband ran to her assistance, and she died in his arms. Miss Bertram, who was employed as a domestic servant in the Tierney family, also complained of feeling ill after breakfast, but after vomiting she recovered.⁣

Mrs Tierney had only been married for 2 months and was a well loved teacher in the area.  Her friend and domestic, Mary Bertram was arrested for the death but was later discharged due to no evidence indiciating she was involved. ⁣

 

Bellbird is an Australian soap opera serial set in a small Victorian rural township. The series was produced by the ABC at its Ripponlea TV studios in Elsternwick, Melbourne. The opening title sequence was filmed at Daylesford, Victoria. 

The series was produced between the 28th of August 1967 and the 23rd of December 1977.

Although not the first Australian soap opera it was the first successful soap opera and even spanned a feature film and tie-in novel. The show’s ratings were modest but it had a devoted following, especially in rural Australia. 

The show followed the lives of people living in the fictional town of Bellbird. 

During its 10-year production run, 15-minute episodes of Bellbird screened from Monday through to Thursday nights during the lead in to the 7 pm evening news bulletin.

In 1976 the series was screened as one one-hour episode each week, before switching to three half-hour installments per week during its final season.

The series was the first soap opera in Australia to spin-off into a feature film version and tie-in novel, entitled Country Town (1971), it focused on Bellbird’s problems during a severe drought. The movie’s script was also novelized. 

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Ernst Schneider, 83, who died at Dubbo, NSW,  in 1943, completed some years ago all arrangements for his funeral.

He selected the casket, and even engraved .the nameplate for his own coffin. The undertaker had only to insert the date of his death.

“He was more concerned with the hereafter than this world,” said a friend who knew him well.⁣

 

Bargearse was an Australian comedy TV series. Made by the Late Show on the ABC from the 18th of July 1992 to the 30th of October 1993. 

Produced by Michael Hirsh, and directed by Santo Cilauro, Tony Martin and Mick Molloy. 

Bargearse was an overdubbed version of Bluey, a 1976 Crawford production police drama set in Melbourne, Australia.

The segment was originally to be an overdubbing of an Australian soap opera, The Young Doctors, titled “Medical Hospital”, but the rights to the footage were pulled at the last minute.

The ABC series Truckies was considered for overdubbing in a segment intended to be titled “Truck Wits”, before the writers settled on Bluey.

This change left the writers with very little time, and as a result the planned 20 short episodes was cut down to 10, which aired in the second half of series two.

Bargearse was named after its protagonist, Detective Sergeant Bargearse, an overweight, moustache-sporting “rough-and-tumble” cop.

The sketches exploited Bluey’s weight with plentiful fat jokes, as well as many fart noises.

Bargearse was voiced by Tony Martin, while his sidekicks, Ann Bourke (Judith Lucy) and Detective Glen Twenty (Rob Sitch), Natalie Thigh-Blaster (Jane Kennedy), Natalie Thigh-Blaster).Chromedome (Mick Molloy) and Poloneck (Santo Cilauro).

Lucky Grills, who played Bluey, appeared on The Late Show three times: as a guest in the mock press conference for the Biodome participants, as the character Bluey protesting the last episode of Bargearse and in the musical appearance as noted above.

On the 15th of August 2007 a Bargearse and The Olden Days double feature DVD was released.

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Marjorie Hemmerde, 106, Enjoys ‘Living In Sin’ With 73-year-old Boy Toy, Gavin Crawford.

Marjorie Hemmerde is dating a man 33 years younger, but no one is accusing her of robbing the cradle.  Hemmerde is 106 and her “boy toy,” Gavin Crawford, is 73. The two have managed to find love despite their massive age difference.

The two met three years ago at Kew Gardens, an old folks home in the Australian town of Kew, Victoria, and are now inseparable.⁣

Bad Eggs is an Australian comedy movie. Written and directed by Tony Martin and Producted by Macquarie Film Corporation with a budget of A$4.5 million. The film was released on the 25th of July 2003.

Ben Kinnear (Mick Molloy) and (Bob Franklin) Mike Paddock are detectives with the Melbourne Police force’s elite Zero Tolerance Unit.

When a freak accident involving a dead magistrate  named Poulgrain lands them on the front page of the local paper, Ben and Mike are busted and demoted down to uniformed duties.

