Young Talent Time

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Young Talent Time
Young Talent Time 2012 logo.jpg
2012 logo
Also known as YTT
Genre Variety
Created by Kevin Lewis
Johnny Young
Presented by Johnny Young (1971-1988)
Rob Mills (2012)
Judges Tina Arena (2012)
Charles Klapow (2012)
Voices of Bruce Mansfield (1982-1986)
Gavin Wood (1987-1988)
Theme music composer Johnny Young
Greg Mills
Ross Burton
Opening theme "Young Talent Time"
Ending theme "All My Loving" by Johnny Young (1971-1988, episode 1 2012)
Composer(s) John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 18 (1971-1988)
1 (2012)
No. of episodes 804 (1971-1988)
16 (2012)
Executive producer(s) Johnny Young
Kevin Lewis (1971-1975)
Location(s) ATV-0, Melbourne, Victoria (1971-1988)
Fox Studios, Sydney, New South Wales (2012)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Lewis/Young Productions (1971-1975)
Television House (1976-1988)
Granada Media (2012)
Original network Network Ten
Picture format Black & White (1971-1975)
PAL (1975-1988)
576i (SDTV) (2012)
Audio format Mono (1971-1979)
Stereo (1979-1988, 2012)
Original release Original series:
  • 24 April 1971 (1971-04-24)-23 December 1988 (1988-12-23)
Revived series:
22 January 2012 (2012-01-22) – 4 May 2012

Young Talent Time (YTT), was an Australian television variety program screened on Network Ten, produced by Lewis-Young Productions. The original series ran from 1971 until 1988 and was hosted by musician Johnny Young, for the entire length of its run. The show was briefly revived by Network Ten in 2012 and was hosted by musician and actor Rob Mills.[1]

The series features a core group of young performers, in the vein of The Mickey Mouse Club, and a weekly junior talent quest. The "Young Talent Team" perform popular classic songs along with the top hit songs of the day. The original program launched the careers of a number of Australian performers including Jamie Redfern, Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue and spawned numerous hit singles, fifteen Young Talent Time albums, a film, swap cards, boardgames, toys, and numerous Logie Awards.

The first episode (#1) of the original series aired on Channel 0 in Melbourne at 7.00pm on Saturday 24 April 1971. The final episode (#804) aired on Network Ten at 7.30pm on Friday 23 December 1988.

The first episode (#1) of the 2012 series aired on Network Ten at 6.30pm on Sunday 22 January 2012, through to 4 May 2012.

Young Talent Time (1971–1988)[edit]

Production details[edit]

Young Talent Time (or simply "YTT") was produced as a joint venture by Lewis-Young Productions (the production partnership between host Johnny Young and his friend and colleague Kevin Lewis, one of the directors of Festival Records) and was taped mainly at the studios of ATV-10 in Nunawading, Melbourne although occasional shows were taped at the TEN-10 studios in Sydney or on location.

Many of the episodes from the early- to mid-1970s no longer exist as the tapes were wiped for re-use, being the official Network Ten policy at the time. Some later episodes from the series were repeated by pay TV broadcaster Foxtel in the late 1990s.

Because the series ran for such a long time and featured young performers, Young Talent Time made an indelible mark on the psyche of several generations of Australian children, leading them to believe that if they tried hard enough, they too could be a 'star' like the kids they saw on television (Johnny Young launched talent schools in his own name in the early 1980s).

One memorable aspect of the show was the regular closing number, where Johnny Young would croon a ballad version of The Beatles' song "All My Loving" (with which Young had had an Australian hit in 1966), accompanied by the entire cast, in an almost lullaby style, individually wishing all of the cast good night.

So often all credit for shows goes to the cast, yet without the extensive talented crew behind the upfront team who are rarely acknowledged, this production would not have been such a success. Sound engineers, Russell Thompson, Greg Gurney and Kris Young assured the quality of the singers voices came through. Talented cameramen such as Simon Hellings and Barry Cross to name a few gave beautiful sensitive shots of performances and direction from visionary people like Bob Loxton and Bob Collins all added up to making the show the both a success and contributed to its longevity.

