Australia’s first and most enduring TV current affairs programme is celebrating its 60th anniversary on the 19th of August.
Four Corners started more like the 7.30 programme we know today, with a collection of several stories designed to embrace an entire nation.
But the technology to broadcast nationally didn’t exist at the time, so reels of film were flown to each Australian city so that we could all sit and watch it at the same time.
It immediately formed a national conversation, helping to bind Australia together.
The programme is now the longest-running TV series of any type on Australian television, and it has gathered, along the way, 62 Walkley awards — seven of them Gold — and 23 Logies.
Amusingly, one senior ABC senior executive, on previewing the first edition of the show, is quoted as saying:
That programme will go to air over my dead body!
In light of that statement, it must be noted that although plenty of powerful people have been brought to account over the years, no ABC senior executives have been harmed in the production of the programme!
Many of the biggest names in Australian journalism have worked for the show over the years, and to mark the diamond anniversary some of them have contributed to a special series of tributes that has been collated by the ABC Alumni organisation.
The ABC has also released a series of terrific videos looking back at the last 6 decades of this, most important of current affairs TV shows.
Please sit back and enjoy a bit of history, and Four Corners’ memorable opening theme tunes, by clicking on the images below.