A Master of All Trades

In July 1964 at the age of 21 I took up employment at television station AMV4 in Albury, N.S.W. (where I was born and raised).

It was at AMV4 where I first met Denzil Howson, who had been appointed Production Manager, having previously been with GTV 9.

Having a television station broadcasting “live” news, kid’s shows, women’s programs, and a weekly talent show, was a major event for the sleepy border town.

My memories of Denzil (my boss) was of the “Master of all Trades” — there’s nothing he couldn’t do when it came to all aspects of television production.

He was particularly passionate about children’s programming.

Denzil was writing and producing a weekly puppet show (which was a “family affair” that included his young son Paul!).

He was also instrumental in the creation of the very popular daily “live” kids show “Cohn’s Cobbers Teleclub” and appeared as a number of characters in numerous segments.

Denzil “imported” many old studio props from GTV, including the “throne” that was used by Channel Nine’s “King Corky”, and no doubt “King” Kennedy.

Denzil’s distinctive voice, calm, cool demeanour (most of the time!) and subtle wit is what I recall most.

He turned AMV4 into one of the most successful country television stations in Australia.

No doubt Denzil would recall the mix of people who were part of his team — the ones that come to mind are, Ray Kidd (G.M) Brian Butts, Bernard and Pauline Harper, Ross Sellers, Olga-Mary Whelan, Lou (camera/lighting and general studio beaver), Kevin Tulk, Peter Duncan, Vic Anastasi another GTV import, and Barrie Barkla who went on to fame (and fortune?) as an actor in such never-to-be-forgotton television masterpieces as “THE BOX”.

My television career was enriched by knowing and learning from Denzil Howson, like no doubt, the majority of people who had the opportunity to work with him.

Barry Skinner
September 2005

Barry Skinner worked at AMV4 Albury at its inception in 1964.