Young Talent Time

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Young Talent Time
Young Talent Time 2012 logo.jpg
2012 logo
Created byKevin Lewis
Johnny Young
Presented byJohnny Young (1971–1988)
Rob Mills (2012)
Opening themeYoung Talent Time
Ending theme"All My Loving" by Johnny Young (original series)
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons18 (1971–1988)
1 (2012)
No. of episodes804 (1971–1988)
15 (2012)
Executive producersJohnny Young
Kevin Lewis (1971–1975)
Production locationsATV-0, Melbourne, Victoria (1971–1988)
Fox Studios, Sydney, New South Wales (2012)
Running time44 minutes
Production companiesLewis/Young Productions (1971–1975)
Television House (1976–1988)
Granada Media Australia (2012)
Original networkNetwork Ten
Picture formatBlack & White (1971–1975)
PAL (1975–1988)
DVB-T 576i (2012)
Audio formatMono (1971–1979)
Stereo (1979-1988, 2012)
Original releaseOriginal series:
  • 24 April 1971 (1971-04-24)-23 December 1988 (1988-12-23)
Revived series:
22 January 2012 (2012-01-22) –
4 May 2012 (2012-05-04)

Young Talent Time is an Australian television variety program produced by Lewis-Young Productions and screened on Network Ten. The original series ran from 1971 until 1988 and was hosted by singer-songwriter and record producer Johnny Young for its entire run. The show was briefly revived by Network Ten in 2012 and was hosted by singer and actor Rob Mills.[1]


The series featured a core group of young performers, in the vein of The Mickey Mouse Club, and a weekly junior talent quest. The regular cast known as "The Young Talent Team" performed 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 Sally Boyden, Jamie Redfern, Vikki Broughton, Debra Byrne (billed then as Debbie), Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue and spawned numerous hit singles, fifteen Young Talent Time albums, a film, as well as merchandise including swap cards, boardgames, toys, and mugs. The program won numerous Logie Awards.

Young Talent Time (1971–1988)[edit]

Production details[edit]

Young Talent Time 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.

On average, 44 episodes were produced per year for 18 years. The episodes were broadcast in black and white from April 1971 to April 1975, thereafter in colour. The final episode aired on 23 December 1988.

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.

The cast featured the then-current line-up of the Young Talent Team (Jamie Redfern, Rod Kirkham, Greg Mills, Philip Gould, Julie Ryles, Debbie Byrne, Vikki Broughton and Jane Scali) prior to Redfern's departure to tour the US with Liberace. Despite not appearing in the film, new team member Trevor Hindmarch turned up to the premiere, as seen in the documentary Young Talent Time Tells All.

It featured actor/comedian Buster Fiddess (as Mr Crawley) and Addie Black, and guest appearances by Johnny Young (in multiple cameos as a service station attendant, farmer, caravan site manager and speedboat lake), Evie Hayes and John Farnham (then known as Johnny Farnham) as himself. Fiddess died just a few days after he finished filming his scenes. There was also a film clip made for the Young Talent Team's version of The Cowsills' hit song The Rain, The Park and Other Things, shot in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, but despite not appearing on the actual recording, being recorded prior to their recruitment, Mills and Ryles appeared in the clip.

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).

In the opening credit sequence, Jane Scali's surname is misspelt as Scarli.


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

Members of the cast who found continued success after leaving the series and continue working as performers include Tina Arena, Vikki Broughton, Jane Scali, Jamie Redfern, Dannii Minogue, Karen Knowles, Sally Boyden, and Debra Byrne and John Bowles.

The show had a policy that when team members reached 16 years of age, they had to leave the series and move on,[2] but this rule would subsequently be stretched and broken.

Concerts and live appearances[edit]

Over the 18 years of the original show, Johnny Young and the various cast members made numerous live appearances all over Australia, performing full concerts or short publicity appearances at various venues.

In 1973, Young, the cast and Denis Walter supported Jamie Redfern in a series of live concerts. The Jamie Redfern Show sold out a number of shows at Melbourne's Festival Hall.

In 1987, an unanticipated audience turnout of over 4,000 people caused trouble at a concert at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Parramatta. Some fans were crushed in the crowd and the concert was cancelled. Joey Dee had to be treated for a knee injury and Courtney Compagnino had to be treated for shock.

In 1988, over 12,000 people attended an outdoor concert held in Brisbane at the 1988 World Expo, which was broadcast on television the following week.

At the end of 1988, Young and the cast performed a series of concerts. The final concert was held at the Melbourne Tennis Centre on 23 December, the same night on which the last episode of Young Talent Time aired on Network Ten.

