GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA, live from QE2 in Sydney
Sydney was a popular port of call during the QE2 World Cruises, and in 1988 the QE2 stayed for 3 days from February 15-17, 1988. On this occasion the Australian TV channel X 10 hosted their daily programme ‘Good Morning Australia’ on the ship.
GMA is typical one hour morning show style, with male and female hosts, weather reports, interviews and pre-produced packages about on board life. The film crew embarked in Auckland in order to get acquainted with the ship and not looking lost during filming. The packages were produced before the live show, like the ball in the Queens Room, parties, shopping on board, dining, jewellery etc. When I watched the show for the first time I felt a bit sorry for the two hosts who are sitting on Quarter Deck aft, just outside the Club Lido. They could not have picked a worse spot for a day that looked rather windy and the sun umbrella is clearly not cooperating.
Please join us on Good Morning Australia and take a swirl around the Queens Room, go wild in Club Lido and treat yourself in the exclusive Shops on Board but beware, it can cause serious damage to your account balance. Or maybe you prefer to catch the view from the bridge, peak into the radio room, sit in the Magrodome which was added during her December 1983 refit. Or how about learning the trick to make the beds in the penthouse suite? Reconnect with some faces from the past: Executive Cruise Director John Butt, Fitness Instructor Jonelle Rutkauskas, Chief Radio operator Phil Marriot, pianist Arline Daniels, and of cause the Master of the ship, Capt. Alan Bennell.
I had a chance to ask former QE2 pianist and singer Arline as well as World Cruiser Melissa about their memories of the day of the broadcast.
Arline remembers: It was February 16, of the 1988 World Cruise. Good Morning Good Morning Australia is live so everything you see there was shown to 10 million viewers (so they told us) as we did it. I do certainly remember barely sleeping the night before for fear I wouldn’t wake up in time. You can probably see on the video the time posted periodically. For a night owl musician it was an impossible hour of the morning to be dressed, put on makeup without shaking and then having to sing! There were no do-overs, it went out live. I had to sit for nearly an hour before my slot which was very near the end of the program while they adjusted lights, tested sound & fed me coffee to make me look awake.
Arline did not have to worry, her part in the show is great. If you like to know more about Arline’s time on board the QE2, please check into the Wardroom on CunardQueens . The first part of her story has been published.
Melissa (whose name was spelled wrong in the interview, it’s Scripps, with an s) reminisces about the interview: I had met the film crew at the old Theatre Bar. We all drank together and they talked me into letting them film my penthouse, the top of the Queen Anne Suite. They arranged to be at my cabin at around noon the day before Sydney. They sent (as a prop) a bottle of Crystal champagne. My friend and I started to enjoy a glass before they arrived. Jeffery, my first penthouse butler popped the cork. We had almost finished the bottle when they arrived. I was wearing a Cunard pink sweat suit, as I was not prepared to be interviewed. I just thought they were going to take shots of my cabin. The lady we nicknamed, “Boobs Larue” asked if I would mind if she asked me a few questions on camera. I said,” sure” and another bottle was delivered. They staged the way it would go: Jeffery would be buzzed at my bedside green button to bring a bottle. He arrived and did his penthouse butler thing. He was great but he was not used to serving two young children and a crazy American lady on a three-month cruise. He was very old school and I ended up be very good friends with him on future voyages. Back to the interview: She asked if I felt guilty spending so much money on a cruise. Watch and see what I said with a big smile …
To watch the video, click on the Cunard Queens Logo below and go to ‘Flagship Video’.
The film will start automatically.