Andrew Whiteside spent nine years working on Queer Nation. When the show finally went off air in 2004, it had become the world's longest running queer television programme.
Born in England, Whiteside moved to New Zealand with his family when he was seven, and spent his formative years in West Auckland. Keen to work in television, he spent time behind the scenes at regional channel Triangle TV and student radio station 95bFM, before joining New Zealand's first gay TV programme Express Report in 1996. The show was renamed Queer Nation the following year.
Whiteside became a familiar face on the programme over the next nine years. Queer Nation's wide ranging subject matter — from arts and entertainment, to politics and sport — helped it reach an audience beyond the closet door.
In 1998 and 1999 — the year he completed a Graduate Diploma in Journalism at AUT — Whiteside won NZ AIDS Media Awards for his news reporting and feature stories. Four years later Queer Nation won Best Factual Series at the AFTA New Zealand Television Awards.
In 2001 Whiteside became the show's producer. He continued hosting the programme, and also directed many Queer Nation documentaries. These included pieces on former politician Marilyn Waring, the first reading of the Civil Union Bill, and a 2004 special in which queer people talked about key issues in their lives. His favourite documentary took him to the US in 2003, to cover the heated stateside debate over gay marriage.
After Queer Nation went off air, Whiteside set up his own television production company, Roll Tape Productions. He continues to present, direct and edit programmes across a wide range of subject matter; including health and education videos, and a long list of interviews with Kiwi actors and screen figures, for the ScreenTalk section of NZ On Screen.
In 2010 Whiteside directed a number of pieces for magazine style show Wero, a Māori Television programme devoted to queer issues. Two years later he began doing interviews for his own, web-based show Gay Talk Tonight. He also runs website Entertainment New Zealand, which features updates on new films, theatre and live events.
For three years Whiteside co-wrote and produced a gay radio programme on Access Radio. He has also directed television commercials, written poetry and is working on a couple of books — the subjects of which are still closely guarded secrets.
Entertainment New Zealand website. Accessed 9 March 2015