Lorna's broadcast news

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 February, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 February, 1995, 12:00am

WE can look forward to a change of tempo at RTHK next month when stalwarts Ralph Pixton and Hugh Chiverton both take holidays. Stepping into their shoes will be the vociferous Lorna Workman, who once stormed out of the Kowloon Tong studios huffing and puffing about self-censorship at the government-run station.

Lorna, readers with long memories may recall, used to host an excellent televised forum on current affairs called Workman This Week. Unpleasant rumours emerged about one show in which it was suggested that management had removed certain comments which were deemed offensive to the then Governor, Sir David Wilson.

Lorna later wrote a letter which ended up on the desk of the Secretary for Administrative Services and Information in which she spoke darkly about RTHK being full of 'yes men and women' who had no interest in broadcasting; who were playing office politics to further their civil service careers; a management which censored its own output because of a fear of government disapproval.

She then turned to PR before working for the European Commission monitoring the reintegration of Vietnamese Boat People. She is currently enjoying a sabbatical at her Shek O home and learning Mandarin with a view to getting into communication training.

Outspoken Lorna insists her tantrum was all a long time ago (six years to be precise) and people change in that time. 'I think we are all young and hot-headed at some point in our lives. Maybe I would have handled it differently now,' she commented.

Lorna's first show will be Open Line on Saturday, with embattled transport chief Haider Barma at the other end of the microphone.

She will do the show for three weeks while Ralph Pixton is on holiday and will take over Hugh Chiverton's Hong Kong Today spot from March 6 for one week.

'I'm not looking forward to getting up at 4.30am, but there you go,' she said.

'It will be a challenge to see if I can still chew gum and open a microphone fader at the same time. The hardest thing is trying to tell the time on the clock.' Lorna denies there will be any dramatic changes in the way the shows will be conducted but admits that the fact she comes from a different background and is a woman will have an impact.

'I don't intend to change something that seems to work very successfully. That would be a ghastly thing to do. It is not my programme. I am just sitting in.' As for returning to the fold, she added, 'I don't think anybody has changed. They are all still there. I still have friends there.'