1 9 8 1 (Australia)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Premiering on ATN7 on 1 February 1981, Australian sitcom Daily at Dawn came from Tony Sattler and Gary Reilly – the creators, writers and producers who had been responsible for the popular Aussie comedy Kingswood Country.
Unfortunately, this disappointing piece set in the newspaper offices of The Sun was not to enjoy the same success.
One of the principal failures of Daily At Dawn was that it had too many characters who were not sufficiently distinguished in type from each other.
Paul Chubb played the rather large and flabby sportswriter Russell Ducke (who lived under the snooker table at the Journalists Club); Terry Bader was gay showbiz and social writer Lesley Windrush, and Henry Szeps played sexist news editor Joe Parker.
Noeline Brown (ex-Naked Vicar Show) worked steadily against the tide as Joe’s ex-wife, career journalist Phil Maguire; tightwad Gil James (Robert Hughes) was “the meanest man in the Australian Journalists Association”, and Kate Ashton (Julieanne Newbould) was having an on-off affair with Gil.
There was also a keen young cadet, Danny Mason (Theo Stephens,) whose grandmother was the largest single shareholder in the company which owned and published The Sun.
Danny had two things on his mind: finding a scoop and losing his virginity.
Because of its indifferent performance, Daily at Dawn died only seven weeks into its 13 episode series. Six episodes never even made it to air but were eventually broadcast the following year.
Robert Hughes went on to a starring role in Hey Dad before being tried and jailed for child sexual abuse in 2014.