BOBBY LIMB AND ERNIE SIGLEY BECAME TWO OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR television entertainers in the later 20th Century – emerging from an Adelaide influence.
Limb was Adelaide-born and nurtured through the music education system to become a band leader which translated to a launch pad to national fame in Sydney.
Sigley came to Adelaide after mainly radio work in Melbourne and the UK. Adelaide Tonight, and how it was futher embraced by the city, turned Sigley into a national television entertainer. Adelaide Tonight also highlighted a team of entertainers, including Anne Wills who never gained full national attention but won multiple Logies from South Australian voters.
In the footsteps of Roy Rene, Adelaide comedians with broader outlook have cut through nationally.
Prime examples are Greig Pickhaver – the H.G. Nelson side of the Roy and H.G. duo – and Shaun Micallef, whose Mad as hell television series features Francis Greenslade from their days together in the Adelaide University law revues. Adam Hills and Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann also made the switch to television from a radio start on Adelaide’s SAFM.
Adelaide has made a national and international impact with its musicians (see MUSIC) and actors, in film and theatre, who could quality as entertainers. But “Entertainers” as a category caters for those who have extended their appeal through a distinctive characteristic.
In distinctiveness, Kamahl is a prime candidate. Malaysian born of Tamil heritage, Kamahl (Kandiah Kamalesvaran) had his secondary education at King’s College (now Pembroke School). In between enrolling in university courses to avoid being deported, Kamahl started singing publically when he was introduced in 1958 to Rupert Murdoch who had arrived in Adelaide to take over The News. Murdoch arranged Kamahl’s first major appearances.
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Shaun Micallef moved to Melbourne in 1993 to pursue a full-time comedy career after 10 years in insurance law as a solicitor in Adelaide. His part in the sketch comedy Full frontal led to his own sketch show, The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), the sitcom Welcher & Welcher and the variety show Micallef Tonight. He also fronted the news satire Newstopia on SBS, hosted the game show Talkin’ Bout You Generation on Network Ten for four seasons, and Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell on the ABC.
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