Continuity announcers

… And Ricky Gervais will be back at the same time next week with more laughs… speaking of laughs, are you bovvered? Well you’re in the right place… Catherine Tate is next.

Has Australia ever had continuity announcers (I presume you have)? And if so, why did you ever drop them?

I don’t think we have had them - it’s a very British thing. The US or Canada don’t have either.

We used to have pre-recored VO’s that would go over the top of rolling credits - but those went away a good 15 years ago when Australian networks dropped credits altogether to reduce audience drop off between shows. It’s seen as pretty old fashioned to us.

Australian networks mostly have no credits on shows - and no network IDs between shows. Any credits, and production cards are largely shown in a panel/bar across the bottom of the screen as the show continues or a “Next Week On…:” promo plays. Then fade to back and fade up to next show. Seamless TV

No credits, IDs or announcers at all


Good point.

From one show straight into another.

Nine kinda experimented with recorded continuity in late 2002 and 2003.

Other than that, I don’t really think it ever took hold anywhere here in Aus. I can imagine some old regional stations and maybe the ABC having dabbled in it decades ago, but nothing since.

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ABC used to have them back in the early years and some commercial stations may have as well but they were fairly well obsolete by the 1970s , although Channel 0/28 had them when it launched in 1980. They thought it was a good idea to have some announcers to provide some context to some of the foreign shows and cultures depicted, particularly as the concept of multicultural or “ethnic” television was so new.

Even then 0/28 phased out the concept over time but brought the presenters back for a while from 1985 when the network rebranded as SBS.

Apparently even ATV10 in Melbourne had continuity presenters for a very brief time when it converted from Channel 0 in 1980, I think just as a bit of a gimmick for the “new” channel but I imagine was probably only for the week or so that ATV was simulcasting on both channels 0 and 10.


Radio anchors who are not the main talent on FM breakfast shows are like continuity announcers?

I guess in Australia they were known as booth announcers, live in the early days but probably not since the early 80s. People like Pete Smith, John Blackman, Bruce Mansfield, Paul Jennings, Phil Brady, John Deeks, Gary Mac and many others.

I do recall hearing them on ABC2 when I’ve tuned into them, but not recently. I’d imagine they were prerecorded.

Here’s a close down with live announcer from ABC Northern Tasmania in 1982 bemoaning the cricket from Perth knocking out Countdown and losing the microwave link throughout the evening.


Pete Smith did continuity announcing in the evening for GTV right through into the 2000s at least (assumingly pre-recorded by that time). Don’t think it was in any other markets for Nine.


That’s brilliant. I’d never seen nor heard anything like that on Australian television before… that conversational style… bemoaning the cricket interruption yet also doing the weather and slipping in a plug for ABC FM as well.

Funny that the video starts with some continuity announcing from the UK as well.

I probably should have clarified when I was talking about continuity announcers I was referring to the ones that appeared on screen. As you mention there was Pete Smith at GTV9 for so many years doing audio continuity mostly over the end credits of programs or when there was a station breakdown.

John Deeks also did the same for so many years at HSV7.

But of course even those continuity announcements were soon obsolete, now that credits are barely shown on TV anymore and when they are the networks choose to blast us with over-the-top split-screen promos.

As far as trying the European-style of voiceovers on Idents is concerned, would the hybrid Lineup/Ident-thingys used initially after the Channel Nine relaunch of 2006 count as an example of the concept being tried in Australia?

It probably varied by market, but I’m pretty sure that all three commercial networks in Sydney (TCN mainly had Ken Sparkes, of course) as well as ABC-TV were doing over credit voiceovers up until at least the Early-Mid 2000s.

Ron Steel was STW-9’s continuity announcer from the late 70’s until the mid 90’s. He was the voice of WA Salvage ads for many years.

Source: ClassicVHSArchive.

Source: Flemishdog

For comparison here’s Pete Smith after the same program on GTV-9

Source: Flemishdog



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The Good old days

Rob Steele still around today
Does voice over when Fred Botica is on hols

Something like these?


Is this ATV10 VO guy live? Or just very good at his craft?

Not unlike the type of live closedown announcement often heard in the UK in the 80s.

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Yeah he sounded good… although when he mentioned putting the cat out… and the milk bottles out… then it couldn’t help but make me think of the iconic ‘Goodnight Kiwi’…

Goodnight Kiwi (while having nothing to do with continuity announcing) has cultural icon status in New Zealand (particularly as the music is a great Maori lullaby).

When I came to Australia I thought Australians were stupid to get all emotional over silly things like Aeroplane Jelly ads and the like… but now I understand…

What may seem as nothing special to anyone else… is incredibly a big deal to us Kiwis.