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Hero image for Judy Callingham: Writing our classics...

Judy Callingham: Writing our classics...

Interview – 2011

Judy Callingham has had a long and varied television career as a reporter, presenter, and writer. She first appeared on our screens as a continuity announcer, but then moved on to reporting on the 1960s regional programme Town and Around. Callingham then developed her skills as a television drama writer on shows such as Close to Home, Gloss, Shark in the Park and Shortland Street.

In this ScreenTalk interview, Callingham talks about:

  • How a friendly rivalry with a co-reporter on Town and Around forced her to confront a fear of heights
  • Loving being a show-runner on Close to Home
  • How the show led to complaints that it didn’t represent real New Zealanders
  • Why writing for Gloss made her a better person to live with
  • That the superb cast of the show made the scripts better
  • Basing the lead character of her TV play Casualties of Peace on her father
  • The ‘organic’ process of writing the scripts for The Billy T James Show
  • Doing a writing experiment while creating scene breakdowns for Shortland Street
  • Admitting she became a writer because she was appalling at being an actress
This video was first uploaded on 16 August 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