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On With The Show Entertainment

WELCOME. For almost a decade, circa 1990 to 1999, Award-winning National Entertainment Magazine Variety Today was published to provide a voice for Australia’s Entertainment Industry. Many entertainers were actively involved in its publication.

On With the Show Entertainment continues this tradition but in a way that incorporates the modern love-affair with stage, screen and the showbiz world in general. We invite you to share this experience with us and encourage your participation.


The Creator

Shirley Broun

For a decade, Award-winning National Entertainment Magazine Variety Today was published to provide a voice for Australia’s Entertainment Industry. Many entertainers were actively involved in its publication.

On With the Show Entertainment continues this tradition but in a way that incorporates the modern love-affair with stage, screen and the showbiz world in general. On with the Show Entertainment is the brain-child of Shirley Broun, Founding Editor/Publisher of  Variety Today (circa 1990-1999).

Shirley has been involved in the entertainment industry from a young age and as a teenager began to report on the industry in her new career role as a journalist. At the same time she was an enthusiastic assistant to Twin Towns Services Club's Entertainment Manager Max Miller and as such dealt personally with renowned artists/entertainers from around the world.

In 1990 Shirley founded Variety Today to fulfil her dream to give Australian entertainers a voice ... many were involved in the full colour magazine as writers, photographers and in special industry reports. Shirley was also invited to be a judge on major industry award events such as The prestigious Australian Entertainment MO Awards in Sydney, The Queensland Wallace Awards, Queensland Recording Industry Awards, Gold Coast Music Awards to name just a few. She was also publicist for The Four Kinsmen as well as fulfilling roles in artist management, bookings, PR for visiting artists such as International Illusionist Joe Labero and more.

Variety Today was read by entertainers around the globe including Michael Jackson, Wayne Newton, The Bee Gees, Des O'Connor, and more.

Shirley has now launched `On With the Show Entertainment' to showcase a brand new era of entertainment, along with Flashbacks to the entertainment stories and photographs of the 90s (as published in Variety Today 1990-1999) to be enjoyed by all.



On this, Variety Today's first birthday (1992), it seemed fitting to give readers an insight into its founder, the reason for its conception, and some of the people who helped along the way.

THE first copies of Variety Today were passed around the dinner table at a convivial setting of seven at Twin Towns Services Club on January 4, 1991.

Seated at the table were Scott Radburn, of the Four Kinsmen, his fiance Cheryl Foster, her mother Liois and grandmother, plus Sgt Lisa Rosier, of the Queensland Police force, and founding managing editor Shirley Broun.
Newly appointed sports columnist for the publication, Graham Wilson (also of the Four Kinsmen) was a late arrival but nevertheless, was among the first to peruse the Premier First Edition.

Variety Today had been in Shirley Broun's mind for many years, particularly during the preceding 12 months during a period of major upheavals in her career.

As a background, Shirley had started out as a performer having trained on the Gold Coast with vocal teacher Patricia White and dancing tutor Jo Stubbings and the Paul Sharratt Dancing School.

At this time she was also working for the local publication, Daily News-Gold Coaster during the day and assisting Twin Towns Services Club General manager Russell Roylance and Entertainment manager Max Miller at night. It was an ideal combination for procuring interviews with entertainers as Shirley built up a most successful freelance career with such publications as the Gold Coast Sun, Womens Weekly, People Magazine, The Sun Herald, Brisbane Sun and channel 9, Launceston.

Inheriting a love for entertainment from her mother, Pansy Rose (Susie) Broun (nee Baker), who was a popular performer in Perth during her child and teenage years, shirley set her sights on writing about the industry she loved more than any other.

In 1980 Shirley undertook a two month visit to the USA to interview entertainers and personalities. This was a most successful excursion which brought her many accolades. However, before long she realised that to be taken seriously and not just dubbed a `social' writer, it would be necessary to go through the system of journalism to achieve ultimate credibility.

So, in 1981, Shirley moved to Sydney to seek her upgradings joining a local newspaper at Eastwood. It wasn't long, however, before her entertainment friends - members of the Australian Ladies Variety Association (ALVA) - enlisted her support to start their own entertainment magazine which Shirley called `Alvariety'.

Launched in 1982 with Shirley as founding Editor, Toni Stevens as co-ordinator and Cherie Donovan as Sales Manager, with a little added assistance from Sybil Burke and the ALVA team, ALVARIETY flourished.