Things get worse when they pay a visit to the Magistrate’s widow Eleanor (Robyn Nevin) and accidentally burn her house down.

Things become more complicated when Julie Bale (Judith Lucy), a journalist and a former police-officer and onetime partner of Kinnear’s, is arrested on a charge of blackmailing the Magistrate.

But when Ben discovers a strange link between the accident and the business affairs of a shady casino boss he and Mike have been investigating, the pair decide they can no longer turn a blind eye to the corruption rife amongst their own colleagues.  

Interesting filming fact about Bad Eggs, Peter Aanensen is playing “Arthur Ferris”, the same character he played in the classic Aussie police television drama Bluey (1976). Ferris, who was Bluey Hills’ superior in the third series, is in this film seen working as a security guard at Victoria’s Parliament House.

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All Together Now was an Australian sitcom that was broadcast on Nine Network between 1991 and 1993. 

The premise involved an aging rocker (Jon English) trying to maintain his music career while living with his son and daughter. For an undetermined number of initial episodes filmed prior to public broadcast, the show title was “Rhythm and Blues” and had a different theme song.

At the 1992 Logie Awards, the show and its actors were nominated for four awards:

The show (Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program)

Rebecca Gibney (Most Popular Actress, and Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Female Performer)

Jon English (Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Male Performer)

The show was also nominated at the 1993 Logie Awards, again for Most Popular Comedy Program, as was Jon English for Most Popular Comedy Personality.

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“Attack on the Gold Escort” is a 1911 Australian silent film.  Directed by Pathe Frere, and shot on location in Geelong.  The film was released on the 19th of June 1911.  Sadly all known copies of the film no longer exists.

The film was described as “an Exciting and Thrilling Reproduction of Australian Early Days. A vivid portrayal of bush adventure around Geelong and filmed “at the exact spot where the incident happened.”

The Kapunda Herald stated the film “portrayed the terrors of the road, during the time when bushranging was rife, in a vivid and realistic manner.”

The film starts at the Bank of Australasia at 2 Malone St, Geelong, before the gold escort is pursued down the Fyansford Hill by the bushrangers. 

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Anzacs was a 5-part Australian television miniseries set in World War I. The series follows the lives of a group of young Australian men who enlist in the 8th Battalion of the First Australia Imperial Force in 1914. 

The series follows in the wake of Australian New Wave war films such as Breaker Morant (1980), Gallipoli (1981), and precedes The Lighthorseman (1987).

Recurring themes of these films include the Australian identity, such as mateship and larrikinism, the loss of innocence in war, and also the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers.

Directed by Pino Amenta, John Dixon and George Miller for Channel Nine with a budget of A$8,196,000 and took 20 week to film.  The series aired on the 27th of October 1985. 

The series starts in Western District of Victoria in 1914. Martin Barrington (Andrew Clarke), the son of a wealthy British-born land-owner Sir Rupert Barrington (Vincent Ball) and his wife Lady Thea Barrington (Ilona Rodgers), returns home early from university studies with plans to move north to the family’s Queensland property in a bid to up the quality of their livestock.

His best friend, stockman Dick Baker (Mark Hembrow), initially agrees to move with him, but later wants to enlist to fight in the Great War which has just begun in Europe, and Martin agrees to follow (after turning down a commission as 2nd lieutenant in his father’s old British rifle regiment), joined by Dick’s sister (and Martin’s childhood sweetheart) Kate, who will become an army nurse.

The two friends enlist and they form part of the 8th Battalion.  Other members of the battalion include quiet and studious Roly Collins (Christopher Cummins), Englishman Bill Harris, cynical, wise-cracking drover Pat Cleary (Paul Hogan) and the Danish-born Johansen brothers Erik (Karl Hansen) and Karl (Tony Cornwill).

The men train in Australia and Egypt, before take part in the Allied invasion of Turkey at Gallipoli on the 25th of April. The platoon experience the harsh and bloody campaign and the appalling conditions, suffering heavy casualties. Both of the Johansen brothers are killed on the first day and Martin is badly wounded that night. 

By 1916 The platoon, reformed with many new faces, arrives in France. Amongst the new members are German-born Wilhelm ‘Kaiser’ Schmidt, unpopular Dinny ‘Dingo’ Gordon, slow-witted ‘Pudden’ Parsons, quiet Lewis-Gunner ‘Bluey’ and cheerful Privates Upton and Morrissey.

