YOUNG TALENT TEAM REUNITE THIS WEEK FOR PAY PER VIEW TV SPECIAL
Announcement posted by Damn Good Productions 20 Apr 2021
Young Talent Time is one of Australia’s most beloved and enduring home grown family variety shows. Airing on Network Ten from 1971 to 1988, and then again in 2012, the show has produced some of Australia’s most successful performers.
The first episode of Young Talent Time went to air 50 years ago on 24th April 1971 and exactly 50 years later Johnny Young and members of the Young Talent Team will be getting together to celebrate the show’s anniversary and to record a 2 hour Pay Per View television special. The reunion show will be helmed by creator and long-time host Johnny Young, who first fronted the television show at the age of 24. Also taking part will be members of the Young Talent Team from across the years, including (in alphabetical order) Beven Addinsall, Tina Arena, John Bowles, Sally Boyden, Jamie Churchill, Nicole Cooper, Joey Dee, Vince Deltito, Phillip Gould, Debbie Hancock, Karen Knowles, Mark McCormack, Rob Mcullough, Natalie Miller, Greg Mills, Dannii Minogue, Tim Nelson, Lorena Novona, Greg Poynton, Jane Scali, Vanessa Windsor, and Steven Zammit - with more to be announced in the coming days. Every single living former team member has been approached to appear on the special program, with most agreeing to appear live in-studio or via video message. The program will also include interviews with production crew and super-fans, as well as looks at rare behind-the scenes footage, archival news coverage, appearances, concerts and merchandise.
The show will be taped in Sydney across the weekend of 24 and 25 April; this date was chosen especially because the original program first went to air on Melbourne’s Channel 0 at 7.00pm, Saturday 24 April 1971. Exactly 50 years later, the team will all be together at 7.00pm on 24 April and will celebrate with a Facebook Live broadcast on the official Young Talent Time Facebook page. Members of the team will then be attending a reunion dinner at Sydney CBD restaurant Toppi - whilst the dinner itself will be private, Johnny and the team will be together publicly for the first time and will be available for photo opportunities as they arrive to the venue.
The Pay Per View special will air on streaming portal Epicentre.TV, premiering at 7.00pm on Saturday 1 May 2021. Tickets are available via the show’s official website youngtalenttime.tv.
There are a number of other events planned throughout this anniversary year, beginning with a specially written reunion concert being staged by the Adelaide Cabaret Festival on Saturday June 19 2021. This concert will be hosted by Johnny Young and will feature performances by 7 of the Young Talent Team from across the run of the show. The show’s website is being developed to offer “member opportunities” including streaming of full episodes, discounted merchandise, exclusive interviews with Team members, and more. More events and appearances will be announced in the coming weeks. Members of the Young Talent Team are available for interviews in the lead up to the taping, and also whilst in Sydney between 23 and 26 April.
The program is being produced by Sydney-based production company Damn Good Productions and is being co-produced by former team member Beven Addinsall.
ABOUT YOUNG TALENT TIME
Initially inspired by The Mickey Mouse Club, the series featured a core group of young performers known as the "Young Talent Team" - and it's fair to say that a large proportion of Australia's youth in the 70s and 80s secretly wished they could be part of the "Team". The show originally had a policy that when team members reached 16 years of age, they had to leave the series and move on, but this rule become more fluid as the series continued. The program launched the careers of a number of Australian performers including Debbie Byrne, Jamie Redfern, Sally Boyden, Karen Knowles, Beven Addinsall, Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue.
Not only that, but there were numerous hit singles, fifteen Young Talent Time albums, a film, and a vast range of merchandise (including swap cards, boardgames, toys, and mugs). Both the program itself and its host won numerous Logie Awards. In addition to performances by the Young Talent Team, each episode featured 3 contestants in a talent show style format, where judges awarded points and there was a Grand Final each season. A number of well known Australian performers began their careers as contestants on the show.
Young Talent Time was produced as a joint venture by Lewis-Young Productions (the partnership between host Johnny Young 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 were also taped at the TEN-10 studios in Sydney and on location when the team travelled. 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.
During the run of the show, Johnny Young and the Team made numerous live appearances all over Australia, performing full concerts or short publicity appearances at various venues, often inspiring scenes reminiscent of appearances by rock stars complete with screaming girls and a large press contingent. For instance, in 1987 an audience turnout of over 4,000 people caused trouble at a concert at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Parramatta - fans were crushed in the crowd and the concert was cancelled. In 1988, over 12,000 people attended an outdoor concert held in Brisbane at the 1988 World Expo which was broadcast nationally. 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. The program was "rebooted" in 2012 on Network Ten, giving rise to a whole new generation of fans.
There are still legions of Young Talent Time fans who have fond memories of the show as being important parts of their childhoods.
ABOUT DAMN GOOD PRODUCTIONS
Sydney-based production company Damn Good Productions has long history of producing engaging content. With offices in Australia, UK, and the USA, Damn Good’s work includes a wide range of television and live entertainment including Jamie Oliver, Mariah Carey, Gordon Ramsay, 50 Cent and a wide range of high-end corporate clients. The Damn Good team created MTV Network’s Australia first local commission Freshwater Blue, and currently has a luxury eco-travel program airing on Amazon Prime, Leave No Trace.