TELEVISION “ON THE BLINK” by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’


by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

The World progresses. Television, as we know it in Australia is “on the blink”. For around sixty three years, since “the box” was introduced, Prime Minister Robert Menizies made the actual “formal introduction” of the A.B.C.(Channel 2) + 2 other Commercial Stations, namely Channels 7 & 9, in 1954, especially with the view that “TELEVISION” would be the ideal source of advertising the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and then, go on from there.

This writer, still in Ceylon, had just joined the Royal Ceylon Navy and, of course, knew nothing of the “happenings” in Australia, but had already “appeared ” on television in Colombo, (actually at a huge variety entertainment event at St.Peter’s College, (my Alma-Mater), where the giant International Recording Company “Philips”of Holland was in the process of trying to introduce Television to the Ceylonese people, and “yours truly” was the “original” Songwriter to have my own composition(Dream-World), accepted by them and as such, was the first “Showbiz Personality” to be featured on “The Philips Show” (on stage & T.V.),in Lanka, together with ” The Blue Diamonds” who were already “Stars” in Holland. The “Television set-up” was installed in the large main concert hall at College & the entire show was a sell-out. Television, however, proved to be far too expensive a project in Ceylon, at the time & Philips, although disappointed, did not succeed in selling that particular product to our little Island. I went back to entertaining the Armed Forces of Ceylon, which earned me my first “title”, The Singing Sailor.

Life, as we all know, has many “learning curves”. I “missed-out” on “television” in Australia simply because I “ended-up” in Melbourne, just a LITTLE too late. In 1962, they already had all the future T.V. Stars they wanted. “Dream-World” was still a “Hit” in Ceylon BUT I was not about to “bribe” anyone on Radio here, to feature it “on-air”. Bribery & Corruption has NEVER played a part in my life & never will. Besides, with a young family to look after, I had to work extremely hard & although there is “no business like it, Showbiz., for me, always took second place”.

Television in Australia became a mammoth Industry as the years went by. From Black & White to Colour, from Analog to digital , from ordinary to “smart” , from the A.B.C., Channels 7 & 9, to DOZENS of other Commercial Channels. Some, very good, some shocking & extremely “Amateur”, I do not intend to separate them but “Viewers” will know exactly what I mean. I now “write” about Melbourne & Victoria only. I have no idea about the other States in this Land.

On both Television & Radio, in Victoria, only the MAIN “Stations” count for anything. Dozens of so-called “Community Radio Stations” too, most of them, not too much to write home about. Then, we have these Multi-Cultural T.V. Stations. My own CHOICE among them would be S.B.S. They provide excellent entertainment for everyone in Victoria. The others leave a lot to be desired. “Sponsors in Showbiz” & Money, Money, Money, is not everything folks, “The best things in life are free”, or, so the song goes, anyway.

Nowadays, once again, everything is changing rapidly. After the end of June, 2017, there is no chance that you will be entertained AT ALL if you are stupid.

Everything now, to the inclusion of your tiny telephone has to be “Smart” to be effective. Your T.V.Sets will also have to be ultra-smart if you are going to see what you want to see. Everything now is “on-line”., in the “old days” the only thing on-line would be a fish-hook. Now, you have the “Mosquito-Net”, the “Hair- Net” & the “Internet” to catch your fish. If “you” are the fish, now, your best “advertising” will be “on-line” on the Lankan/Australian Website named eLanka. Now, there will be no “ads” anywhere, unless you are familiar with “aps”. The more”aps” you have, the “appier” you’ll be.

To end this blinking television crisis, from July, 2017 MANY TELEVISION CHANNELS WILL BE NO MORE. As the year progresses, many more will be no more.
Channels 7 & 9 (together with their “off-shoots”) will still be “on-air” & on-line, as well. Channel 10 has just about “had-it”, & the Sri Lankan Morning Show will now be ON, morning, noon, or night, but ONLY on-line.

I do feel saddened for the “people” definitely affected by the new Government Rules, including the older folk who have no “access” to these new-fangled “gadgets”, but when you are half a TRILLION dollars in debt, who can blame them? . Television? Is “on the blink” in Australia, but then, President Trump is “on the brink”, in America. Gives us a lot to “think” about when everything “stinks” in a purely “Commercial-World”.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.

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