I remember the introduction of colour television in Australia.

They had been showing things in colour since the early 1950s in the United States, but we had to wait and wait and then wait so more.

It wasn’t until March 1, 1975 that colour telly was finally and fully switched on here.

Of course in order to watch it you needed a colour television and back then they didn’t come cheap, not at around $700.

I can’t recall exactly when we got ours, but I do remember watching things like the cricket and Countdown at the home of a school mate.

They started broadcasting Countdown in November, 1974.

The colour was extraordinary and along with the music and of course Molly himself, it goes a long way to explaining the success of the show.

The task of launching colour on the ABC fell to the cast of comedy series Aunty Jack, with a five-minute sketch.

It was followed by a one-hour edition of Countdown, introduced by Johnny Farnham and featuring an all-star Australian cast.

The Aunty Jack sketch beat the commercial stations to the punch, deliberately starting early at three minutes to midnight on February 28 – first in black and white and then changing to colour as the clock struck 12.

It was the stuff of legend and we were huge fans of Graeme Bond and the gang.

As an interesting side note, when he was little our son thought that in the old days the world was black and white and that somewhere along the line someone had flipped a switch and turned it into colour, like that film Pleasantville.

You’ve got to love kids!



Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.