The curtain will come down on one of the longest and most enduring partnerships on Australian TV, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, at the end of the year, with a final episode of At the Movies on December 9.
The ABC announced today that their 28-year adventure is over. The show At The Movies will retire with them.
The duo joined the ABC in 2004 after 18 years on SBS.
Their partnership, a sort of Bogie and Bacall but more for its onscreen feistiness than any offscreen romance was an accidental pairing that not only endured, but garnered international respect and attracted the biggest names in film for interviews, from directors to Hollywood stars.
Stratton, who turned 75 last week, said he was looking forward to less pressure and more time to watch the movies he loves.
“I feel it’s time to go. We’ve had a wonderful time, thanks to very supportive and encouraging audiences, throughout that period. And we’ve worked with wonderful teams, both at SBS and at the ABC. We couldn’t have done it without them,” he said, paying tribute to his colleague.
“Most of all, working with Margaret, whose enthusiasm, commitment and passion has been amazing (and only occasionally irritating) has been a joy for over a quarter of a century.”
Pomeranz, for once, agreed.
“My gratitude goes to David who gave me credibility just by being prepared to sit by me and discuss film when I am just a film enthusiast, not the great walking encyclopaedia of film that he is. He’s a grand person, a most generous, decent man, even if a little stubborn at times,” she said.
“I’m very sad to have to call an end to our show, it started out as a very fragile thing and only survived because there are enough lovers of film in this country to support a specific program about cinema. Thank you all.”
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said the fact that everybody knows them by just their first names, Margaret and David, demonstrated the public affection for them.
“Their contribution to the ABC and to the wider arts community has been enormous. We are so proud to have worked with them for over a decade at the ABC and we will miss them. I give them five stars.”
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