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Hero image for Spot On - First Episode

Spot On - First Episode

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1974

Ian Pryor
Ian Pryor (NZ On Screen team)
12 Dec 2022 - 01.23pm
Thanks for sorting the musical mystery Damien! I've added that info in. Sadly we don't have Sport on One on NZ On Screen.
Damien Service
7 Dec 2022 - 09.16pm
The theme music is called 'Blue Boy' by Jan Akkerman and is (no pun intended) on Spotify.

In fact I also found the theme music for "Sport On One". It is by Percy Faith and is called "1-2-3-4".

Not sure if NZ On Screen has a listing for that programme.
13 Apr 2021 - 02.26pm
Does anyone know when the Spot On Crew went to the South Pole McMurdo Base ... I was in the cab of my Front End Loader when the Cameraman took videos of me driving the Loader loading the American Aircraft ... 1977 or 1978?
26 Jan 2015 - 05.04pm
Dig the Hi-Tech lighthouse light controller! :-)

The pacing is so much slower... back when kids had attention spans :-/
26 Jan 2015 - 04.46pm
Amazing how 'affected' the accents were - but then again, it matched the usual Received Pronunciation / Oxford of news readers etc of the time.
Or maybe scarfies all talked like that back then ;-)
David French
David French
16 Aug 2014 - 02.51pm
For the very last Spot On programme, Bob Parker hosted a special 'This is Your Life' style show bringing back some of the old hosts and playing old clips.

The other two presenters were Erin Dunleavy and Douglas Blair. Erin worked at the switchboards for the NZBC's Dunedin station, when Murray Hutchinson asked her to audition for the show. By 1988 she had left New Zealand and was working in the TV industry in The Netherlands.

In 1976 Douglas Blair did the first overseas report for Spot On, travelling round L.A., Hawaii and Mexico. He loved it so much that six months later he left New Zealand and shifted to L.A. permanently. By 1988 he was pursuing an acting career.

Ray mentions about the showing going twice weekly at one point. When that happened, Murray Hutchinson tapped Evelyn Skinner to audition for the show. Evelyn was working at the research department at the time when she was approached, the idea being that she would bring a serious news element to the show. She left NZ to work for the BBC, but by 1988 she had left the industry and was doing a manual course in osteopathy.
Paul Ward
3 Feb 2014 - 01.50pm
Cheers for your comments Ray - great context. If you let us know your co-presenters' names we'll add them to the credits.
Ray Millard
Ray Millard
3 Feb 2014 - 01.36pm
Ho - it's Ray here also going through a cringe at the accent and my nervous presentation. Oh dear those memories of dying "On Air" come flooding back!
But first Lara - I am very sorry for the way you were treated by our programme. It certainly was wrong for your embarrassment to be aired nationally on TV. TV were terrible for doing this and I do hope you will accept my apology on everybody's behalf.

We were compiling the programme "live" for the 1st 8x shows, but in reality it probably took us about 6 months to get over our acute self consciousness. For the first 18 months we were on air 2x a week, and with a production team of only 5 to begin with we were extraordinarily busy. I also became adept at hiding my gaffs by distracting tactics when we viewed the programme as a team when it was on air.

Yes Moana the issue of accents really bugged the whole film and TV industries at that time. Kiwis wouldn't go to the movies for a NZ film because of it. It probably was "Shortland St" who finally made the breakthrough God bless them. Our model for all broadcasting was very much the BBC at that time. Our programme's format came from a British show called "Blue Peter". The accent was acceptable on radio but TV was a different ballgame. For "Spot On" though the breakthrough with accents came in the mid 70's with Ian Taylor and then Danny Watson who were very much "themselves" and were, in part, very popular because of it. But my 'doo was popular there with John M & bro' at least. I used to think they hired me for that hairstyle, and the ear-ring which wasn't a big fashion thing in those days.

The guitarist's name is on the tip of my tongue Ritchie but it's commercial, not "in house". We had to get the theme music early so the animator - John Noakes could do all the drawings in time. We stewed over the name Spot On for ages because it was already a part of the vernacular so we were aware that it might date quite quickly. But in the end I think the programme endured for so long on it's own merits anyway.

"I want to marry a Lighthouse Keeper" goes way back to Music Hall day's (late18th-early/19th century) at least. Murray Hutchinson had a big collection of old tapes which he used to plunder for inspiration occasionally with such classic takes on "I'm Henry the 8th I Am" & "With His Head Tucked Underneath His Arm" (he walked the bloody tower) etc becoming repeated favourites on the show.

I'll show my youngest son these clips tonight as well and we'll all have a laugh about the good old days.
David Ritchie
13 Dec 2012 - 02.11pm
Choice! As you say, classic. "I Want To Marry A Lighthouse Keeper" was sung by Erika Eigen (and was on the "Clockwork Orange" soundtrack).
Damien Service
31 Oct 2011 - 01.10pm
Does anyone know whether the music was in-house or was it a commercial track?
20 Jan 2011 - 07.05pm
Wots with the accents?! hahaha!!! they sound like a cross between South African and Kiwi... I'm glad its PC to speak like a Kiwi on TV nowadays.
2 Nov 2010 - 09.42pm
This is great! Paul Donovan was my photography tutor last year. Small world.
22 Oct 2010 - 09.29pm
Gosh.... One of my favourite shows when I was a kid. But it all turned to a CRINGE moment. Spot On came to film at our school unexpectedly, we were told to think of the wackiest answer we could think of. Then in front of camera we were asked what we thought happened on July 10th 1967?
We all were born after that date so had no idea.... My answer was so stupid..... Then I was shown ON AIR! Couldn't show my parents I was so embarrased, luckily this was way before TV recording. Just after my horror moment had passed I called my parents in to come to see..... Oh they missed it..... Never mind.... Grumpy parents.
I'm Still cringing till this day!!
Richie Isaacs
19 Sep 2010 - 07.01pm
Best use of 'geometrics' in a sentence ever!
Richie Isaacs
Richie Isaacs
19 Sep 2010 - 06.48pm
I was six when this aired! I LOVE this (and this site!)
I can now share my childhood with my overseas friends.
(That guitar-work in the intro theme is sublime!)
17 Jul 2010 - 12.21am
Hahaha! This is gold! I've always remembered Spot On as a kid, I my brother and I always remember Ray and his magnificent doo. We must have been too young to appreciate the very cute Erin.
22 Mar 2010 - 09.02am
That was really interesting, and such a flashback!
Lighthouse keepers had such a lonesome existence, but that one was at least attached to the mainland.
Thanks for that. :)
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