Young Talent Time ran on Channel 10 (then known as Channel O), from 1971 til 1988. The show featured a weekly junior talent quest and the Young Talent Team who regularly performed popular classics along with the top hit songs of the day.
The program was the creation of host Johnny Young and launched the careers of a number of Australian performers including Tina Arena and Danni Minogue. The show took over from “Brian And The Juniors” a similar show hosted by Brian Naylor which ended in 1970 when Naylor was promoted to the role of chief newsreader for HSV7.
Over 18 years, the show had 40 team members, some as a direct result of the weekly talent quest. Some Young Talent Timers disappeared into oblivion (many through choice) after their stint on the show was up, but many went on to have successful adult careers in show business as either actors or performers.
Because it ran for such a long time and featured young performers, Young Talent Time made an indelible mark on the psyche of several generations of Australian children, leading them to believe that if they tried hard enough, they too could be a ‘star’ like the kids they saw on television.
One memorable aspect of the show was the regular closing number, where Johnny Young would sing the Beatles song All My Lovin’ (with which he had an Australian hit back in the 1960’s), accompanied by the entire cast, (who swayed to the music) in an almost nursery-rhyme style. John would pause in the song to say goodnight individually to all the team members. He would also spend a special greeting each week to his mother.
Members of the Young Talent Team who found continued success after leaving the series include Tina Arena, Jamie Redfern, Dannii Minogue, Debra Byrne. Three of the original Logie winning team, Trevor Hindmarch, Derek Redfern and Julie Ryles elected not to continue their singing careers after years of service.
Julie Ryles formed her own company and Derek Redfern chose to work for his local council. Rod Kirkham produced children’s television shows while Vicki Broughton toured Europe with iconic artists such as ABBA and Cliff Richard. Phillip Gould was never out of work when he moved to London’s West End and during the same period, Jane Scali was dominating the Australian Cabaret circuit. Greg Mills became Young Talent Time’s Musical Director after assisting previous Director Ross Burton for many years. Sally Boyden spent many years in London with her own band as a professional singer/composer until returning home to Australia to pursue her acting career.
From the age of seven till I was about 13, I always watched YTT on Saturday nights. I loved the Young Talent Team & felt like I personally knew each team member. My favourite’s were Janie Scali, Debbie Byrne, Sally Boyden & Jamie Redfern. I longed to be able to sing & dance like the team members, but I had no chance! My first YTT album (right) was almost worn out with use!