On average, 44 episodes were produced per year for 18 years. The episodes were broadcast in black & white from April 1971 to April 1975, thereafter in colour. The final episode of the show - a Christmas-themed episode - aired on 23 December 1988. It was episode 804.

Network Ten announced on 17 August 2011 that it would revive the Young Talent Time format. The new series, which began airing in January 2012, was hosted by singer and actor Rob Mills and co-produced by Granada Media and Johnny Young.[1]


Over the original run of the show, from 1971 to 1988, there were a total of 40 Young Talent Team members.

Members of the Team who found continued success after leaving the series and continue working as performers include Tina Arena, Jane Scali, Jamie Redfern, Dannii Minogue, Karen Knowles, Sally Boyden, Debra Byrne and Joe (Joey) Perrone.

Original Team member Rod Kirkham went on to host a children's television program, a regional TV variety show, built a successful music production company, moved to the US for several years and signed to a LA music publisher and later moved into the computer software industry working for Microsoft, Apple and Oracle and now runs I.T. consulting and software development firm "Bak2Bak Communications" in Queensland and also runs a publishing company with his wife, Barbara Llewellyn, called Bright Light Multimedia. Vikki Broughton toured Europe with iconic artists such as ABBA and Cliff Richard before retiring from showbusiness.

Phillip Gould spent a number of years performing on London's West End. During the same period Jane Scali was dominating the Australian cabaret circuit. Gould and Scali later appeared on stage together in musicals including "Annie". They both continue to perform.

Debra Byrne has also had a successful career on stage starring in Cats, Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard, Mary Poppins and many others, and starred in 2012 Nine Network television drama series "Tricky Business".

Trevor Hindmarch served three years in the Australian Army Reserve, spent many years acting on stage and television and has been running his own business in the Australian thoroughbred racing industry for the past fifteen years, "Hindmarch Racing", and has developed his successful Profiler horse racing software used and recommended by horse trainers and full-time investors alike. Hindmarch resides in Melbourne, not far from the old Channel 10 building, and lives with his wife Maria. He has five children - four sons Michael, Anthony, Sean and Joel, and a daughter Jessica.

Forced to leave the cast of A Chorus Line after an injury, Julie Ryles formed her own successful PR company. She died in January 2011 after a three-year battle against a rare disease. (More details in the section titled 'Deaths'.) She is survived by her daughter Samantha and a granddaughter.

Greg Mills became Young Talent Time's musical director after assisting previous director Ross Burton for many years, and continues to work in the music industry.

Derek Redfern went on to work as a carpenter and handyman for his local council, presumably in suburban Melbourne, but has since returned to performing.

Sally Boyden spent many years in London with her own band as a professional singer/composer and is now based in the USA.

Karen Knowles had a string of gold records, and continues to perform regularly around Australia - including performances at various Christmas concerts, including Melbourne's annual "Carols By Candlelight" and at the 2010 "Lord Mayor's Carols In The City" at the Riverstage in Brisbane. Knowles is also a qualified lawyer, a mother of one son, and runs a singing school in the Melbourne area.

Steven Zammit still performs occasionally and is a very successful singing teacher and vocal coach.

John Bowles went on to a successful career in cabaret and in music theatre, playing leads in shows like "Cats", "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum", "Hello Dolly" and the romantic lead character of Raoul in 1,000 performances of "The Phantom Of The Opera" around the world. He is currently based in London.

Mark Stevens, after a two-year stint in Australian soap opera, Neighbours as Nick Page, relocated to the United Kingdom, where he is currently based. He is the creative director of the Pentecostal Church's Abundant Life Centre in Bradford and married a fellow Christian named Bethan.

Michael Campbell is also living in the UK, but no longer in the entertainment industry and whilst his real surname is Jackman, he went by his stepfather's surname of Campbell while on YTT.

Karen Dunkerton married jockey Darren Gauci in 1989 and together they have four children: Breanna, Sean, Jade and Brooke.

