The DJ Sessions


Late-Night Music TV Director Andrew McVitty Dies

The | June 9, 2024

Andrew McVitty, director of late-night music TV show Nightmoves and several of Kylie Minogue’s music videos, has died after a short battle with cancer. He was 66.

McVitty was a 21-year old video tape operator at Melbourne’s HSV7 (as it was then known) when he was told to attend a meeting alongside his boss, Gary Fenton, Mushroom RecordsMichael Gudinski and Radio 3XY presenter (and later programme director at EON-FM) Lee Simon. At the time, the arrival of commercial FM radio in Australia tapped into a ‘rock’ audience that wanted to dig deeper into an act’s music through album tracks and lengthy interviews, rather than the ‘singles’ concept of Countdown and Sounds.

In 1977, GTV9 made the 30-minute Soundcheck program hosted by radio’s Greg Evans, while Ten screened Thank God It’s Friday At The Zoo fronted by radio’s Ian MacRae. HSV7 went for Nightmoves (Gudinski’s original name for it was Mushroom Hour) with Simon as host, Gudinski as talent coordinator and McVitty as director.

McVitty was already aware the network had the Australian rights to overseas shows like The Midnight Special and had plans for a post-midnight TV show for more adult tastes. He was thrown in at the deep end, told he had a week to get the show up and running, and that it had a seven-week run. The show would often run simulcast on FM radio.

“We stumbled and fumbled our way through what we were doing, but it was a whole lot of fun,” Simon admitted years later during a Q&A at the St. Kilda Film Festival. “It was meant to be seven weeks [but] we kept on going for seven years, which surprised all of us.”

Simon believed that Nightmoves lasted so long and became essential viewing nationally because McVitty was on a mission. He would “break the rules and fight the bean counters to get the resources it needed”.

According to the show’s segment producer and researcher, Jenny Brown, up to 40 crew members would be hired when Nightmoves did its own concerts. It provided the quality that saw some footage screened on the BBC in the UK, and on American pay TV channels.

Nightmoves moved to other channels and time slots, and finally ended in 1984. But McVitty had left two years before that, working on directing Kylie Minogue’s videos for The Loco-Motion and I Should Be So Lucky. He also produced Stop The Drop: A Concert For Nuclear Disarmament at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl on February 13, 1983, for Ten.

McVitty also co-produced award winning documentaries and films for his wife Lisa Yang’s Black Sheep Films, including Reunion, PS I Love You and Monsieur Mayonnaise. He also mentored generations of TV producers and directors.

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