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'Australia Live' Bicentennial Gala Due on Cable

December 30, 1987| United Press International

SYDNEY, Australia — A massive international television production will celebrate Australia's bicentennial New Year's Day from scores of locations around the world and outer space.

"Australia Live," a four-hour mosaic of Australia's past, present and projected future, will be beamed direct to Hong Kong, China, Japan, the United States, Northern Ireland and Europe.

In the United States, the celebration will be telecast on the Arts & Entertainment cable network Friday, New Year's Day, at 5 p.m. (and repeated that night at 9).

The celebration of Down Under's 200th birthday will send crews to Australia's most remote areas, popularly called the outback, in a television production that also is expected to include 70 locations around the world.

Following months of negotiations between the Australian government and the Soviet Union, the crew of the Soyuz space station will do a live segment via the Soviet space control center. An English-speaking Russian commentator at the center will host the broadcast from the spaceship, which has been in orbit 10 months.

The executive producer of the special is Peter Faiman, producer of the movie "Crocodile Dundee." Faiman said he passed up an invitation to produce a sequel to that film in order to mold "Australia Live."

The show also will include a live broadcast from Australia's Davis Base in Antarctica, a segment from Thursday Island--Australia's northernmost point--and a segment from the isolated outback township of Kingoonya (population 6).

Australia's three national television networks and a sports network will mount the effort.

"Australia Live" is the first live event to be carried on Arts & Entertainment, which on Friday will expand from 20 hours of programming per day to a round-the-clock, 24-hour schedule.

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