Joe Perrone went on to play Gino Rossini in Neighbours, in 1987; guest-starred in the Australian sit-com "Acropolis Now" in 1992, and featured in the 1988 US motion picture Phantom of the Ritz. He was based in Munich, Germany for a number of years but now resides back in Australia.

In 2003, three performers associated with Young Talent Time were simultaneously in the United States Billboard Magazine Dance Top 10 - Tina Arena with "Never (Past Tense)" and both Dannii Minogue with "I Begin to Wonder" and her sister Kylie Minogue with "Slow".

Team members Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue both continue to have resoundingly successful careers both in Australia and in Europe where they have become household names.

Natalie Miller continues performing, both as a solo artist and in bands, and in 2010 married her band's manager (and MasterChef Australia contestant) Aaron Harvie.

A number of the Team members of the 1971–88 series are on Facebook and are in contact with fans. There are also numerous YTT (support) pages/groups, and fan pages of Team members on Facebook. These pages/groups are run by fans and are supported by Team members. They are strictly administered and inappropriate material is removed.

Concerts and live appearances[edit]

Over the 18 years of the original show, Johnny Young and the various Teams made numerous live appearances all over Australia, sometimes performing full concerts or just making short publicity appearances at venues ranging from large theatres, concert stages, sporting venues, theme parks, RSL Clubs, outdoor concert arenas (like Melbourne's Myer Music Bowl) and shopping centres.

In 1973 Johnny Young, The Young Talent Team and Denis Walter supported the "TV Week King of Pop" Jamie Redfern in a series of live concerts. "The Jamie Redfern Show" sold out a number of shows at Melbourne's Festival Hall, with the Team filling the first half of the night and Redfern belting out his hits in the second half.

Years later, in 1987, the Team were booked to appear in concert at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Parramatta. The centre had not anticipated the turnout of over 4,000 fans, and a near riot took place. Some fans were crushed in the crowd and the concert was cancelled as the team were hastily bundled out of the shopping centre, some of them in tears. Joey Dee had to be treated for a knee injury and Courtney Compagnino had to be treated for shock.

Seven-thousand fans attended the 1988 concert at the Rockhampton Music Bowl in Queensland.

But probably the biggest Young Talent Time concert took place in 1988. Over 12,000 people attended the outdoor concert held in Brisbane at the 1988 World Expo on the banks of the Brisbane River. It was broadcast the following week.

The Final Concert Tour: Johnny Young, The Young Talent Team and The New Generation performed a series of concerts just before Christmas 1988. Venues included the Perth Entertainment Centre, The Seagull Stadium on the Gold Coast, Memorial Drive in Adelaide, the Sydney Entertainment Centre and a final concert at the Melbourne Tennis Centre on 23 December 1988, the same night that the last episode of Young Talent Time went to air on Network Ten.

The Team also appeared in concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Australia Day 1989 - the day after the announcement of the show's demise.

The Luna Park incident[edit]

In the early Seventies the team performed at Luna Park. The problem was they were able to get in but due to the crowd they were unable to get out. The management said they would stop the scenic railway and they could all escape through the tunnel. "Unfortunately, nobody told the train driver," said Greg Mills. "We looked over the top of the hill and we could see the train coming over the top and we're thinking, 'we're going to die'." The eight members of the team, Phillip Gould - Debbie Byrne - Greg Mills - Julie Ryles - Trevor Hindmarch - Jane Scali - Derek Redfern - Sally Boyden, pressed themselves against the wall of the tunnel and, according to Mills, "the train brushed my coat on the way through", that's how close it was.[2]

Final years[edit]

In 1988 Johnny Young finally realised his long-held dream of shooting an episode of the show in America. A two-hour special "Young Talent Time at Universal Studios" aired on 13 August 1988.

However, in its final years Young Talent Time began to struggle for ratings, particularly following the decision of the rival Nine Network to move its popular early morning variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday to an evening slot in 1984, putting it in direct competition to YTT on Saturday nights at 6.30pm.

After four years of dwindling ratings, in October 1988 Network Ten finally decided to move YTT to Friday nights at 7.30pm, but to no avail: the move of nights and timeslots did not help and the show was abruptly cancelled three months later.

