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The Paul Holmes Collection

By NZ On Screen team
7th February 2013

 The Paul Holmes Collection

The Paul Holmes Collection

 NZ On Screen team

By NZ On Screen team


Sir Paul Holmes (1950 - 2013)

"Those were our people today, and that's Holmes tonight" went the sign-off to Paul Holmes' long-running current affairs show. This collection is a screen tribute to the broadcaster's sometimes controversial, always colourful career. As Jason Gunn writes: "From Dennis Conner's walkout to MPs' moans and groans / You lit up all our living rooms, you made our house a Holmes".


From 2ZM to the Ingham Twins - Holmes onscreen

 Holmes - The First Episode

In this infamous interview from the first Holmes show, the host asks US yachtsman Dennis Conner to apologise for cheating in the America's Cup. Conner's response kicked the show off with headlines, ratings and controversy. It was a style that made Holmes famous and changed New Zealand broadcasting.

 Holmes 15th Anniversary

In this clip the Holmes show celebrates 15 years on air with a montage of notable moments: chatting with Queen Elizabeth, being kissed by Eve van Grafhorst and Kiri Te Kanawa, Jonah Lomu weeping etc. Celeb guests include Margaret Thatcher, Rachel Hunter and Sir Peter Blake.

 The Rate Race

This TVNZ doco captures the early days of NewstalkZB shortly after Radio New Zealand has gambled on relaunching it with an all talk format. Holmes, former king of the Wellington airwaves, is grappling to make an impact in Auckland. By 1988 he'd hauled the show from ninth to second in the ratings.

 One Network News - Paul Holmes Meets Margaret Thatcher

In this 1993 interview, ex British PM Margaret Thatcher talks anti-nuclear policy (bad), Communism (evil), and sanctions (pointless). The horrors of Bosnia, she argues, happened because consensus won out over strong leadership. Paul Holmes also passes on David Lange’s comment that Thatcher spoke like a Nazi orator.

 Holmes - Christmas Party

Holmes signed off editions of his primetime show with "Those were our people today, and that's Holmes tonight". 'Our people' in this 1997 Christmas special — presented from the roof of TVNZ — include seemingly everyone deemed worthy of news in 1997: from the Ingham twins to Princess Di. 

 Grunt Machine - Paul Holmes

This segment from 70s music show Grunt Machine is a visit to Wellington radio station 2ZM. Announcer Paul Holmes is resplendent in afro and moustache as he’s interviewed after giving away an LP to Carol of Naenae. Holmes must've made an onscreen impact as he later became Grunt Machine host.

 Holmes (Prime Television) - Russell and Martin Crowe Interview

A move from TVNZ to Prime saw new show Paul Holmes, followed in short order in 2006 by Holmes, which showcased longer interviews. In this one Holmes talks movies, sports and fatherhood with a relaxed Russell Crowe and his cousin, cricket legend Martin Crowe.

 Gone up North for a While

Director Paul Maunder brought kitchen sink drama to NZ television with this controversial film about a pregnant teen. It can claim to have effected social change, stirring up public debate about the DPB for single mothers. Keep an eye out for a young Paul Holmes as a moustached wannabe lothario.

 Intrepid Journeys - Yemen (Paul Holmes)

In this Intrepid Journey Holmes finds himself far from Hawkes Bay, as he brings his trademark stream of introspection and acerbic wit to the ancient cultures of Yemen. He chews on everything from hand-holding soldiers, to the loudness of daily conversation, to the ubiquitous Khat.

 Buck House - Escorts Unlimited Limited

Famous for being NZ telly's first sitcom, Buck House centred on the antics of a group of uni students sharing a Wellington flat. Here Reg — played by a fast-talking, afro-headed Holmes — gets embroiled in an illicit money-making scheme ('Escorts Unlimited Limited') by his flatmate Joe (Tony Barry).

 Holmes - Sir Edmund Hillary

In this Holmes clip the host interviews New Zealand hero Sir Edmund Hillary; Sir Ed has just been awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the International Variety Club (joining recipients Winston Churchill, Helen Keller and Sammy Davis Jr) in recognition of his work for the people of Nepal.

 Men and Super Men

NFU drama Men and Super Men is a barbed chronicle of a patronising factory manager (Eddie Wright) trying to increase productivity through constant change. Holmes plays one of the defiant workers. Some of the characters were inspired by real-life National Film Unit staff.

 Twelve Days Of Glory - The Forgotten Athletes

From early broadcasting days, Holmes was a champion of disabled athletics. In this doco he follows the Kiwi contingent to the Barcelona 1992 Paralympics. There's triumph and disappointment mixed with the message that these were elite athletes competing strongly against the rest of the world.

 Rock Around the Clock (Series One, Episode One)

Paul Holmes comperes this celebration of 50s rock'n'roll, under the moniker Wonderful Wally Watson. Tom Sharplin does most of the singing, with help from Dalvanius and his sister Barletta. 

 Triumph of the Human Spirit

Continuing his patronage of Paralympic sport, Holmes fronts this doco looking at the NZ team at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. Triumph follows the successful athletes to victory in the pool, and on track and field. The doco broke ground screening in a primetime slot on TV One.

 Today Live - Angela D'Audney

In an emotional Today Live interview from June 2001, Susan Wood talks to pioneering newsreader Angela D'Audney about her recent diagnosis of a brain tumour. Holmes reminisces and offers support. D’Audney is given the final word in what will be her last TV appearance.

 Loose Enz - The Pumice Land

This episode of the Loose Enz series features small town intrigue in Hawkes Bay. As a family wrestles over the fate of a farm one boozy night at the bar, Holmes — perhaps anticipating his later return to the Bay — plays a sax-playing fencer in the likeably chaotic farmers’ band.

"The king of television current affairs ..."

Broadcaster Susan Wood was the long-time stand-in for Holmes on his show. She remembers her colleague. Read more ›

“You told us what was when and why and who was doing what ...”

“You told us what was when and why and who was doing what ...”

Jason Gunn did a Holmes impersonation that delighted many. Here Gunn pays poetic homage to his subject. Read more ›

All About Eve

All About Eve

The doco tells the story of Eve van Grafhorst, the brave girl Holmes helped make a poster child for AIDS awareness. Watch ›