Friday, August 20, 2010

Television City

Send a self addressed envelope to GTV 9, 22 Bendigo Street, Richmond, 3121. Now it is a PO box to write to, still in Richmond, or is my memory defective and it was always a post box?

I had never seen Melbourne's Channel 9 buildings before, even though they are in Richmond. Owing to confusing my Swans with my Bridges and my Victorias, I ended up in the wrong place having alighted from the wrong tram. It was the usual, I thought I knew where I was going well enough to not bother checking. I wanted to go to Victoria Gardens shopping centre. Did it not click that that it is Victoria Street? Evidently not. I also wanted to go to a business in Bridge Road, but thought I would come back there and go to Victoria Gardens first. To my surprise Victoria Gardens was not at the wide Hawthorn end of Bridge Road. Bah, I will have to walk. So I headed south, yes south and guess what, I came to Swan Street. Ok tram along Swan, tram up Church and another along Victoria.

But when I walked south from Bridge Road, along what I thought was a nondescript Richmond Street, I happened across Television City, the home of General Television Corporation, or Channel 9 if you like. It is certainly a large rambling site and looks like it just grew from one main building into many.

Channel 10 moved from Nunawading to South Yarra. Channel 7 moved from South Melbourne to Docklands. Channel 2 mostly moved from Ripponlea to South Bank, but Channel 9 stands resolutely and firmly entrenched in Richmond (I am getting the feeling that someone is going to tell me it is not staying there). It started niggling me enough to check, and sure enough, I must have read it here. Channel 9 is moving to Docklands too.

But wait, as I was about to hit publish, I came across this story in the online newspaper.


  1. Yet again you were but seconds away from my work, but failed to call in for a coffee. Fucking rude!

    Would you believe that every time someone asks me for the Richmond postcode I automatically recite the '22 Bendigo Street, Richmond 3121' thing in my head - in a John Blackman style.

    I knew GTV9 was about to fuck off - but had no idea what was coming. The planned development is a bit upsetting. There's a fairly poignant quote in that linked article relating to the state planning minister. Never a truer word spoken I'm sad to say.

  2. I think everyone remembers "22 Bendigo Street Richmond"... but i think it did became a PO Box at a later stage but that was nowhere near as memorable in people's minds...

  3. Mutant, I checked as I walked past and you were heads down busy. You can't have failed to notice what I think of our Planning Minister. Good to hear that some of it is preserved.

    Why is that TVAU? More so than Dorcas Street, South Melbourne or Nunawading. You are right. I have no idea what the post box number is.

  4. Bendigo St the home of King Kennedy and his swimming pool and caravan!
    I am proud to say I have been there and part of a large and ugly demonstration where we rocked Blackman's Merc when he foolishly tried getting in. It must have been 1972 - Hill Street Blues was being mistreated, and we YUPpies wanted Big Kerry to know we were not going to take it lying down.
    The Royal Oak on Bridge Rd was the 9 pub, and behind it, the legendary sly-grog sidegate with Sunday queues in the 1960's.

  5. You are a good substitute for a person I won't mention the name of Ann. What a hoot. I never heard about it. Royal Oak hey. I will try to remember to see what I can find about that. You don't seem to putting much of your history online. I hope you are writing your memoirs.

  6. I was thinking about The Olden Days when Channel 9 personalities were HUGE stars in melbourne, and I Googled Princess Panda ... and ended up at where I found this story -
    'Musical Tram
    Can anyone remember the story of two musicians who 'pinched' a tram at St Kilda many years ago? The story was they boarded the empty tram in the wee small hours at the terminus next to the gardens on Beaconsfield Parade. The driver and conductor were on a toilet stop in the gardens, so one of the lads started the tram with the driver and conductor in hot pursuit. They negotiated the first corner, but ran the tram off the rails at the next. They escaped on foot and were evidently local residents. Does anyone remember who they were or if the story is fact or fiction

  7. They were stars hey MS. I had forgotten that. They were like modern day stars. I don't know the story at all. I will ask another group I am a member of that has many old people.

  8. If you sent mail to 22 Bendigo Street, it reached GTV9, but they had so much mail (especially for shows like It Could Be You) that they rented at least one post office box at Richmond, and most likely several (one for each major show). That’s probably why the post office box numbers don’t stick in people’s minds, but 22 Bendigo Street always will. As Graham Kennedy once wrote in a personal letter to one of his friends, who was enquiring how to contact Eric Pearce (long retired from news reading, but still ambling down the corridors Television City and feeding the studio cats, among other things), “write to him at his place of employment, 22 Bendigo Street.” It always worked!

  9. Well explained Frank. I missed the broadcast of the party end of Television City. Wish I had seen it.

  10. i lived near channel 0 but my first introduction to television was studio 1 at bendigo street richmond
    that po box is 100 sadly miss the old place for high rises

    1. Thanks James. I must go and have a look at what has happened there now.