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Hero image for Rick Harris and Peter Rowley on Billy T James - Funny As Interview

Rick Harris and Peter Rowley on Billy T James - Funny As Interview

Funny As Interviews – 2019

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. All audiovisual content is copyright to Augusto, and may not be reproduced. Publication of Funny As 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