Rick Harris began working as Billy T James' minder in 1986 — "I drove the car, I rolled the smokes, I made the tea." He reminisces about the fun times they had in this Funny As interview. Billy T James Show co-star Peter Rowley joins Harris, 19 minutes in. They discuss subjects such as:
- The first time Rick met Billy
- The many sides of the man
- The real life inspiration behind Billy T's iconic laugh (13 minutes in)
- How Billy T loved to have fun, including spraying Rowley with a firehose while he was asleep in bed
- How Billy was able to get away with anything — says Rowley: "He had this lovely, almost little boy quality housed in this super talented adult" (24 minutes)
- Billy being a "law unto himself", who disliked listening to advice
- Billy's concern for his daughter Cherie when his house was shot at, and their "immense" bond
Note: For more on Billy T, check out Peter Rowley's solo interview for Funny As.
This interview was recorded for 2019 TV series
Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy.
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extended interviews made possible with funding from the NZ Lotteries Grants Board
He had his own managers that looked after the business side, I just looked after Billy. Butler, manservant, personal manager... all sorts of titles run around. I was a mate and I used to run around with Billy. And that was my job. And it was awesome.
– Rick Harris on his time with the great Billy T James, at the start of this interview