Luna Park incident[edit]

In the early 1970s[when?] the cast performed at Luna Park Sydney. Due to the large crowd in attendance, they were unable to leave. Park management offered to stop the scenic railway so that the cast could exit through the tunnel. According to Greg Mills, the train driver was not told, and the train did not stop. The cast narrowly avoided death by pressing themselves against the wall of the tunnel. If not for Brad Boyden, Sally Boyden's father, neither of the team would have known that the roller coaster train was even approaching. Trevor Hindmarch came the closest to death or injury as his jacket was almost caught on the speeding vehicle as it passed. Fortunately Trevor lost only a button.[3][4]

Final years[edit]

In 1988, an episode of Young Talent Time was shot in the United States. The two-hour special, Young Talent Time at Universal Studios, aired on 13 August 1988.

In its final years, Young Talent Time began to struggle for ratings, particularly following the decision of the Nine Network to move its popular early morning variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday to the 6:30 pm slot in 1985, which put it in direct competition to Young Talent Time.

After four years of dwindling ratings, in October 1988 Network Ten finally decided to move YTT to Friday nights at 7.30 pm, but the change did not help. The show was cancelled three months later. The general manager of Channel 10 Melbourne, Renny Cunnack, announced on 25 January 1989 that Young Talent Time would "not be resuming production in 1989". Cunnack himself was dismissed as General Manager three months later. The following day on Australia Day in 1989, the Young Talent Time cast performed a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

Near the end of 1988, Johnny Young had 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 ended this plan and he was forced to sell his family home to finance his debts.[5][6]

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 September 26, 2021, Channel 10 aired a special anniversary edition of Young Talent Time. It marked the show's 50th anniversary.[7]

List of team members 1971–1988[edit]

  • Vikki Broughton[8] (1971–73) (first act to be signed)
  • Rod Kirkham[9] (1971–73)
  • Phillip Gould[10] (1971–75; 1975–76)
  • Debra Byrne (1971–75)
  • Jamie Redfern (1971–72)
  • Jane Scali[11] (1971–76)
  • Greg Mills[12] (1971–75)
  • Julie Ryles[13] (1971–76)
  • Trevor Hindmarch[14] (1972–77)
  • 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 Bowles (1977–81)
  • Tina Arena (1977–83; longest-serving cast member)
  • Bobby Driessen (1979–83)
  • Jodie Loebert (1980–83)
  • Joe(y) Perrone[15] (1980–84)
  • Michael Campbell (1981–83)
  • Karen Dunkerton[16] (1981–85)
  • Katie Van Ree[17] (1981–86)
  • Mark McCormack (1982–83)
  • Danielle Minogue (1982–88)
  • Vince Del Tito (1983–88)
  • Beven Addinsall (1983–88)[18][19]
  • Vanessa Windsor (1983–87)
  • Greg Poynton (1984–88)
  • Lorena Novoa (1984–87)[20][21]
  • Tim Nelson (1984–87)
  • Natalie Miller (1985–88)
  • Mark Stevens (1985–88)
  • Courtney Compagnino (1986–88)
  • Juanita Coco (1987–88)
  • Joey Dee (1987–88)
  • Rikki Arnot (1987–88)
  • Jamie Churchill (1988)
  • Johnnie Nuich (1988; shortest-serving cast member)

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 former Young Talent Time cast: Dannii Minogue, Vince Del Tito, Natalie Miller, Lorena Novoa, Beven Addinsall; and a new member, Keith Williams, from Los Angeles. The show also featured regular appearances from the younger members of the former cast, who were billed as "The Young Generation": Jamie Churchill, Johnnie Nuich, Joey Dee, Courtney Compagnino, Juanita Coco and Rikki Arnot.

The New Generation was hosted by American Michael Young, the host of the Emmy Award winning Kids Are People Too. Thirteen 30-minute episodes were produced by Johnny Young's Television House and Fries Entertainment and screened on CBN Cable Network/The CBN Family Channel (now Freeform) in the US.

Young Talent Time (1990)[edit]

In 1990 Johnny Young self-funded and produced a one-off direct-to-video special titled Young Talent Time Now - 1990. It featured the final six members of the cast (Jamie Churchill, Johnnie Nuich, Joey Dee, Courtney Compagnino, Juanita Coco, and Rikki Arnot) and former cast member Beven Addinsall.

Young Talent Time (2012)[edit]

Network Ten and Granada 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 15-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.[22] The winning contestant (or act) each week received $5,000 from NAB (National Australia Bank) and the Grand Final winner received $100,000. Sherrynne Johnson a young Tasmanian semi finals Winner was unable to return for the Grand Final due to unforeseen family circumstances.

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 and July 2012, visiting various Sydney venues as well as Melbourne and Canberra.

YTT was not renewed for a 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 worked with Disney Channel Australia. Lyndall Wennekes later starred on The Voice in 2014, Adrien Nookadu on The X Factor in 2014. Aydan Calafiore appeared on Australia's Got Talent in 2013 and auditioned for the 2017 and 2018 seasons of The Voice, being unable to turn a chair in 2017 but turning all four chairs in 2018. Aydan joined Joe Jonas' and ultimately placed 4th place on The Voice, which resulted in him releasing his own music as well as being on Eurovision - Australia Decides in 2019.

