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Backchat, Episode 216 (1988)


On Backchat, viewers of ABC television and ABC radio listeners could write or phone in their response to the weekly output of the public broadcaster, which in this program includes Countrywide and Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals. There’s also an impassioned plea from a viewer for the repeat of a BBC drama series, which despite five thousand 'pleases’ penned by the viewer cannot be repeated since the ABC no longer owns the broadcasting rights to the series.

Curator’s notes

Tim Bowden is Backchat. An immensely likeable and cheeky presenter, he’s able to knock back a viewer’s pleas for a repeat with a grin and an explanation about contractual arrangements. Tim’s training in print journalism with several years in television followed by several more in radio, made him an ideal front person for the show he wrote and presented for over eight years.

The program works best with a small clip of the show being praised or criticised so viewers are reminded of what they have recently seen or indeed just missed.

In an era before email, the program ended each week with the ABC’s snail mail address, encouraging the audience to write to the program, which they did from 1986 until Tim left the program in 1994. It then limped on for a couple more years coming out of Brisbane and then Adelaide but could never find anyone to present the program with the unique qualities of the cheeky banjo playing Tim Bowden.