A well-known New Zealand television face for over two decades, Elizabeth Bourn provided continuity between shows. At WNTV-1 in the 60s she became known as ‘The Friday Girl’, hosting the network’s early evening shift. From the early 70s she spent 17 years with state TV as a continuity presenter. Her role was to keep evening programmes flowing with programme information, plus occasional weather and news.
Low-tech legend Chris Knox is an accomplished musician, animator, writer, cartoonist, and filmmaker. The former punk shaman has brought an energetic eclecticism to his work no matter what medium it forms in, and showcased his gift for DIY-style animation in many of the videos that accompany his music.
David Brechin-Smith is an award-winning screenwriter. Nominated for Lovebites and The Strip, he won awards for The Insider's Guide to Happiness and prequel The Insiders Guide to Love. He created and wrote drama series The Hothouse and worked on thriller series The Cult. Teen comedy-drama series Paradise Café and movie The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell are also among his credits.
The part-Samoan and fairly talented Mario Gaoa has been a writer, director and the voice of God. Part of the team behind comedy troupe the Naked Samoans and animated show bro’ Town, Gaoa supplied a number of voices for the hit series. These days he runs production company Tikilounge, with his partner Lisa Taouma.
Aged 18, New Plymouth-raised Shavaughn Ruakere landed her first screen job: five years presenting on children’s show What Now?. Then she moved to London, and won a gig co-presenting What Now?'s English equivalent, SM:TV Live. Since presenting for C4 back home, Ruakere has moved increasingly into acting. From 2011 she did a three year stint on Shortland Street as nurse Roimata Ngatai. Later she was a solo Mum with a brain tumour (in Darryl: An Outward Bound Story) and a Māori woman in 1914 Auckland (in miniseries When We Go To War). In 2016 Ruakere was the Los Angeles reporter for Seven Sharp.
Janine Morrell-Gunn is one of New Zealand's leading children's television producers. She began her TV career in 1985 as a trainee director and producer at TVNZ, working on programmes such as Spot On and Fast Forward. Morrell-Gunn spent seven years as executive producer of TVNZ's Children's Unit. In the late 1990s she formed Whitebait Productions (now Whitebait Media) with her husband Jason Gunn.
New Zealand roller figure skating champion Michelle Pickles joined TV One as a reporter in 1998, before moving to TV3 in late 2002. There she continued to work as a sports reporter, presenter and producer. During her tenure with the station she reported on numerous international events, including two Summer Olympic Games and the 2014 Winter Olympics, plus Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Glasgow and Delhi, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. In January 2017 Pickles announced she would be leaving TV3 to become Media Personnel Manager for racing and betting organisation the New Zealand Racing Board.
Making jokes and cross-dressing as one half of comedy duo The Laughing Samoans has taken actor Tofiga Fepulea'i around the globe. The Kiwi-Samoan spent 13 years performing with Eteuati Ete; alongside a long run of concert DVDs, they starred in 2010 TV series The Laughing Samoans at Large. Since the duo disbanded in 2016, Fepulea'i has performed solo, and paired with TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora for Māori Television comedy series Hamu & Tofiga (2017). In 2019 Fepulea'i landed his first movie role, as a private investigator in Take Home Pay. The comedy follows two Samoan brothers on a trip to Aotearoa.
Lee Donoghue was studying at drama school Toi Whakaari in 2006 when he got the call to join Shortland Street. During five years spent playing Hunter McKay, he survived run-ins with moving cars, drugs and the robbery of a pharmacy, and romanced a succession of nurses, including a woman old enough to be his mother. Donoghue's screen career began much earlier: at age eight he appeared with a talking goldfish, in a high profile advertising campaign for NZ On Air. He went on to play David Lange's son Byron in Fallout, and later a militia leader on sci-fi hit The Tribe.
Angela Bloomfield arrived on the Shortland Street set in 1992, and first appeared on-screen in early 1993. Over the next 24 years her character survived alcoholism, bulimia, lightning strikes and three departures from the show — plus an epic on-off relationship with Chris Warner. Beyond the clinic gates, Bloomfield has acted in 1993 teen movie Bonjour Timothy and was a feisty solo mother on TV’s Ride with the Devil. She has also directed extensively for Shortland Street and Go Girls. Her performance in her own short film Linda's List, a dark comedy about a bully, earned a 2017 Moa Award for Best Actress in a Short Film.