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Hero image for Telethon - Fred Dagg

Telethon - Fred Dagg

Television (Excerpts) – 1978

You go for your life, Dougal.
– John Clarke offers support as Dougal Stevenson reads out a viewer request
Nine bucks?
– John Clarke reacts to the princely sum promised if he removes his shirt and sings 'Waltzing Matilda'
We three kings of Orient are, one in a tractor, one in a car, one on a scooter tooting a hooter, following yonder star...
– Fred Dagg (John Clarke) performs a Kiwi version of Christmas carol 'We Three Kings'
Telethon was a real change. The people you saw on the box every night, reading the news seriously, suddenly had a human face — they became normal...in those days we didn’t have such a thing as 'celebrities' — that came later. TV presenters didn’t appear on the covers of women’s magazines until the late 1980s.
– Broadcaster turned academic Aline Sandilands, on the novelty of early Telethons in New Zealand, The Australian Women's Weekly, 6 July 2015
Dear oh dear, these lights do turn up the pinkness...
– Dougal Stevenson pokes fun at John Clarke's pale looking upper body
The Telethons in other countries were much shorter in duration. Here the small child with a recorder from Gore could get as much airtime as a major act from Auckland — that entertainment democracy is what gave it its charm. Schools and clubs got involved in the build-up months beforehand. It was this strange, crazy, wild, wonderful circus. God knows how many press-ups I had to do on national television.
– Television veteran Andrew Shaw describes New Zealand's Telethons in the 1970s and 80s, The Australian Women's Weekly, 6 July 2015