On 25 January 1989 Renny Cunnack, General Manager of Channel 10 Melbourne, officially announced to the media that Young Talent Time would "not be resuming production in 1989". (Ironically, Renny Cunnack himself was let go as General Manager just three months later - two weeks after his boss Ian Gow had departed)

On Australia Day in 1989, the day after the show's cancellation was announced, the Young Talent Team performed a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, but nonetheless the cancellation of the show was a shock to the cast, crew and fans. Johnny Young was the most affected by it, because he had only recently invested a large amount of money in building his own TV studio complex in Richmond with the intention of producing the show himself and leasing it to Channel 10, but the termination of the show put paid to these dreams and he had to sell his family home to finance the debts. Other setbacks included the death of his stepmother, mother and the disintegration of his marriage to second wife Cathy.[3][4]

Network Ten continued airing compilation episodes in early 1989, initially as "The Best of Young Talent Time" at 7.30 on Friday nights, then as "Young Talent Time Favorites" at 11.00 on Saturday mornings. The last of these aired in Melbourne on Saturday 1 April 1989.

On Saturday 6 May 1989 Johnny Young and his company Television House held a private party at Channel 10's Studio A, YTT's 18 year home-base studio, as an official "thank you to the YTT Family" - the cast, crew and their families who had worked on the show over the years.


Kevin Lewis, Johnny Young's business partner (at L & Y Productions and L & Y Records) died in the late 1970s.[citation needed]

One of the show's original judges, Fred Tupper, died on 15 March 1976.

Evie Hayes, the American-born music theatre star who appeared as a judge on the show for many years died on 26 December 1988 aged 76, after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. (On the Australian stage she had played the lead roles in hit shows including Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me, Kate, Oklahoma!, Call Me Madam and Funny Girl.) In the 1960s and 1970s Evie became a prominent Melbourne singing teacher, coaching Young Talent Timers's including Jamie Redfern. Just eight weeks before her death she performed at a World Expo '88 variety concert at the Lyric Theatre in Brisbane (26–27 October 1988).

Cast member Juanita Coco died on 2 May 1993. Her death devastated the YTT cast, crew and fans. Coco, aged 17, was a passenger in a vehicle involved in car accident which occurred on the way home from Scott Tiedgen's 20th birthday party. Tidgeon was Coco's boyfriend. He was not driving and survived the accident, but unfortunately, along with Coco, another passenger - Tidgeon's best friend, 21-year-old Brad Lacey - was also killed.

Cast member Julie Ryles died on 27 January 2011, after being diagnosed a few years earlier with a rare condition known as progressive subcortical gliosis. She left behind a daughter and granddaughter. Julie was only 53.

Ross Burton, one of Young Talent Time's longest-serving musical directors, was killed in a freak accident on 3 January 1996. Burton fell through the roof of his house-boat at Lake Eildon while he was trying to fix a television antenna and suffered critical internal injuries but was not discovered for 4 hours. He was airlifted to hospital and died on the operating table.

One of the show's directors, Terry Higgins, was diagnosed HIV positive in 1993 and died of AIDS in 1994.

Another one of the show's directors, Garry Dunstan, died after suffering a heart attack whilst out cycling on 22 October 2005.

"Caravan Holiday"[edit]

In the Christmas break between the first and second seasons of Young Talent Time, Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team shot a 22-minute colour film. (At the time, Young Talent Time still screened in black and white on Australian television.)

Sponsored by the Caravan Trade & Industries Association "Caravan Holiday" was completed by early 1972 and released in cinemas across Australia as a supporting feature to Peter Bogdanovich's hugely popular US comedy picture What's Up, Doc? which starred Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.

A Lewis/Young Production, in association with Ansett Television Films, "Caravan Holiday" starred Rod Kirkham, Vikki Broughton, Philip Gould, Debbie Byrne, Jamie Redfern, Jane Scali and the two most recent additions to the team, Greg Mills and Julie Ryles.

