TV veteran in limelight


Ken McKay has been nominated for a State Heritage Award for his work in preserving WA’s TV history.
Picture: Jon Hewson         www.communitypix.com.au   d450425
Ken McKay has been nominated for a State Heritage Award for his work in preserving WA’s TV history. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d450425

A pioneer in the industry from 1962 with TVW Channel 7 and from 1973 to 1993 with the ABC, Mr McKay was on hand for much of the dawn of television in WA.

To preserve what is left of the early television heritage of Western Australia, Mr McKay has set up website watvhistory.com with stories, photographs and video footage.

“I started in the industry in 1962 and my first main role was as a video tape operator,” he said.

“The television environment in those early days really left an impression on me. We were like a family and everyone mingled because we were all learning as we went – there were very few people who had any experience to speak of because TV had only started over in Sydney and Melbourne in 1956.”

Mr McKay counts Richard Ashton and Gordon McColl, the cameramen working for TVW Channel 7 on its opening night, among his very good friends.

“Their opening night went brilliantly and looked very polished because they had rehearsed it for two weeks and they got everything right,” Mr McKay said.

“On the second night they weren’t as lucky because the news team got cocky and spent a bit too much time at the Charles Hotel before the broadcast. They arrived late and the news was delayed 15 minutes that night.”

Mr McKay will find out if he wins the voluntary individual contribution award at a ceremony at Hale House on Thursday, March 31.