Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Voices Worthy of Some Lovin'; Finally Some Real Talent Has Been Revealed

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Voices Worthy of Some Lovin'; Finally Some Real Talent Has Been Revealed

Article excerpt

IN the 1970s and '80s, there was one Aussie TV show that was so despised by blokes of all ages, it took on almost mythological status.

This show was so fiendishly tortuous and grating that a mere 30-second TV promo for it could send most men running screaming from the loungeroom.

I speak, of course, of Young Talent Time, the series that pioneered the talent show format in Oz.

In a time before Justin Bieber or One Direction, 'tween girls used to sing into their hairbrushes in front of Johnny Young's all-singing, all-dancing, all-smiling teenage starlets.

Young Talent Time was Australia's Mickey Mouse Club. It ran from 1971-1988 and spawned the careers of Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue. So, yes, it does have a lot to answer for.

While my friend's younger sister used to plan her entire week around her beloved YTT, I, like most boys, would have sooner watched a documentary on the history of nose picking before I voluntarily took in a single minute of the show.

The show would open with host Johnny Young grinning like the cheshire cat, flanked by a horde of inanely upbeat teens who made the cast of modern-day cheesefest Glee look like sullen goths.

Anyone foolish enough not to flick the telly's dial to a more sane offering was then treated to an hour of horrible, high-pitched teen renditions of pop songs, which were all delivered with that one, insane Joker-esque grin.

The show then closed with its fiendish ringmaster Johnny belting out a sugary ballad version of The Beatles' hit, All My Loving, while his still-grinning-inanely proteges swayed in time.

I never did understand the show's appeal. Perhaps the sight of mediocre teen singers belting out kitsch showtoons, all sung in the key of shrill, inspired preteen viewers to picture themselves in the YTT cast's shoes.

It was, therefore, a mercy when, after haunting our TVs through the better part of two decades, the cast of YTT flashed their last manic grins in 1988. …

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