Number 96 stars gather for book launch

David Sale and Lorrae Desmond 1Former stars of iconic series Number 96 gathered in Woollahra this week for the launch of David Sale’s book Number 96, Mavis Bramston and Me.

The event was held at a hotel just up the road from the location of the Number 96 flats.

Sale was writer and executive producer on The Mavis Bramston Show and the creator of Number 96.

Veteran actress Carol Raye was host for the proceedings, recalling how she pitched an idea to Seven who gave her £1200 to make the pilot of The Mavis Bramston Show with writer / performers Gordon Chater and Barry Creyton. After Raye left the series, Sale took over as executive producer.

Raye later returned to Australia and Sale asked her to join the cast of Number 96 where she played the role of Joe Hasham’s aunt.

Sheila Kennelly, Lynn Rainbow, Carole Raye and Wendy BlacklockIn attendance were Maggie Dence who played Mavis Bramston plus Number 96 stars Lorrae Desmond, Elizabeth Kirkby, Elaine Lee, Sheila Kennedy and Wendy Blacklock, Foxtel executive director Brian Walsh, Nine’s chief classification officer Richard Lyle and TV critic and historian Andrew Mercado.

Number 96, Mavis Bramston and Me is published by Vivid Publishing.

Carol Raye and Wendy Blacklock

Source: Mediaweek


  1. @Andrew Mercado: That’s good to hear that the colour years of Number 96 have survived; I was under the impression that they’d also been poorly preserved. I look forward to some more DVD releases if they eventuate.

    The only promotion I’ve seen for the WIN/Crawfords DVDs have been occasional spots on GEM. I’ve heard that it gets a bit heavier promotion on WIN stations. But it still seems to be a well kept secret.

    Shame that Seven are being unhelpful about a Bramston DVD. Could it be tied up with Ampol sponsoring the show and perhaps somehow retaining some kind of ownership rights?

  2. Andrew Mercado

    As for Number 96, all the colour episodes survive but all the black and white eps, save for a handful now on DVD, are gone. I am still working to have the entire series released somewhere one day soon …

  3. Andrew Mercado

    Umbrella Entertainment have been wanting to release Mavis Bramston but Seven won’t give them permission because they say they don’t own the rights. Which is odd considering Mavis was an in-house Seven production. Thanks to a clever garbo who, upon picking up a bunch of old tapes going to a landfill, rang the National Film and Sound Archive to say that he had saved the Mavis Bramston shows, many eps survive now to this day. So there you have it – Seven throw the master tapes out, then won’t give permission for them to be put onto DVD.
    Thanks for the above comment alerting me to the fact that Homicide and Carsons Law are now on DVD – does Crawfords ever promote this? Hopefully The Box is coming next.

  4. @Chris TP: Foxtel only showed a selection of about a dozen episodes of Number 96 and that was years ago. The best way to see Number 96 these days is via DVD. Almost all the remaining handful of B&W episodes have been released on DVD as have episodes surrounding the most famous storylines, the pantyhose murderer and the bomb blast. Plus the movie and the 1000th episode special are on DVD.

    David I am having trouble recognising the woman photographed in the blue top between Sheila Kennelly and Carol Raye?

  5. Mavis Bramston deserves a DVD release, although it may need some explanatory material (maybe a information subtitle track) to explain the satirical targets after 50 years.

    Number 96 has already had a run of sorts on Foxtel years ago, but it is plagued by huge bunches of the episodes being wiped.

    @randwick: Crawfords have been releasing Homicide and The Sullivans on DVD. I’d rather pay WIN than Foxtel for my archive Aussie TV fixes.

  6. Why dont we have a Foxtel classic Australian channel running all the old stuff like homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, The Sullivans…. absolutely everything that was produced in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s …. Im sure it would outrate whats on fta at the moment ……..

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