The Mainland Touch - Excerpts

Television, 1985–1989 (Excerpts)

The Mainland Touch was a popular regional news magazine programme broadcast from Christchurch between 1980 until 1990. In excerpts here, Christchurch Botanic Gardens welcomes the arrival of spring with a daffodil festival while local gardening groups prepare a floral carpet. The Wizard of Christchurch battles Telecom over the colour of phone boxes and joins opponents of a proposed restaurant tower in Victoria Square. Punting on the Avon is extended, and a cockatoo hitches a ride in the garden city.

Alma Johnson

Continuity Announcer

Alma Johnson (aka Alma Evans-Freke) was the first female continuity announcer on New Zealand television. She made her debut in August 1960, a few months after Auckland station AKTV-2 began regular broadcasts. By then Johnson had worked extensively in radio, and studied drama in London. As continuity announcer, she introduced and linked the night's shows. Often she worked with Tim Evans-Freke (her future husband). Johnson was known for her diction and style; off-screen she was a noted speech and drama teacher. Her students included Carol Hirschfeld and Jesse Peach. Johnson passed away on 15 September 2017.

Marcus Craig (Diamond Lil)

Entertainer, Actor

In the late 1970s actor and singer Marcus Craig ( aka Diamond Lil) popularised the glittering world of drag for mainstream New Zealand. His hit cabaret act featured talents like Billy T James and Tina Cross; his duet with Fred Dagg made the pop charts. His television credits include satirical series Something to Look Forward to, various guest slots and the role of co-host on variety show Top of the World