Phillip Leishman has died after a battle with cancer. He was 61. Leishman's amiable features were synonymous with Kiwi sports broadcasting. Since the 70s he fronted everything from the Olympics to rugby tests and a globally-syndicated golf show. He also branched out into quiz shows and entertainment specials (presiding over Wheel of Fortune’s “O for Awesome” moment). Remember his four decades-long career via a poignant ScreenTalk for NZ On Screen — his final interview. “My legacy is one of a natural broadcaster; someone who loved their job.”
The name Phillip Leishman is synonymous with sports broadcasting in New Zealand. Over a four decade long career he presented sports news and major events from the Olympics to rugby tests, plus an internationally-syndicated golf show. He also branched out into popular quiz shows and entertainment specials (notably Wheel of Fortune). Leishman died on 25 February 2013, after a battle with cancer. He was 61.
Wheel of Fortune is a game show that involves the solving of Hangman-style posers. Contestants spin the wheel to accrue prizes, guess vowels or consonants that may be in the answer, and earn the right to roll again. The 90s Kiwi edition was hosted by Phillip Leishman and Lana Coc-Kroft. In this 10 October 1992 celebrity episode the contestants were actor Andy Anderson, Fair Go reporter Rosalie Nelson, and Barcelona Olympic bronze medalist boxer (and future World Heavyweight title challenger) David Tua, who infamously requested the letter O, "for Awesome".
Broadcaster Phillip Leishman has had one of the longest and most successful TV presenting careers in New Zealand. He began presenting sports news and events in the 1970s, and has hosted major live events such as the Olympics and test rugby. Leishman also helmed long-running game show Wheel of Fortune, and, more recently, the internationally-syndicated Golf Show. In this ScreenTalk, Leishman talks about: Becoming Glyn Tucker’s ‘little shadow’ on Turf Talk How tech problems led to him commentating on the 1976 Olympic Games The difficulties of covering the 1981 Springbok Tour Loving the pace of production on Wheel of Fortune Initially failing to notice David Tua’s infamous ‘O for awesome’ moment Hosting the last televised Miss New Zealand contest Missing the cool atmosphere of Weekend Why The Golf Show has been his favourite gig Traveling the world having a good time on Air New Zealand Holiday Being proud of his 41 years on air This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.