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Presented to RMIT PhD research candidate
Russell Naughton for his web site project -
'Adventures in Cybersound' - a future for radio? a radio for the future?

Always a 'Peter's Pal'

The date was December 10, 1954 and it was my 8th birthday. Like any other day however, after school duties always included listening to The Peter's Ice Cream Show hosted by Norman Swain and Binnie Lum [ aka Billie and Binnie ] The show was for kids just like me, a 'Peter's Pal' and featured games, competitions and best of all, birthday calls. Even as a quite 'worldly' eight year old, radio was still somewhat pure magic. You sat next to this large ornate wooden box, turned a knob that moved a black wire across a glowing yellow dial and out of the box, came voices and music, all day long. Suddenly, the moment I'd been waiting for, the birthday calls. Would I get mentioned? Of course not, how would they know that it was MY birthday, I hadn't told them. The calls came out and well, I couldn't quite believe it, they announced that I, Russell Naughton had turned eight years old THAT day. But that wasn't the end of it, the best was yet to come. Binnie then announced that if I were to go out to the playroom, 'grown up' talk for the store room next to the garden shed, I would find a present. Well, I can be surprised but this was going to far - a present in the playroom, what did they take me for. Being eight years old did mean that mercenary matters were allowed to override sheer disbelief so I raced out the back door, across the garden and threw open the 'playroom' door. On the chair, there it was, just as they said it would be, a present from Billy and Binnie. Some forty years later and nearly thirty of those years working for our national broadcaster, the ABC, radio still holds the same magic. Now explore my project and by the way, if you ever find out how Billie and Binnie used to get in and out of that radio each day, please eMail me and I'll pass it onto all the other Peter's Pals I know.

Russell Naughton


This award was presented by John Smithies,
Deputy Director of Cinemedia, 16th November 1998
An Image

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