Shona McFarlane (1929 - 2001) completed her first book of paintings and prose during a 14 year stint as a Dunedin print journalist. In 1969 she became the first woman invited to join the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (forerunner to Creative New Zealand). But many knew her for another role: as feisty, enthusiastic panelist on popular advice show Beauty and the Beast. McFarlane also presented arts show Picture Gallery.

It was to have been a short 13-week fill-in series but stretched to almost 12 years … none of us were professional advice givers or social workers, we were just a group of women who had lived long enough and had done enough to gain our own experiences of life and its joys or hazards... Shona McFarlane on Beauty and the Beast, in her 1999 book Shona McFarlane - A Memoir

Fragile Futures - The Fight Against Breast Cancer

1990, Subject - Television

Kaleidoscope - Frances Hodgkins

1989, Advisor to the Director - Television

By the time she died in 1947 aged 78, expat Frances Hodgkins was recognised as a key figure in British art. Subtitled 'A Painter of Genius', this 1989 Kaleidoscope portrait mixes archival material with recreations of Hodgkins working in England in the 1940s, and being interviewed by Vogue. Her "gypsy" life ranges from a Dunedin upbringing, leaving New Zealand in 1901, to painting and teaching in Europe, and struggles with poverty and health. After embracing modernism in the 1920s, her art combined still life and landscape in original ways. TV veteran (and artist) Peter Coates directs.

Kaleidoscope - Highway One, Southland

1985, Writer - Television

Beauty and the Beast Xmas Special 1982

1982, Panelist - Television

Presented by broadcasting legend Selwyn Toogood, this panel show screened on weekday afternoons from 1976 to 1985. Toogood and four female panellists answered viewers' letters, and took on "every problem, be it incest, love or tatting", as panelist Liz Grant says in a poetry reading. This 1982 Christmas Day special drops the advice to concentrate on entertainment from a super team of 12 panelists, including regulars Shona McFarlane, Heather Eggleton, and Catherine Saunders. Johnny Frisbie attempts to teach Toogood a hula, and Toogood sings Yes! We Have No Bananas.

Beauty and the Beast - Episode 1000

1980, Panelist - Television

For nearly a decade, Selwyn Toogood and his panel of beauties helped solve life’s tricky problems every weekday afternoon. In this special 1000th episode, the problems range from a nine-year-old’s unaffectionate grandparents, to being caught between feuding neighbours. Making a special appearance is loyal viewer Ruth Flashoff, who is flown from Havelock North to Dunedin's Regent Theatre for the show. Toogood also gives praise to those behind the scenes, meets his old boss Christopher Bourn, and reels off an impressive list of statistics about the camera team.

Picture Gallery

1979, Presenter - Television

Beauty and the Beast

1976 - 1985, Panelist - Television

Presented by broadcasting legend Selwyn Toogood, this beloved agony-aunt (and uncle!) discussion show screened on weekday afternoons, from 1976 to 1985. Toogood and four female panelists answered viewers' letters, taking on issues big and small. "We tackle every problem, be it incest, love or tatting" as panelist Liz Grant put it. Regular panellists included artist Shona McFarlane, Heather Eggleton, Catherine Saunders, and writer Johnny Frisbie.

Hudson and Halls

1976 - 1986, Subject - Television

They came, they battered, they bickered. Peter Hudson and David Halls were as famous for their on-screen spats as they were for their recipes. The couple ("are we gay - well we're certainly merry") turned cooking into comedy. Their self-titled show ran for a decade on New Zealand TV and it attracted a cult following when they moved the show to the UK. The duo won Entertainer of the Year at the 1981 Feltex Awards. Microwaves, little roasted nuts and great dollops of innuendo: the sometimes fusty genre of TV culinary demonstration would never be the same.