It also featured comedian Buster Fiddess (as Mr Crawley) and Addie Black, and guest appearances by Johnny Young, Evie Hayes and John Farnham (then known as Johnny Farnham).

Fiddess died just a few days after he finished filming his scenes.

The film was written by Gillian Wadds, and produced and directed by Rob Weekes, with original music by Johnny Young.

The very loose storyline follows Buster Fiddess leading the four YTT boys, and Addie Black leading the four YTT girls in two separate caravans on a short "Caravan Holiday". They keep running into Johnny Young, who appears in various guises (sheep farmer, petrol pump attendant, etc.), and Jamie Redfern and Jane Scali bump into their idol Johnny Farnham at a caravan park. Debbie Byrne almost drowns at the beach but is rescued by a bunch of lifesavers.

(Jane Scali's name is misspelt in the credits as 'Jane Scarli', and Vikki Broughton's name is misspelt as 'Vicki Broughton'.)

It features the opening title song "Reach For The Sun (Summer Holiday)" (released as a single to coincide with the film's release) and a memorable music-fantasy sequence, where the Team perform a cover version of The Cowsills 1967 song "The Rain, The Park & Other Things".

It screened on television just once, on Christmas Eve 1972. It was then unseen for three decades until a restored version was featured as a bonus extra on the 2002 DVD "Young Talent Time: The Collection" (Universal Pictures - 2002).

Young Talent Time DVDs[edit]

A one-hour prime-time television documentary "Young Talent Time Tells All" aired on Network Ten on 29 October 2001.

A small reunion of YTT cast and crew members (including Tina Arena, Dannii Minogue and Johnny Young) was held in Melbourne in October 2003 to celebrate the release of an extended version of the "Young Talent Time Tells All" documentary on DVD (through Universal Pictures). The DVD, which contained added bonus features and rare footage not seen in the television documentary, was titled "Young Talent Time: The Collection".

Bonus features on the DVD include a restored version of the 1972 short film "Caravan Holiday" featuring Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team; full biographies of all 40 Team Members and Johnny Young; Nicole Kidman's appearance as a guest on the show to promote her 1983 film BMX Bandits; assorted television commercials featuring members of the team; footage of some of the Team when they appeared as contestants on the show; and the full-length clip of sisters Dannii Minogue and Kylie Minogue performing the song "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves".

Rare footage includes a nine-year-old Jamie Redfern (pre-Young Talent Time) appearing with Happy Hammond on a Channel Seven test broadcast of colour television in 1968, seven years before Australian television actually began broadcasting in colour.

List of team members 1971–1988[edit]

Team members from 1971 to 1988 in order of appearance:

  • Rod Kirkham[5] (1971–73)
  • Vikki Broughton[6] (1971–73) (sometimes billed as 'Vicki')
  • Phillip Gould[7] (1971–75; 1975–1976; left briefly after a dispute over money and moved to Sydney, where he released a single, but bad management undermined the move and he accepted an offer to return to YTT after the payment disagreements had been resolved)
  • Debra Byrne (1971–75) (also referred to as Debbie Byrne during the shows time on TV and for some time after she left)
  • Jamie Redfern (1971–72) (left the show after just 9 months to pursue a solo career in the USA and tour with Liberace)
  • Jane Scali[8] (1971–76) (sometimes billed as 'Jane Scarli')
  • Greg Mills[9] (1971–76)
  • Julie Ryles[10] (1971–76) (died in 2011 of a rare disease)
  • Trevor Hindmarch[11] (1972–76)
  • Sally Boyden (1973–76)
  • Derek Redfern (1973–76)
  • Karen Knowles (1975–80)
  • Steven Zammit (1975–80)
  • Debbie Hancock (1976–79)
  • Robert McCullough (1976–79)
  • Nicole Cooper (1976–81)
  • John(ny) Bowles (1977–81)
  • Tina Arena (1977–83) (longest-serving Team Member - 6 Years 6 Months)
  • Bobby Driessen (1979–83) (Jan Driessen)
  • Jodie Loebert (1980–83)
  • Joe(y) Perrone[12] (1980–84) (Giuseppe Aurelio Perrone)
  • Michael Campbell (1981–83) (real name is Michael Jackman, but went by Campbell, his stepfather's surname, on the show)
  • Karen Dunkerton[13] (1981–85)
  • Katie Van Ree[14] (1981–86) (Katie's is short for Katrina).
  • Mark McCormack (1982–83)
  • Dannii Minogue (1982–88) (Danielle Minogue)
  • Vince Del Tito (1983–88) (Vincenzo Deltito)
  • Beven Addinsall (1983–88)
  • Vanessa Windsor (1983–87)
  • Greg Poynton (1984–88)
  • Lorena Novoa (1984–87)
  • Tim Nelson (1984–87)
  • Natalie Miller (1985–88)
  • Mark Stevens (1985–88)
  • Courtney Compagnino (1986–88)
  • Juanita Coco (1987–88) (died in a car crash on 2 May 1993 in Malvern, Victoria)
  • Joey Dee (1987–88) (Joseph DiBenedetto)
  • Rikki Arnot (1987–88) (Rikki and Jamie Churchill had the first YTT baby - a boy named Lloyd - but they never married and are no longer together).
  • Jamie Churchill (1988)
  • John(nie) Nuich (1988) (shortest serving Team Member - 5 months)


