No corrections yet
¡as a doctor in distress
Dr Robyn Porter of the
Nine Network series The Young Doctors is one of those career girls whose pri- vate life is a mess. On the sur- face, Robyn is pretty, young, talented and respected in her work, but in a romántic situa- tion she's a woman of limited experience.
There is her failed marriage which is kept quiet, and a rela- tionship with another bright voung doctor, Ben Fielding (Eric Oldfield). Everybody seems to blame poor Robyn for their problems, but through it all emerges a capable and strong person.
Actress Joy Chambers, who plays the hapless Robyn Porter, rolls her eyes and laughs.
"Everything seems to have happened to her," Joy says, sipping tea before dashing to Nine's studios for another hec- tic day's shooting.
"There is her brother Guy (played by Robert Thompson) who held her responsible for his car accident. Robyn was driving and emerged un- scathed, but Guy became a paraplegic. Later in the series, though, he apologizes for his
treatment of her and the two are friends again.
"I love every aspect of working in TV and I know for me one of the best things about The Young Doctors is the good it can do for the community. The series is not supposed to be Shakespeare, but we can help a lot of people.
"Our producer, Alan Coleman, received a letter recently from a viewer thanking him for the information we gave in the series on NADOW (National Association For Training The Disabled In Office Work).
"In my scenes with my brother Guy we mentioned NADOW and how they could help him to help himself in finding work and adopting a new mental attitude to his disability. It seems a lot of our viewers had never heard of the organization. I hope we've helped some people.
"We are shooting a storyline now where Caroline and Dennis have another child. Their four -year-old reacts jealous- ly to the baby and there must be hun- dreds of thousands of parents out there
who have this problem. Hopefully, they'll relate to it, and how Dennis and Caroline solve their problem will help."
In recent Young Doctors episodes we've seen Robyn arrive too late at the scene of Helen Gordon's (Lyn James) car smash which leaves her confined to a wheelchair and definitely bitter towards the woman doctor. There are the on again-off-again romantic moments with Ben Fielding which lead to explosive scenes when Robyn's mysterious exdnus band comes back to claim what's right- fully his.
Joy Chambers is thoroughly enjoying her work with the series. A familiar face from quiz shows such as Celebrity Game, I've Got A Secret, The Guessing Game and Play Your Hunch, she is now concen- trating her efforts on an acting career.
"Everybody in the business wants to be an actress," Joy giggles. "I started in The Young Doctors last year. The beauty of it is that there is the need for a charac- ter like Robyn in the series. She can come and go and there will always be
storylines for her. Fm grateful to Grundys and the cast, of the series, because the experi- ence this show has given me has been invaluable. Whereas in panel games I was playing myself, being as daffy and zany as I wanted to be, in an acting role you have to be strictly in
Joy's TV career began with something of a Cinderella tag to it. At 17 she won a Miss Beach Girl contest in her home town of Ipswich in Queensland. "I entered it be- cause some of my friends en- couraged me to do so. I would never have thought of doing it, but it led me into modelling
"One night I came home and there was a letter waiting for me from Channel 9 in Bris- bane asking me to do a screen test. We lived 40km away from the station, and as it was quite late I knew by the time I got ready and went in there we'd be too late," Joy remembers.
"But my father, who encouraged my career and never found it too much trouble to take me anywhere, told me to get dressed up and he'd take me to the audition.
We arrived there two hours late as the crew was packing to leave.
"I told them, 'But you haven't seen me yet!' I was lucky. I did the screen test and I started working as a hostess on the Gerry Gibson Show."
Joy became what she calls a Queens- land personality, working as a hostess
rather than an actress on numerous
game shows and another Brisbane to- night programme, the Ron Cadee Show.
"It has really only been in the past five or six years that drama has been made in this country. I loved the game shows and still do. It's wonderful entertainment."
Joy moved to Sydney eight years ago and now she "wouldn't live anywhere else." Her first film role, All At Sea, came with the whacky team of the Network Ten Celebrity Game.
"We had a wonderful rapport on Cel- ebrity Game and doing the film, which was a comedy, was an absolute riot. Fd like to do more comedy actually, but there is not a lot being done here." CU
- FIONA MANNING