Westgate

TV series, 1981-1985

Drama series following the boardroom and bedroom intrigue of a PR agency and its people. Westgate PR company is plunged into crisis when one of the founders, Franklyn Westgate, dies. A power struggle develops between co-founder Warren Bartlett and Franklyn’s power-hungry widow Alice, who wants to see her son in charge. But young Ashley Westgate is a playboy and knows nothing about the business, and under his control the company sinks deeper into trouble. Meanwhile, the company’s art director, Ivor Kraft, is out for revenge after an accident caused by Ashley has left him scarred. Other characters include Olivia Grey, Warren Bartlett’s secretary and mistress; his wife Joan and daughter Samantha; famous camerman Greg Tremaine who’s romancing both Joan and Samantha; Ivor Kraft’s spiteful wife Myrna; and American advisor Bonny Thornton, who catches Ashley Westgate’s eye despite his mother’s disapproval.

In the second series, the intrigue spread to the fictional African state Letswana, where state leader Nelson Chingwe’s efforts to protect his people’s rights threaten the financial gains of businessman Raymond Sanderveldt and Letswana minister Kingdom Kunene.

Westgate 3
Joy Stewart-Spence in Westgate
Eckard Rabe in Westage
Eckard Rabe in Westgate
Gordon Mulholland in Westgate
Lena Farugia in Westgate

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

3 September 1981

Channel:

SABC-TV; TV1

Language:

English

Genre:

Drama series

Number of series:

3

Number of episodes:

24+

Production company:

SABC

Director:

Edgar Bold

Writer:

John Cundill

Cast and Crew: 

ActorCharacterSeries
Gordon MulhollandWarren BartlettSeries 1-3
Eckard RabeAshley WestgateSeries 1-3
Joy Stewart-SpenceAlice WestgateSeries 1-3
Yvonne BanningOlivia GreySeries 1,2
Val DunlopJoan BartlettSeries 1,2
Terry NortonSamantha BartlettSeries 1,2
Richard HainesIvor KraftSeries 1,2
Aletta BezuidenhoutMyrna KraftSeries 1,2
Lena FarugiaBonny ThorntonSeries 1-2
Veronica WilsonGloria DelmonicaSeries 1,2

Episodes: 

Series 1

Episode 1
Original air date: 3 September 1981

Franklyn Westgate has no idea how to deal with his wayward son, who has become a real embarrassment. Not only is Ashley Westgate a womanising playboy, but as junior partner in the company he doesn’t attend meetings, treats his superiors with disrespect and several important clients now refuse to work with him. He was also the cause of a waterski accident in which Ivor Kraft's face was mutilated.

Episode 2
Original air date: 10 September 1981

News of Franklyn and Raymond’s disagreement spreads like wildfire. Franklyn uses his talent for manipulating the media to his advantage – but is he really in control?

Episode 3
Original air date: 17 September 1981

Alice Westgate has to act fast to ensure that the company stays in the family after Franklyn’s sudden death. As Warren Bartlett scrambles to get the company’s matters in order, his marriage heads for the rocks.

Episode 4
Original air date: 24 September 1981

For three weeks after Franklyn Westgate’s death the company faces crisis upon crisis. It’s up to Warren to solve the problems, which doesn’t do his already shaky marriage any good.

Episode 5
Original air date: 1 October 1981

As the conflict between Ashley and Warren rises, the staff’s dissatisfaction grows.

Series 2

Episode 1
Original air date: 29 April 1982

Westgate’s merger with advertising firm Admedia was successful: in just six months, profits have gone through the roof. But tensions among board members is still high. Meanwhile, Ivor Kraft has been admitted to a mental institution for what seemed like his obvious attempts to murder Ashley Westgate.

Episode 2
Original air date: 6 May 1982

Bonnie is in Letswana, shooting an educational TV programme for the Sanderveldt Foundation. Ashley pays her an unexpected visit – which is guaranteed to cause unhappiness with his family.

Episode 3
Original air date: 13 May 1982

Joan and Warren Bartlett’s marriage is nothing more than a peace agreement – a peace that is shattered when Joan realises that their holliday at a game reserve was in fact a business trip.

Episode 4
Original air date: 20 May 1982

Rutland Bank aims to develop a luxury resort along the Cape coast and is looking for a PR firm to market the project.

Episode 5
Original air date: 27 May 1982

Warren secures the Cosy Bay account for Westgate, but is concerned about interference from a group nature conservationists, led by Peter Penrith.

Series 3

Coming soon.

Sources: 

  • Stella du Toit, Westgate ... Die Trefferreeks waarop almal wag. Radio en TV Dagboek, 31 August-6 September 1981, pp.72-75.
  • Shirley Veal en Susan Groenewald, Staan Opsy, JR en kie... Radio en TV Dagboek, 26 April-2 May 1982, pp.22-23.
  • Photos from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxahM5HGyYE