Team albums

1) Young Talent Time (Festival Records - 1971)
2) Young Talent Time: Volume 2 (Festival Records - 1972)
3) Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team Sing The Hits (L&Y Records - 1973)
4) Young Talent Time Hits! Volume 4 (L&Y Records - 1974)
5) Young Talent Time: Favourite Hits - Volume 5 (L&Y Records - 1975)
6) Johnny Young & The Young Talent Team: Mother's Favourites (L&Y Records - 1976)
7) The Young Talent Team Salutes ABBA (L&Y Records - 1976)
8) Sing Sing Sing with the Young Talent Team (Pisces Records - 1977)
9) Johnny Young & The Young Talent Team Sing The Hits (J&B Records - 1980)
10) Johnny Young & The Young Talent Team: Just For Fun (Hammard Records - 1981)
11) The Young Talent Team 10th Anniversary Album (K-Tel Records - 1981)
12) Young Talent Team: Now & Then - 15th Anniversary Album (Hammard Records - 1985)
13) Young Talent Team: Phenomenon (Hammard Records - 1987)
13a) The New Generation ("Phenomenon" album repackaged for the USA) (Hammard Records - 1987)
14) The New Young Talent Team Super Hits 88/89 (Hammard Records - 1988)
15) Johnny Young & The Young Talent Teams: The Final Farewell (Hammard Records - 1989 - only released as a Double Cassette Tape Gift Pack)

Team singles

1) Reach For The Sun - Johnny Young & The Young Talent Team / What Have They Done To My Song Ma? - The Young Talent Team (Festival - 1972)
2) Sing - The Young Talent Team / If I Could Write A Song - Evie Hayes (L & Y Records - 1973)
3) Do The Right Thing - The Young Talent Team / Happy Disco - The Young Talent Team (Festival Records - 1979)

(The songs "Reach For The Sun" and "Happy Disco" were both written by Johnny Young)

Individual singles

In the early years of the show, many of the Team Members released a range of their own singles and albums, some of them through Kevin Lewis and Johnny Young's own label L & Y Records and through Kevin Lewis's former label Festival Records.

The singles included:

Rod Kirkham - "Wobbly"backed with "Words" (Festival 1971) and "I Can't Get Sunday Out of My Mind" backed with "I'm Talking To Myself Again" (Image 1973)

Vikki Broughton - "Good, Good Morning" and "Don't You Knock On My Door"

Philip Gould - "Have I The Right?"

