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)
Production
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)
Release
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 was 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 musician Johnny Young for its entire run. The show was briefly revived by Network Ten in 2012 and was hosted by musician 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 "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 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.

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 & 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.

It 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.

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).

Alumni[edit]

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, Jane Scali, Jamie Redfern, Dannii Minogue, Karen Knowles, Sally Boyden, and Debra Byrne.

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. 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 avoid injury by pressing themselves against the wall of the tunnel[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.

List of team members 1971–1988[edit]

  • Rod Kirkham[5] (1971–73)
  • Vikki Broughton[6] (1971–73)
  • Phillip Gould[7] (1971–75; 1975–1976)
  • Debra Byrne (1971–75)
  • Jamie Redfern (1971–72)
  • Jane Scali[8] (1971–76)
  • Greg Mills[9] (1971–76)
  • Julie Ryles[10] (1971–76)
  • 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 cast member)
  • Bobby Driessen (1979–83)
  • Jodie Loebert (1980–83)
  • Joe(y) Perrone[12] (1980–84)
  • Michael Campbell (1981–83)
  • Karen Dunkerton[13] (1981–85)
  • Katie Van Ree[14] (1981–86)
  • Mark McCormack (1982–83)
  • Dannii Minogue (1982–88)
  • Vince Del Tito (1983–88)
  • 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)
  • Joey Dee (1987–88)
  • Rikki Arnot (1987–88)
  • Jamie Churchill (1988)
  • John(nie) 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 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]

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 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.

Discography and videography[edit]

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.

Albums[edit]

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)

Singles[edit]

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)

Awards[edit]

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]

References[edit]

External links[edit]