Model Geeling Ng found fame after a memorable beach scene with David Bowie in the video for 'China Girl'. Auckland born, of Chinese ancestry, Ng went on to act in 'glitter soap' Gloss and Chinese settlers down under classic Illustrious Energy (1987). Her recent screen appearances include playing boss on The Jaquie Brown Diaries, competing on Dancing with the Stars, and hosting a cooking segment on Asia Down Under.
After immigrating to New Zealand from South Africa when she was 11, Megan Alatini (née Cassie) became a contestant on reality show Popstars in 1999, soon winning a place in girl group TrueBliss. The band topped the Kiwi singles and album charts. In 2002 Alatini joined the main cast for the fourth season of The Tribe as warrior Java, acting alongside her real-life sisters Meryl and Monique. Alatini also acted in the short-lived Atlantis High. In 2006 she was a judge on New Zealand Idol; the following year she competed on the third season of Dancing With The Stars, where she ended up runner-up behind Suzanne Paul.
Brit-born Suzanne Paul first made a splash on Kiwi television screens in the 80s, thanks to her infomercials. Hit TV show Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? saw her surprising ordinary New Zealanders with a long run of celebrity guests. She paired up with Anthony Ray Parker again for TV's Garage Sale and Second Honeymoon, then went on to win the third season of Dancing with the Stars — despite breaking a rib in the final.
Suzy Cato leapt from radio announcing into television as presenter of TV3's Early Bird Show, quickly claiming her place as one of New Zealand's most beloved children's presenters. Thanks to the success of Suzy's World and pre-school favourite You and Me, her television CV now runs to well over 2300 episodes. In 1999 she set up her own company, Treehut Productions.
Theresa Healey first came to prominence in 1989, when her character found something strange in the plughole during celebrated short film Kitchen Sink. But Healey is probably best known for her five years as sassy nurse Carmen Roberts on Shortland Street. Her other television roles include Go Girls, Filthy Rich and teleplay Double Booking. On the big screen, she has acted in Jubilee, Savage Honeymoon and Vermilion. In 2007 Healey investigated her Irish heritage for Here to Stay. She has also competed on Dancing with the Stars, and provided the legendary "here's a house" voice-over on kids show Play School.
The screen credits of colourful broadcaster and ex-MP Pam Corkery run from Dancing with the Stars, to being shot in Colombia for Intrepid Journeys. Corkery hosted 2003 talk show The Last Word and has presented Inside New Zealand documentaries on gangs, Asian crime, booze culture and self defence. She became the headline in 2014, after insulting a reporter while handling press for the Internet Mana party.
Jude Dobson became a familiar television presence in the 1990s presenting a run of lifestyle shows, and then her own five night a week series. After beginning on quiz show Sale of the Century, she went on to helm almost 1000 episodes of 5.30 with Jude and its follow-up. In 2002 she set up production company Homegrown Television to make documentaries and educational films exploring parenting and family.
Surely the most famous comedian to rise from West Auckland, Ewen Gilmour won the first Billy T award in 1997, and a devoted following. The longtime petrolhead had begun making regular appearances on TV show Pulp Comedy in the mid 90s; there would also be live performances in Paris, Ireland, Montreal, and across the length of New Zealand. Gilmour passed away in his sleep in early October 2014.
Peter Blake introduced more local content to popular music shows Ready to Roll and Radio with Pictures at a time when covers of overseas songs were the norm. The longtime musician began in television via 1970s music programme; Grunt Machine, and ended up in charge of a stable of shows. He has also composed music for everything from TV One's nightly News theme to drama Shark in the Park.
Named Head of the Internal Production Department at TVNZ while still in her late 20s, Dana Youngman first worked her way up the producing ladder on lifestyle shows like Maggie’s Garden Show and A Taste of Home. Since then she has worked on New Zealand’s Got Talent and Whānau Living, and helped create a cooking show with Annabel Langbein which screened in more than 80 countries.