List of Team Members[edit]

Discography and videography[edit]


A one-hour prime-time television documentary Young Talent Time Tells All aired on Network Ten on 29 October 2001. Produced and directed by former YTT cast member John Bowles, it was a tremendous ratings success celebrating the show's 30th anniversary. Bowles interviewed over thirty of the original cast members for the programme. Archive footage, including clips thought to have been lost, were interspersed with the YTT kids speaking about their experiences on and off-air.

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 launch the release of an extended version of the Young Talent Time Tells All documentary on DVD (through Universal Pictures). The original documentary TV Special was extended, and bonus features and rare footage, not seen in the television version, were added. It 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 albums, with Australian chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart
Young Talent Time
  • Released: 1971
  • Format: LP
  • Label: Festival Records
Young Talent Time: Volume 2
  • Released: 1972
  • Format: LP
  • Label: Festival Records
Young Talent Time: Volume 3
(also known as Sing the Hits)
  • Released: November 1973
  • Format: LP
  • Label: L&Y Records (L25050)
Young Talent Time: Volume 4
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1974
  • Format: LP
  • Label: L&Y Records (L25155)
Young Talent Time: Favourite Hits - Volume 5
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1975
  • Format: LP
  • Label: L&Y Records (L25207)
Johnny Young & The Young Talent Team: Mother's Favourites
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1976
  • Format: LP
  • Label: L&Y Records (L25261)
The Young Talent Team Salutes ABBA
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1976
  • Format: LP
  • Label: L&Y Records (L25275)
Tiny Tina and Little John
(Tina Arena & Johnny Bowles)
  • Released: 1977
  • Format: LP
  • Label: Pisces Records (L 27025)
Sing the Hits
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: May 1980
  • Format: LP
  • Label: J&B (JB049)
  • Compilation album
Just for Fun
(as Johnny Young and the Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1980
  • Format: LP
  • Label: Hammard (HAM 066)
10th Anniversary Album
  • Released: May 1981
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: K-Tel (NA 569)
  • Compilation album
Now And Then 15th Anniversary Album
  • Released: 1985
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: Hammard (HAM 128)
  • Compilation album
Young Talent Team: Phenomenon
  • Released: 1987
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: Hammard (HAM 168)
Super Hits 88/89
(as The New Young Talent Team)
  • Released: 1988
  • Format: LP, Cassette
  • Label: Hammard (HAM 181)
Johnny Young & The Young Talent Teams: The Final Farewell
(as Johnny Young & The Young Talent Teams)
  • Released: 1989
  • Format: 2x Cassette
  • Label: Hammard (HAM 181)


TV Week Logie Awards[edit]

  • 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
  • Award for Sustained Excellence (presented in 1982)
  • Johnny Young - Logie Hall of Fame (1990)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ten announces 2012 line-up: something old, something new". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. ^ Where are they now- Young Talent Time (90's version) YouTube
  3. ^ Who Magazine - Young Talent Time - Where Are They Now? special, 20 October 1997, page 64.
  4. ^ Apter, Jeff (2 October 2017). Playing to Win: The Definitive Biography of John Farnham. Nero. ISBN 9781925435269. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ Familiar twinkle stands the test of time, By Lawrence Money, 15 February 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald
  6. ^ Johnny Young, MILESAGO - Groups & Solo Artists -
  7. ^ "Channel 10 revives Young Talent Time with 50th anniversary special featuring Tina Arena & Dannii Minogue". The Music Network. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  8. ^ Vicki Broughton at IMDb
  9. ^ Rod Kirkham at IMDb
  10. ^ Phillip Gould at IMDb
  11. ^ Jane Scali at IMDb
  12. ^ Greg Mills at IMDb
  13. ^ Julie Ryles at IMDb
  14. ^ Trevor Hindmarch at IMDb
  15. ^ Joe(y) Perrone at IMDb
  16. ^ Karen Dunkerton at IMDb
  17. ^ Katie Van Ree at IMDb
  18. ^ Beven Addinsall, IMDb
  19. ^ ENTERTAINMENT: Beven Addinsall, Hamilton Island Weddings, ...Fame arrived early for Beven with a musical career that commenced on national television at the age of 11. Beven first appeared on our screens in Channel 10’s Young Talent Time in which he starred for over 6 years...
  20. ^ Lorena Novoa is an Actor, Extra and Singer based in Victoria, Australia. StarNow, ...1984 Young Talent TIme -Channel 10 : Singer/ Entertainer...
  21. ^ Lorena Novoa IMDb
  22. ^ Who will host Young Talent Time for TEN?, 13 August 2011 By David Knox, TV Tonight
  23. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. pp. 320–322, 346. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External links[edit]