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Hero image for Frank Torley - On and off the farm...

Frank Torley - On and off the farm...

Interview – 2011

The late Frank Torley was a Kiwi television legend, forever known as that Country Calendar guy - he variously narrated, directed, produced, and reported for the show over more than 40 years. But Torley hadn’t always been Mr Rural. He also spent time as a newsreader, Top Town presenter, documentary maker (including an early doco on AIDs), and producing religious programmes.

In this ScreenTalk, Torley talks about:

  • Breaking into radio as a rural broadcaster, during his Mark III Zephyr/slouch hat period
  • The joys of producing Country Calendar, and offering a front window into farming for the common man
  • The origins of Country Calendar’s spoofs, and contributions by cartoonist Burton Silver
  • The early Country Calendar producer who kept offending the people being interviewed
  • The nail-biting dog versus sheep tension that was A Dog’s Show, thanks to host John Gordon - and Torley's thoughts on the show’s premature cancellation
  • Being compared to a startled rabbit, while newsreading for the newly reborn TV One
  • Handling birth scenes for documentary From Here to Maternity
  • The days when ratings weren’t so important
  • To retire - or not to retire

This video was first uploaded on 22 March 2011, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.

Interview - Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing - Alex Backhouse