Wellington-raised producer Debra Kelleher has more than three decades experience in the screen industry. She cut her production teeth in Australia (Neighbours, Sale of the Century), before returning home to work on Shortland Street, then cult teen show The Tribe. Kelleher was at the helm of breakfast TV show Good Morning, and five seasons of flagship TVNZ show Dancing with The Stars.
Jason Gunn is one of the most recognised faces on New Zealand television. He began as a presenter on children's TV. These days Gunn is best known for hosting top-rating programme Dancing with the Stars and the game show Wheel of Fortune.
Miriama Smith began acting on screen as a teen. Over a dozen roles and a decade later, she joined the cast for three seasons of TV series Mercy Peak. She went on to star as feisty corporate boss Brady Truebridge in Filthy Rich. The versatile Smith has done screen time as a gang leader (The Tribe), mother (Stolen, Kaitangata Twitch), competitive dancer (Dancing with the Stars) and presenter (Finding Aroha).
Longtime Cantabrian Simon Barnett has had many encounters with the small screen. In the late 80s he spent four years as a presenter on What Now?, before going on to host a number of talent and game shows. The longtime radio DJ has also competed in Celebrity Treasure Island. In 1990 he acted in hit comedy Ruby and Rata, as the young man who gets caught up with a dodgy but lovable solo mother.
Alongside award-winning front and centre roles in everything from horror movie The Ugly to Shortland Street, lawyer-turned-actor Rebecca Hobbs has tried her hand at directing (short film Tick), writing (children's series P.E.T. Detectives) — and even the cha cha (TV’s Dancing with the Stars).
Paul Holmes, KCNZM, helped change the face of New Zealand broadcasting. In 1989 the actor turned radio host began presenting primetime news and magazine show Holmes in spectacular style, when guest Dennis Conner walked out of his interview. Holmes balanced the TV show and a popular radio slot for 15 years, followed by a stint with Prime TV and current affairs show Q+A. He passed away on 1 February 2013.
Wellington-born Shane Cortese spent a decade in the United Kingdom — much of it starring in stage musicals — before returning to Aotearoa, to play psycho Dominic Thompson in Shortland Street. Two years later he showed his dance prowess on Dancing with the Stars, then was tapped to play Loretta’s boyfriend on Outrageous Fortune. Next came three seasons as the lovelorn Mac, on quiz show drama Nothing Trivial. The talented all-rounder continues to sing (with his 8-Track Band) and act (The Brokenwood Mysteries). In 2017 he began working in Auckland real estate, to complement his acting work.
Rachel Hunter is the girl from Glenfield who made the big time. Hunter won fame for her stellar career as an international supermodel, starting in the late 1980s. Her onscreen work has grown through the years with a range of television roles, from ice cream adverts to travel, talent and beauty shows — and a long list of acting credits ranging from thrillers to acclaimed dramas.
Barry Prescott has directed puppets, policemen, politicians, and plasticine figures. After time as an actor, he made a trio of short films using stop motion animation. In 2005 oddball live action tale The Man Who Couldn’t Dance began winning awards at a wide range of festivals. Since then Prescott has combined directing, design and advertising work with occasional writing on What Now? and Dancing with the Stars.
Hayley Holt's CV showcases her eclectic skill set. The Aucklander has been a professional snowboarder and ballroom dancer, a Green Party candidate, the winner of 2007's Treasure Island: Pirates of the Pacific, and a co-host of both Breakfast and political show Back Benches. Holt appeared on sports programme The Crowd Goes Wild on and off over eight years, and was a dancer and judge on New Zealand's Dancing With The Stars. In 2017, Holt stood unsuccessfully for the Green Party in the Helensville seat. The following year she replaced Hilary Barry on Breakfast, after Barry moved to Seven Sharp.