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Hero image for Brian Edwards: TV current affairs legend...

Brian Edwards: TV current affairs legend...

Interview – 2011

Irish import Brian Edwards made a big impact on current affairs in New Zealand. First seen on 1960s regional show Town and Around, he made his name as a no-nonsense interviewer on Gallery. On that show he helped bring about the end of a union dispute with the Post Office, live on air. Edwards on Saturday followed, and was a ratings hit. Later the veteran broadcaster helped launch long-running consumer rights show Fair Go, and hosted radio show Top of the Morning.

In this ScreenTalk, Edwards talks about:

  • How being on Town and Around saved him from being a miserable academic
  • Getting a reputation for being an "aggressive interviewer" on Gallery
  • Annoying SIS boss Bill Gilbert after naming SIS agents during a Gallery interview
  • His take on solving the infamous 1970 Post Office strike on air
  • Insulting just about every sector of society on show Edwards on Saturday
  • How Fair Go changed the rules of television by naming and shaming the "baddies"
  • Why he thinks the Fair Go has lost its community appeal
  • Finding live show Edwards at Large nerve-racking
  • Great current affairs now being marginalised on television
This video was first uploaded on 27 July 2011, 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
...I think one of the reasons it was so popular so quickly was it was something that had never been done before on New Zealand television. Indeed the rules of the game in those days for television programmes were, not only could you not criticise a commercial product, you could not name a commercial product ... Not only did it [Fair Go] name things, it criticised the people who'd made them or the products themselves. So what people discovered they now had was a goodies and baddies programme ... where the baddies got their comeuppance.
– Brian Edwards on the popularity of consumer affairs show Fair Go