The number seven has always been my lucky number. I have a very distinct memory of a whispery female voiceover on a 60s station identification slide, for Australian television's Network 7, which proclaimed, "Seven is my lucky number..." and I thought, "Yeah, okay, mine too!"
And 7's been rather lucky for the deliciously wicked, 70s TV soap opera, "Number 96", in recent decades. (Moreso than at Network Ten, where they usually pretend to have moved on from "Number 96" - onto more sedate things like "Big Brother Uncut" and "Torchwood", perhaps?) ;-)
In Where Are They Now's previous incarnation - the Peter Luck version of a decade ago - I provided research for three 1997 episodes, which reunited James Elliott and Lis Kirkby (Alf & Lucy Sutcliffe); Arnold Feather with his first wife Patti (Jeff Kevin & Pamela Garrick); and actors Joe Hasham and John Orcsik, who reenacted Don and Simon's first embrace. Although I only helped with research again for tomorrow night's latest "Number 96" cast reunion on the revived "Where Are They Now" - how I wish I could have been there! - I was an onscreen interviewee for two previous Network 7 productions that focused on "96".
TONIGHT LIVE WITH STEVE VIZARD. (20/7/1993)
Hosted by Steve Vizard. Featured flashback footage and live interviews with Elaine Lee, Jeff Kevin and (to quote Vizard) "Number 96's own historian", Ian McLean. Comedian Vince Sorrenti conducted a live-cross to Sydney, for a tour of Moncur Flats, at 83 Moncur Street, Woollahra, the actual location of the Number 96 building of the credit sequences. Sadly, Abigail phone in sick. Her place was taken by Vizard writer, Steve Bedwell.
TONIGHT LIVE WITH STEVE VIZARD
THE BEST OF AUSSIE DRAMAS: Part I. (7/11/2002)
Presented by Kate Ritchie of Home and Away. Contained numerous clips of Number 96, with sound byte comments from John Orcsik, Elaine Lee, Jeff Kevin, Lorrae Desmond, Vince Sorrenti and Ian McLean. Part II aired a week later, and a two-part focus on Aussie Cop Shows followed over the next fortnight, with additional sound byte comments from Paula Duncan, John Orcsik and Lorrae Desmond.
So long ago now... It seems like some wild fantasy, especially the Vizard experience, since I was whisked straight from work on the Tuesday afternoon, flown to Melbourne, dinner with the Elaine Lee and Jeff Kevin, dressing room drinks with Steve Vizard and Naomi Robson after the show, dessert in the wee hours with the celebrity guests, overnight at the exclusive Hotel Como (my suite had a doorbell!), and flown back to Sydney the next morning to arrive at work for a normal Wednesday in Punchbowl Public School's library, as if nothing had happened - and yet everyone had watched the show, live, the night before. Crazy, crazy days... my tiny taste of the everyday lives of some celebs!
Mel & Kochie have promised a big surprise for the Number 96 cast tomorrow. Any guesses? And hey, I just noticed: I'm talking about luck and Peter Luck in the same post. Just lucky, I suppose.