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The Book Show (1986 - 1997)

Magazine program
Weekly x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

A weekly magazine program about books and writing with presenters Dinny O’Hearn and Andrea Stretton.

Curator’s Notes:

SBS began broadcasting in 1985 and The Book Show commenced shortly after that. Dinny O’Hearn was the original presenter. He was a Melbourne academic and administrator who made a lasting contribution to Australian writing and literary life by tirelessly promoting Australian literature in the media. He died in 1993, much mourned by his loyal audience.

Andrea Stretton joined the program for the second series in 1987. She and Dinny then became co-presenters for The Book Show. She was one of the best known arts journalists in Australia, working for a decade as the presenter, series editor and scriptwriter of The Book Show and, after Dinny’s death, Bookmark. She presented Masterpiece (2008) for SBS, which showcased international arts documentaries, and delivered the occasional Masterpiece Special in which she would conduct an hour-long interview with a visiting arts celebrity, usually a writer. She then moved to the ABC to present their arts programs on Sunday Afternoon for the next five years. She died in 2007.

The wonderful thing about The Book Show was the breadth of knowledge that both Andrea and Dinny displayed in their interviews. They’d read the book in question, they knew about the author’s life and times and they engaged with the writer about his or her previous works. These two proved that 'talking head’ television could work.

Titles in this series

Bookmark – Tim Winton 1995

Andrea Stretton introduces the wonderful children’s books of Jeannie Baker whose then newest work is The Story of Rosie Dock (1995), a magical journey into central Australia. There’s also a 1995 film adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel, That Eye, the ...

The Book Show – David Malouf 1988

A magazine-style program with presenter and interviewer Dinny O’Hearn talking to David Malouf, who has just won the Haskell award for his body of work. He also interviews Joanna Mendelssohn about her new book on Lionel Lindsay, the lesser known ...

The Book Show – Germaine Greer 1992

Andrea Stretton, co-host of The Bookshow with Dinny O’Hearn, interviews one of the world’s most famous feminists for this special edition of the show. She is talking to Germaine Greer about her then latest book The Change: Women, Ageing and ...

The Book Show – Jim McClelland 1991

Dinny O’Hearn and Andrea Stretton begin this weekly magazine program on Australia Day at Bondi Beach, where they discuss the different meanings of this special day for different groups of Australians. Then Dinny shows an interview he completed in Melbourne ...

The Book Show – Peter Carey 1992

In this week’s edition of The Book Show, Dinny O’Hearn and Andrea Stretton introduce the show from the Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria. The program begins with an interview with Peter Carey, whose then latest book The ...