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Hero image for Bill McCarthy: Sports anchor, turned newsreader, turned producer …

Bill McCarthy: Sports anchor, turned newsreader, turned producer …

Interview – 2014

Veteran broadcaster Bill McCarthy was the popular face of TV news and sport in the 1970s. Starting as a sports anchor, he later moved to prime time newsreading, and then became a producer on classical music show Opus, plus one-off events like the 1987 Rugby World Cup and Telethon. Later McCarthy ran cable channel The Arts Channel, and presented shows on everything from boating to religion.

In this ScreenTalk, McCarthy talks about:

  • Having to learn on the job in the early days of NZBC news
  • How the 1974 Commonwealth Games changed broadcasting
  • His initial reluctance to be a newsreader
  • Why he didn’t really like hosting Top Town
  • Moving to producing with the classical music show Opus
  • Memories of rushing across the ocean by night with Sir Peter Blake, for Around the World Yacht Race documentary Two Boats Two Dreams
  • The stress and satisfaction of "the toughest job I ever had" — producing the 1987 Rugby World Cup
  • The chaos and joys of producing of big events like Telethon
  • Having one of the most varied careers in television
This video was first uploaded on 14 July 2014, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside
...we had a few BBC trained people on the staff who had seen television — we hadn’t even seen television! And yet it sort of arrived with valves and tubes and studios and lights like this, and really we had no experience; we had no training, no one ever trained me or anyone at the time, to my remembrance anyway, to be on television. We just sort of sat there and did it.
– Bill McCarthy on the early days of presenting television for the NZ Broadcasting Corporation, in the 1960s