Pat Cleary soon proves himself an expert ‘scrounger’ of luxury goods, and he and Madame, a local cafe-owner, run a thriving business built on, amongst other things, stolen liquor originally bound for General Haig.

In London, Australian journalist Keith Murdoch, who had been at Gallipoli, meets with British War Secretary Lloyd George who has a dislike of British Army commander Douglas Haig.

The platoon are sent into a ‘Nursery’ sector of the Western Front to break them into trench warfare. During a raid on the German lines, Morrissey is killed and combat-fatigued Sgt McArthur freezes in terror and Martin leads the mission, even though McArthur is given credit for it.

In July, the platoon take part in the bloody Somme Campaign, attacking the French village of Pozières. The attack breaks down in confusion and Armstrong is hesitant and in-decisive, forcing Martin and Flanagan to assume leadership roles.

Behind the lines, Haig coldly informs Murdoch that the Germans have concentrated all of their reserve artillery on the Pozières sector in an effort to contain the Australians, who are the only ones to reach all of their objectives.

The platoon suffers heavy losses, mostly from shelling. Private Upton is killed trying to warn the platoons relief from a trench which enemy artillery had targeted, and Roly Collins nearly goes insane from shell-shock.

After a long battle, the dazed and traumatized survivors stagger back to the rear. Later that year, the platoon are sent back into the Somme sector, now bogged down in the cold and mud of winter.

Back in Australia, the debate over whether to introduce conscription causes bitter political and social divisions which will resonate for decades to come.

Reverend Lonsdale draws the ire of his parish for daring to question the conscription proposal and the conduct of the war. Pompous Australian politician, “Would to God” Cyril Earnshaw pressures his timid librarian son Max into enlisting.

In one episode, an Australian soldier remarks how much the French countryside reminds him of Daylesford back home in Victoria, Australia. This was an in-joke as some scenes were filmed near Daylesford, including the German counter-attack scene in episode 4.

The surviving veterans reunite in their local town back in Australia for the unveiling of the new war memorial to the fallen. Kate and Flanagan are now a couple and are business partners with the enterprising Cleary providing the capital.

Roly Collins is set to become a journalist working for Sir Keith Murdoch. Harris, Kaiser and Bluey also attend, as does a fragile Armstrong who now resides in a rest home and Max Earnshaw, now permanently blind and in charge of the State Braille Library, while his politician father, “Would to God” Earnshaw, once so in favour of the war was now annoyed at having to attend memorials in his electorate since it did little to further his political career.

At the memorial Reverend Lonsdale reads a moving tribute to the Anzacs, Roly reads the fourth stanza of the Ode of Remembrance, and then Martin’s mother and Dick’s mother lay wreaths at the foot of the memorial. As a bugler plays, the scene dissolves to the green fields of the Somme in the present day.

The series was well noted for its humour and historical accuracy, and was a huge rating success for the Nine Network when it aired.  According to the review by James Anthony: “The battle scenes are terrific and the muddy trenches of the Western Front look acceptably cold and horrible.

Some of the acting goes a bit astray and there is sometimes a bit too much play on larrikinism and ockerness, but overall it sits well as a quality drama with good characters.”

Interesting note many of the extras playing the roles of Allied, American, and German soldiers were serving members of the Australian Army. This was done to keep costs down so that actors did not have to learn how to act as soldiers or to have to teach them how to use the weapons.

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Any Questions for Ben? is a 2012 Australian comedy film created by Working Dog Productions, directed by Rob Sitch. It stars Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor, Felicity Ward, Daniel Henshall, and Christian Clark. It was written by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, and Rob Sitch.

The plot revolves around a high-flying Melbourne-based brand manager Ben (Josh Lawson) who returns to his old high school to talk to students about careers.

Ben reunites with former students, including international human rights lawyer Alexis (Rachael Taylor), now working with the United Nations in Yemen, and Olympic archery medallist Jim (Ed Kavalee).

Ben soon realises that compared to the other speakers, no one is interested in what a brand manager does, and when questions are asked for, all are directed at the other presenters, while Ben gets none. 

This causes Ben to begin to consider the meaning behind his current lifestyle, and commences a year-long reevaluation of his priorities, looking in all the wrong places, but ultimately involving the gradual pursuit of Alexis as a serious love interest for the first time in his life.

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