52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Week 6 – Radio & Television

11 February 2011

Gunderson young familyI’m participating in the 52 weeks of personal genealogy and history challenge.

This week’s topic is all about our favourite radio or television show when we were kids. I remember loving Romper Room and each time I waited for Miss Betty to say my name at the end of the program but it was always the more regular kind of kid’s names. There weren’t that many Shauna’s in the late 50s early 60s in Australia so although I watched Romper Room, my memories are more of disappointment and wanting to be like the other kids. My surname was Norwegian and having an Irish given name was an odd combination that no one could pronounce or spell!

My happier memories of television are because we lived just down the road from the television studios in Brisbane. Our parents used to drop us off there, along with the neighbour’s kids, every Saturday and we used to be part of the audience for the local children’s shows on Channels 7, 9 and 10. We used to pick a different station each week. I can honestly say I remember Kerri-Anne Kennerley when she was young, along with Jacki MacDonald and a host of other local Brisbane TV presenters of the 60s.

If it was your birthday you got selected to participate in some of the sessions and both my brother and I were in special segments at various times, even our dog Scamp was on the pets session. I remember winning a game by Professor Julius Sumner Miller and they gave it to me because they said I looked the brainy type! Wish I still had the game but can’t remember what happened to it. Probably disposed of after I left home.

I even remember my little brother’s 5 minutes of fame – he went on the tell a joke segment and Beanpole asked him what was his joke. My brother said ‘Why was the sand wet?’ and the answer was ‘because the sea weed’. I can still remember the whole audience laughing and Beanpole asking can we say that on live television – how times have changed. It is still the only joke that I can remember.

I wonder if that television footage is somewhere in the studio archives – it would be really great to see ourselves again as young children. Although without dates I suspect it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack even if it has survived.

A few years back now I took my son to be in the audience of Gladiators when it was filmed in Brisbane. He loved the show and being in the audience was just so much better and more exciting. You also experience the energy and enthusiasm of those sitting around you.

There are a few shows filmed here in Melbourne – I must try and get into an audience again. It is definitely more fun being part of the show than just watching at home and if you can catch a glimpse of yourself on TV,even better!


Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. In 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Services to Family History Award for her achievements in Queensland, Canberra and Victoria.

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  1. I remember waiting in vain for miss Betty to look into her magic mirror and say my name also no Sharns then either… ‘romper stomper bomper boo, magic mirror tell me do’ memories….
    I was on the ABC Birthday show and told a joke as well. I asked ‘what holds the bricks in a wall together?’ The presenter was supposed to say the obvious ..cement.. and I would have answered smartly ,’ No that holds them about half an inch apart.’ He said, ‘Mortar’ which I had never heard of and I stood there dumb… the audience laughed and someone said ‘Oh she has forgotten the answer.’ I tried to explain what should have transpired but… to this day feel the mortification .’

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