|Close to Home|
|Country of origin||New Zealand|
|Original channel||Television One|
|Original run||1975 – 1983|
Close to Home was the name of a long-running New Zealand television soap opera, which ran on Television One, (later becoming Television New Zealand), from 1975 to 1983. Set in a suburb of Wellington, it originally revolved around the trials and tribulations of the Hearte family, but within the first two years of the programme most of the Hearte children had been written out. The elder members of the Hearte family remained through most of the show's run. The show revolved around their interactions with their neighbours and friends. A high point of the series occurred in 1982 with the wedding of Gayle and Gavin.
Rehearsals took place in a local community hall in Avalon while “Close to Home” was mostly shot in the largest NZBC TV studio at Avalon (Lower Hutt), which had sets round the studio of rooms in various characters’ houses plus the bar of the local hotel. It was criticised for the number of scenes set in the bar, but that was the only place apart from private homes that scenes could be set in without going on location (which was infrequent). The show seems to be the first film or TV appearance of John Bach, who went on to have his own TV seris “Duggan” (as a policeman) and appear in various films. Jennifer Ward Lealand appeared as a school friend of Gayle's after Fiona Lovatt's contract expired. Jim Moriarty played a school teacher. Other cast members included Pat Evison, Ginette MacDonald and a special appearance by The Kokatahi Band.
Its replacement series, Country GP, starring Lani Tupu, did not enjoy as successful a run in the same timeslot.