It was undertaken on a low budget, with Shirley making it up in her own loungeroom, but it achieved what it set out to and that was bring the industry closer together by informing them of relevant happenings. It also advertised many fundraising events such as the ALVA carnival, and the ALVA Ball to which many entertainers gave their time freely.

When ALVA decided to cease the publication two years later, Shirley was asked by Encore Magazine owners David and Chin Yu Williams to join them as Variety Editor. These were all freelance activities. In between times, Shirley was pursuing new horizons on the general reporting side of journalism.

In late 1982 she joined the team at the Rural Press owned Hawkesbury Gazette, in the far western Sydney suburb of Windsor, as senior reporter, later being appointed Editor. In early 1984 she was appointed Magazine and Women's Editor for the company's flagship NSW statewide publication, the Land Newspaper.

Shirley travelled far and wide with `The Land', and in 1988 fulfilled a special assignment to follow wool - from the sheep's back to the fashion catwalks of Paris.

Despite an immense love for `the Land' and its people, Shirley made a difficult decision in 1989. Having proven herself as a journalist in everything from council reporting to rural crisis, fashion and travel plus developed an added talent in public relations, she left `The Land' and returned to the Gold Coast to write her first book entitled `The Outback Boy' for publisher, Malcolm McGreggor.

Once completed, Shirley's thoughts turned to her own entertainment magazine which would highlight the side of the industry which had meant the most to her throughout her career.

At the time Shirley was working as publicist for The Four Kinsmen, who were starring in the multi million dollar production of Hollywood Legends at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. With each day she became more convinced the magazine was a means of promoting the industry which brought so much joy to people of all ages and walks of life. However, it would be hard work - could she indeed fulfill the rigorous and demanding work schedule needed to make the project a success?

Shirley had doubts and at this time she turned to a man whom had been an inspiration to her since her teen years, Col Joye. When she explained her plan to launch a magazine on `variety' and asked him for an honest opinion about its merit, Col answered: "It's not going to be easy, but if anyone can do it, it's you Shirl. You know the industry, have been involved in it for many years and understand what makes it tick. And, what is more, it's a part of you. I know you can do it!"

By September 1990 - after much research into the need of such a magazine in Australia - shirley decided to go ahead with the publication. She rang long time friend Frank Ifield in the United Kingdom and asked him to write for her. He was hesitant at first, but Frank soon gave way to Shirley's belief in his writing abilities and agreed - so was born the `Showcall UK' column.

Next, she arranged to have coffee with Graham Wilson, of the Four Kinsmen, who was an absolute whiz when it came to sport. A few hours later `Sporting Link' became a reality. Solicitor, Anthony Colavitti was a willing starter for the writer of `Legalese'.

Naming Variety Today was not as easy as first thought. Obviously, the word `Variety' to which Shirley had been associated for more than 15 years was needed to indicate the part of the industry which was to be emphasised. Many other parts of the entertainment industry were already adequately covered in other magazines,but Shirley's aim was to emphasise Australia's variety performers which she believed were under-rated. And, she believed, they needed a voice - a publication that gave them an opportunity to be seen and heard.

The first name registered was `It's Variety Plus' - well accepted in Qld but not in the other State. when the name was rejected in NSW, Shirley rang Scott Radburn of The Four Kinsmen for assistance in deciding on another name. The two were on the phone for hours - hitting ideas off each other, until finally, the magic words `Variety Today' rolled off Scott's tongue.

It was settled, Variety Today would be its name. `Variety' designated the side of the industry to be emphasised and `Today' indicated that it was up-to-date and happening right now. The variety industry as we see it today! It was perfect.

The other prerequisites, according to Shirley, were that the publication be prestigious and be well presented. A quality product which reflected the excellence of the talent available in Australia. It aimed at both the entertainers and the exquisite venues throughout the country.

One year later, Variety Today still sells for its original cover price of $3. It has received acclaim from people of all walks of life - the public, managers, agents, entertainers, entertainment managers, business leaders and musicians; and has even managed a couple of world exclusives including the cover of the `First Birthday' Issue which has been designed by multi-talented entertainer Rolf Harris, another great inspiration to Shirley throughout her career. On Monday, January 6, 1992, Variety Today celebrated it's First Birthday at Paradise Country, Nerang.

Other venues to host the Variety Today Birthdays in the 1990s included Twin Towns Services Club, Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL, North Sydney Leagues Club and Southport RSL.

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