We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.




Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB


Hero image for RNZ Interview: Billy T James - Peter Rowley & Jamaine Ross

RNZ Interview: Billy T James - Peter Rowley & Jamaine Ross

Interview – 2022

This interview in the NZ Screen History series looks at the work of the late William James Te Wehi Taitoko — better known by his stage name Billy T James. He started in the Maori Volcanics showband in the 70s with Prince Tui Teka, and became a a household name in the 1980s thanks to his sketch show, The Billy T James Show. He died of heart failure in 1991, but his legacy lives on in the form of the Billy T award for up-and-coming comedians. To look back on making The Billy T James Show, Jesse Mulligan speaks to Billy's former co-star and co-writer, Peter Rowley. He also chats with Māori comedian Jamaine Ross about how he frames his comedy about race in 2021.

This audio interview was recorded for RNZ National's NZ Screen History series, which aired in 2021 as part of Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan. The content is copyright to RNZ, and may not be reproduced from NZ On Screen.