1 9 7 1 – 1 9 8 8 (Australia)
800+ x 30 minute episodes
“Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you . . .”. Sing this to Australians of a certain generation, and they will sing the “oo-oo-oo’s” back in rapturous nostalgia.
Each week for 18 years from April 1971 onwards, the avuncular Johnny Young brought his sequined show to a close with a gooey version of this Beatles classic.
His junior hoofers would sway around him in a feel-good kinda way while he muttered inane “goodnight Ethel” messages to viewers old, young and in hospital.
These kids knew how to smile, sing and box step at the same time.
Like a cabaret kindergarten, Young Talent Time (first airing in black & white on 23 April 1971) nurtured fledgeling dreams and produced a veritable host of successful careers including Tina Arena, Dannii Minogue (pictured), Debra Byrne, Jamie Redfern, Jane Scali, Sally Boyden, Karen Knowles and Philip Gould.
Regular cast members included – at various times – Johnny Young (natch), Jamie Redfern, Debbie Byrne, Philip Gould, Jane Scali, Vikki Broughton, Rod Kirkham, Sally Boyden, Karen Knowles, Greg Mills, Derek Redfern, Tina Arena, Danni Minogue, Nicole Cooper, Steven Zammit, Vanessa Winter, Julie Ryles, Trevor Hindmarsh, Jodie Loebert, John Bowles, Joey Perrone, Evie Hayes and Ron Tudor.
Julie Ryles died in January 2011 from a rare condition known as progressive subcortical gliosis. She was 53.