Vale: Robin Oliver

Former Sydney Morning Herald TV writer Robin Oliver passed away on the weekend.

Former Sydney Morning Herald TV writer Robin Oliver passed away on the weekend.

Yesterday TV critic Michael Idato tweeted: “We lost the legendary TV critic Robin Oliver over the weekend. A sad day for television and journalism.”

Columnist Andrew Hornery said: “Vale Robin Oliver – doubt there is a longer serving television writer in the country. Condolences to his family. TV won’t be same.”

He retired from the newspaper in 2008 when he looked back on his years with the box, beginning in the UK.

“My first television experience remains a vivid memory. It was 1936. My mother and I were Christmas shopping at Grants, Croydon’s poshest department store. A television set was demonstrating the vastly superior Marconi-EMI system (sales were sluggish; the price exceeded that of a family car). The picture was of a ballet dancer and I watched transfixed until my mother tugged me away. ‘We haven’t time for that,’ she said,” he wrote.

“Arriving in Perth in 1965, I found myself in a television wilderness, with poor presentation and limited local production. Most programs ran months behind Sydney and Melbourne. Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight would take its time reaching Sydney, let alone Perth.”

Later he would relocate to Sydney.

“Sydney’s TV scene was different. Party followed party. One morning we were all whisked away to a restaurant next to the baboon enclosure at Melbourne Zoo to Say G’day (that was the name of the show) to Greg Evans, lured by Nine from Perfect Match. A sumptuous feast was prepared but almost immediately we had to fly back to Sydney, leaving behind jugs of banana daiquiri. The show itself came and went as quickly as we did.”

Oliver was still contributing to the paper occasionally and earlier this year gave Downton Abbey a four-star review: “Here’s something absolutely enthralling, the likes of which come along but once in a while,” he wrote.

The Sydney Morning Herald will publish a full tribute next Monday.

Source: smh.com.au, Mediaweek

2 Responses

  1. For those of us who worked in television publicity, Robin’s arrival at the station always drew a warm and welcoming response. Not only was he an outstanding journalist but also an outstanding gentleman and, together with his ever-present bow ties, he was a bright beacon of intelligence and manners. To Daphne and the family my condolences. To Robin : so long. You will long be remembered.

Leave a Reply