Tom Bradley is the proverbial man of many skills. Best known for his 25 year stint as a television newsreader (including co-hosting Feltex award-winner News at Ten, after the launch of TV2) Bradley has also done time as a pirate radio DJ, media coach and singer; and written scripts for a series of animated films. In recent years Bradley has moved into writing books for children and young adults, with more than 15 titles to date.
Suddenly there was a new kid on the block. We were new, we were aggressive ... we came in and said ‘let’s go out there and do the stories they’re doing, let’s do them better, let’s do them faster, let’s do them in a brighter way’. Suddenly there was competition. Tom Bradley, on the 1976 launch of a TV2 - and the new newsroom that briefly came with it
Neighbours at War was a popular reality show that ran for 10 years and eight seasons on TV2. Narrated by one of its longest-serving directors, Bill Kerton, it offered a quirky Kiwi take on a UK concept: take a seemingly unsolvable dispute over a boundary/fence/driveway, and get a famous Kiwi to mediate the neighbours who can’t agree how to live next to each other. Mediators included Mark Sainsbury, John Key and Tariana Turia. The cheesy music and emotion worn on the sleeve helped make the Greenstone TV show a “much-loved New Zealand staple” (The Spinoff's Duncan Greive).
Television news becomes the news in this brief report from TVNZ. In this excerpt newsreader Tom Bradley explains why the beginning of that night's six o'clock bulletin was delayed for 10 minutes. Earlier a small group of Māori protesters occupied the Auckland studio. They were angered by a decision to suspend Māori language news show Te Karere during the summer holiday period. Police were called and escorted the protesters from the set. Veteran activist Ken Mair said the group believed Māori and Pākehā news should be treated in the same way.
Once upon a time the Kiwi accent was a broadcasting crime, and politicians decided in advance which questions they would answer on-screen. Here is the News examines three decades (up to 1992) of Kiwi TV journalism and news presentation. The roll-call of on and off camera talent provides fascinating glimpses behind key events, including early jury-rigged attempts at nationwide broadcast, Dougal Stevenson announcing the 1975 arrival of competing TV networks, the Wahine, Erebus, Muldoon, turkeys in gumboots, and the tour - where journalists too, became "objects of hatred".
One shaggy dog, dozens of humans, and a smorgasbord of Kiwi scenery: viewers were glued to the screen for this campaign promoting TV One, which began screening in August 1991. The six-part promo followed a lovable sydney silky poodle cross travelling the country by car, train and paw. En route, roughly 50 Kiwis make blink and you'll miss it appearances: including sporting figures, town locals, and roughly two dozen TV presenters (see backgrounder for more info, plus clues on who is who). The popular promos were directed by Lee Tamahori (before Once Were Warriors).
Raoul Island is nearly 1000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand. For this Christmas Day 1988 report, TV One's Kurt Sanders paid a visit to the four-person NZ meteorological team serving there (plus Smelly the dog — “the unchallenged King of the Kermadecs”). Sanders follows future One News weather presenter Karen Olsen (then Karen Fisher) as she milks the cow, and heads through the nikau to take readings in the crater of Raoul’s active volcano. The uniquely-evolved island is now the Department of Conservation's most remote reserve.
Chris Knox mines his immediate, 1981-era surroundings for this elaborate stop-motion clip. Record players go crazy, sleeping bags swallow people, and hardly anyone on screen seems to have a face. On the telly are Springboks and protests, plus the Ready to Roll top 20 countdown. And all this unravels a full two decades before editing programme Final Cut Pro made homespun hip again, and directors like Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep) started popularising the craft aesthetic.
In 1975 TV One launched with a flagship 6.30 news bulletin which went largely unchanged with the move to TVNZ in 1980. In a 1987 revamp, it became the Network News with dual newsreaders Judy Bailey and Neil Billington (replaced by Richard Long). In 1988, the half hour programme moved to 6pm. With the advent of TV3 in late 1989, it was rebranded One Network News; and, from 1995, extended to an hour. The ill-fated replacing of Long with John Hawkesby in 1999 saw it make headlines rather than report them. In 1999, there was another name change to One News.
This archival compendium of Kiwi newsreaders in the hot seat compresses 21 years of footage into four minutes. Sixties BBC-style newsreader Bill Toft tells viewers about a court trial involving pirate station Radio Hauraki; Philip Sherry covers the 1970 shooting of four students at Ohio's Kent State University; and pioneering female newsreader Jennie Goodwin talks weather matters, using graphics and a roller-door style arrangement that now looks sweetly low-tech. The footage also includes the late Angela D'Audney, and long-serving news team Richard Long and Judy Bailey.