Debbie Byrne - "He's A Rebel" and "Da Doo Run Run"

Jamie Redfern - "The Little White Cloud That Cried"(1971), "When You Wish Upon A Star"(1971), "Rainbow On The River"(1972), "Venus"(1973), "Hello, Funny Face"(1973), "Hitch A Ride On A Smile(1973)" "Jenny(1974)"

Jane Scali - "Having A Good Time"

Trevor Hindmarch - "Milly Molly Mandy"

Sally Boyden - "Shirley Got Married"

Derek Redfern - "Put Your Head On My Shoulder"

Karen Knowles - "Why Won't You Explain?"

Johnny Bowles - "I Can Jump Puddles"

Notable guests[edit]

Over the years many celebrities and performers made guest appearances on the show including John Farnham, Graham Kennedy, Nicole Kidman, Dame Edna Everage, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Phyllis Diller, Debbie Reynolds, Kylie Minogue, Johnny O'Keefe, Peter Allen, Lovelace Watkins, Normie Rowe, Russell Morris, Billy Thorpe, Demis Roussos, Jason Donovan, John Paul Young, Kamahl, Renee Geyer, Denise Drysdale, John Williamson, Ian 'Molly' Meldrum and Denis Walter, and bands including Sherbet, The Mixtures, The Four Kinsmen, Little River Band, The Reels and even The Wombles!

Sports stars to guest on the show include Pat Cash, Jeff Fenech, Lionel Rose, Max Walker and jockey Darren Gauci (who ended up marrying YTT member Karen Dunkerton after meeting her on the show!).

Sight Acts, Magicians and Illusionists who appeared on the show include Tim Ellis, Ross Skiffington, Sam Angelico, Zig & Zag, Ron Challinor, Chris Kirby, Ron Blasket and Gerry Gee, Syd Heylen Jnr, Marty Coffey, Timothy Hyde and Hubert the Super Magician.

Notable contestants[edit]

Many members of the 'Young Talent Team' actually began on Young Talent Time as contestants before being hired as regular cast members. They include Dannii Minogue (as Danielle Minogue), Vince Del Tito, Debbie Hancock, Natalie Miller, John Bowles, Tina Arena (as Filippina Arena), Robert McCullough, Karen Knowles, Jodie Lobert, Joey Perrone, Johnnie Nuich, Lorena Novoa, Vanessa Windsor, Steven Zammit, Mark McCormack and Trevor Hindmarch.

Other well-known Australian performers who also got their start as a contestant on the show include Asher Keddie, Alyce Platt, Denis Walter, John Foreman, Maria Mercedes, Sylvie Paladino, Marty Fields and Michael Cormick. Gisella Cozzo is a singer songwriter and won the grand final in 1984 as a contestant .

TV Week Logie Awards[edit]

Logies Awarded:
Best Australian Musical Variety Show of 1971
Best Australian Musical Variety Show of 1973
Best Australian Musical Variety Show of 1974
Best Australian Musical Variety Show of 1975

Special TV Week Logie:
Award for Sustained Excellence (presented in 1982)

Other TV Week Logie Awards:
1971 Jamie Redfern - George Wallace Memorial Award Best Newcomer
1974 Debbie Byrne - Best Australian Teenage Personality
1975 Debbie Byrne - Best Australian Teenage Personality
1990 Johnny Young - Logie Hall Of Fame

In 1986 Joey Perrone was nominated for Best Juvenile Performance (for his work on Young Talent Time) at the TV Week Logie Awards.

The New Generation (1988)[edit]

In 1988 Johnny Young launched an American version of the show re-titled "The New Generation".

Produced in Australia, it starred the current senior members of the Young Talent Team - Dannii Minogue, Vince Del Tito, Natalie Miller, Lorena Novoa, Beven Addinsall, and a new member, black teenager Keith Williams, who was imported from Los Angeles.

It also featured regular guest appearances from the younger members of the current Young Talent Team who were billed as "The Young Generation" (Jamie Churchill, Johnnie Nuich, Joey Dee, Courtney Compagnino, Juanita Coco and Rikki Arnot).

Interestingly none of the surnames of any of the young performers were ever mentioned on this version of the show. They were only referred to by their first names.

The New Generation was hosted by American Michael Young, the host of the Emmy Award winning Kids Are People Too.

