Credit where it’s due: Margaret and David – bringing the curtain down


After yesterday’s announcement the ABC is wrapping At the Movies at the end of the year we give Credit Where its Due to one of the longest on-screen partnerships in Aussie TV, Margaret and David.

As Margaret always acknowledged, they were like an old married couple, but without the sex. Quarrelling, bickering and occasionally agreeing. But it was all done with mutual respect and genuine affection.

We refer, of course, to Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, known by movie fans across Australia simply as Margaret and David. Surnames were rendered superfluous for two of TV’s most respected and popular presenters.

The pair announced this week that after 28 years of reviewing films, initially for SBS on The Movie Show and then the ABC for At The Movies, it was time to call it a day. And so the curtain will come down on one of TV’s most enduring, and endearing partnerships, at the end of the current series on December 9.

It is no exaggeration to suggest that Margaret and David have achieved cult status over the years, and their presence on our TV will be sorely missed, not only for their knowledgeable and considered opinions, and in Pomeranz’s case for her sometimes emotional outpourings, but for the fact that, well, they always seem to have been there. After all, there is a whole generation which has grown up with the pair an ever-present on their screens.

They are a somehow comforting, intelligent and well-informed presence in a general sea of reality TV nonsense.

The duo got together in 1983 when Pomeranz was assigned to produce the introduction for Stratton’s “Movie of the Week” and “Cinema Classics”.  Three years later, after what Stratton described in an article for The Australian as “disastrous” pilot programs, The Movie Show went to air. Not that they were instant friends.

“At first we didn’t hit it off at all; she was pushy, I was set in my ways,” Stratton said. “It was an oil and water situation. But gradually I came to appreciate her knowledge and her qualities, and we became friends.”

Such was the widespread affection for the pair that on the 25th anniversary of their TV shows two of Australia’s best talents, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, sat in their seats and offered their versions of Margaret and David.


Their departure leaves a gap in our TV schedule as there is no other show that delivers a weekly dose of film reviews on free-TV. That is a crying shame, not only for movie fans but for the struggling Australian film industry that Pomeranz and Stratton have championed, Wolf Creek 2 notwithstanding, a movie they both refused to review.

Even more worrying is ABCs confirmation that nothing will replace At The Movies in 2015. It must be hoped this is only temporary and that one of the networks, if not the ABC, has the wit to grasp the opportunity to launch a new version of Margaret and David.

Nothing can replace them, of course, but the show must go on.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.