Show business runs in Grace Palmer's blood. Her parents, Tony Palmer and Janine Morrell-Gunn, are veteran TV producers and sister Eve Palmer presented on several youth shows. Grace began her screen career reporting and presenting on What Now? as a teen. Then she spent close to three years playing nurse Lucy Rickman on Shortland Street, surviving hostage attempts and a violent partner before going into labour during a volcanic eruption. In 2017 Palmer signed on for Māori TV comedy Tongue Tied — before making her American debut in lost at sea tale Adrift and acting in Kiwi thriller My Name is Heather.
I was 22 and I had no mortgage and no kids, it's kind of an opportunity in your life to be completely and utterly selfish and just follow your dreams. Grace Palmer on leaving Shortland Street to pursue other acting roles, The NZ Herald, 10 June 2018
Shortland Street receptionist Leanne Miller (Jennifer Ludlam) provided many magic moments during her time on the show. Prone to mispronunciations, homophobic comments (although she later had a change of heart) and meddling in her daughter Nicole's relationships, Leanne also endured muggings, a drowned partner and surgery without anaesthetic. When Shortland actor Grace Palmer is asked for her favourite moment from the show, she chooses the time Leanne took health supplements laced with speed. The clip ends with a brief glimpse of Leanne after the event.
From 2009 to 2013, The Erin Simpson Show was a staple of TVNZ’s after school programming. The magazine format took in interviews (including Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez), mini-soaps, competitions, social media and reports covering fashion, sport and entertainment. Presenter Erin Simpson hosted over 770 episodes, and was a familiar face to a generation of Kiwi kids. The show’s many reporters included actor Kimberley Crossman, singer Ruby Frost, rugby player Isaac Ross, and conservationist Nicola Toki. The show was produced by Whitebait TV (now Whitebait Media).
Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an inner city Auckland hospital. The long-running South Pacific Pictures production is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week. In 2017 the show was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture — starting with “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!” in the very first episode. Mihi Murray writes about Shortland Street here.
What Now? is a long-running entertainment show for primary school-aged children. Filmed before a live studio audience on weekend mornings, What Now? is a New Zealand TV institution; it was the first TV show to have live phone-ins. The series is known for its challenges that sometimes result in participants being 'gunged'. A roll-call of presenters includes Steve Parr, Danny Watson, Simon Barnett, Jason Gunn, Michelle A'Court, Tamati Coffey, Antonia Prebble, and more. 'Get out of your Lazy Bed' by Matt Bianco is the theme song memorable to generations of Kiwi kids.