13 x 30 minute episodes were produced by Johnny Young's Television House and Fries Entertainment (US) and screened on The Family Channel in the US.

Young Talent Time (1990)[edit]

Even though the show had ended its 18-year television network run, in 1990 Johnny Young used his own money, and his television studio and recording complex in Melbourne to produce a one-off direct-to-video special "Young Talent Time Now - 1990".

Again hosted by Young, it featured the six final members of the Young Talent Team - Jamie Churchill, Johnnie Nuich, Joey Dee, Courtney Compagnino, Juanita Coco and Rikki Arnot, with a guest appearance by former Team Member Beven Addinsall.

This now hard-to-find VHS video is today considered a rare but genuine collectors item and has never been released on DVD.

Young Talent Time (2012)[edit]

Network Ten and Granada Media Australia - in conjunction with Johnny Young and Johnny Young Music - were the producers of a revival of Young Talent Time. Taped before a live studio audience at Fox Studios in Sydney, the 16-episode series debuted on Network Ten across Australia at 6.30 pm on Sunday 22 January 2012.

Hosted by former Australian Idol 2003 contestant Rob Mills, the 2012 revival featured a regular Young Talent Team (of 10 members) performing a couple of group numbers each week, with one team member featuring in a solo spot each episode to showcase their individual talents. Starting from Episode 10, duets were sung instead of solos as each team member had performed a solo.

Each weekly episode featured three or four young contestants (or acts) under the age of 16. These solo performers, duos, groups, etc., included singers, dancers (ballet, hip hop, tap, jazz, etc.), musicians, sight acts, illusionists, comedians and so on.[15] The winning contestant (or act) each week received $5,000 from NAB (National Australia Bank) and the Grand Final winner received $100,000.

The show's two judges/mentors were the original show's longest-serving Young Talent Team member Tina Arena (who appeared from 1977 to 1983 – six years 6 Months), and Filipino-American choreographer Charles Klapow, one of the winners of the Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Choreography’ for High School Musical 2. Better known as 'Chucky' Klapow, he also helped choreograph the films Cheetah Girls 2, High School Musical and High School Musical 3: Senior Year as well as appearing in all three High School Musical movies as a dancer. He has choreographed for Mick Jagger and dances alongside Michael Jackson in the film Michael Jackson's This Is It. Klapow had previously been a judge on UK talent show Don't Stop Believing. TV Personality Ian Dickson filled in as judge while Tina Arena was ill for one episode. From the beginning of the finals competition he served as a full-time judge.

While the judges decided the winning contestant (or act) of each weekly episode, viewers could vote online for any of the weekly runners-up to become a 'wild-card' entrant, giving them a second chance of making it into the finals. On 20 March, it was announced that YTT would move to Fridays at 7:30 to 8:30, the current time slot of Glee. It is believed YTT was moved because of poor ratings on Sunday night resulting in the much more popular program The Biggest Loser taking the 6:30 to 7:30 timeslot. The YTT team then commenced a tour having shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. The Grand Final episode was aired on 4 May. The talent quest was won by first heat entrants and wildcard winners Lil' Banditz Krew. The all-boys Hip Hop troupe toured with the YTT team and Rob Mills in June & July 2012, visiting various Sydney venues as well as Melbourne and Canberra. YTT was not renewed for the 2013 season because of poor ratings. However, such team members as Aydan Calafiore and Adrien Nookadu went on to have music careers and Georgia-May Davis works with Disney Channel. Lyndall Wennekes also starred on The Voice in 2014, Adrien Nookadu on The X Factor in 2014 and Aydan Calafiore on Australia's Got Talent in 2013.

List of team members 2012[edit]

  • Georgia-May Davis (aged 16)
  • Lyndall Wennekes (aged 16)
  • Adrien Nookadu (aged 15)
  • Tia Gigliotti (aged 15)
  • Tyler Wilford (aged 15)
  • Sean Emmett (aged 14)
  • Serena Suen (aged 14)
  • Michelle Mutyora (aged 13)
  • Nicolas Di Cecco (aged 12)
  • Aydan Calafiore (aged 11)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]