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Ian Johnstone: TV legend...

Interview – 2011

Veteran broadcaster and journalist Ian Johnstone helped pioneer current affairs programming in New Zealand by hosting and reporting on the shows Compass and Close Up in the 1960s. Johnstone was the first host of the regional programme Town and Around and went on to co-host Tonight at Nine after the debut of South Pacific Television. Since then Johnstone has been involved in a variety of TV series and documentaries, and has even turned his hand to a bit of character acting in television dramas. Johnstone is perhaps best remembered as the long-time host of the Crimewatch series.

In this ScreenTalk, Johnstone talks about:

  • Learning on the job as the host of the original Close Up current affairs show
  • How government officials were baffled on camera
  • Becoming a household name on Town and Around
  • Coming to terms with working in a police state for the ground-breaking documentary South Africa – the Black Future
  • Realising that one of their ‘helpers’ was a government informer
  • How being tall, English, and bald got him an acting role in Pioneer Women
  • Bringing the drama of crime to the screen in Crimewatch
  • Loving the live aspect of the show
This video was first uploaded on 8 November 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