Television veteran Robert Boyd-Bell's eclectic screen career includes 14 years in journalism, followed by time in academia, public service TV, and producing. Which is not to forget writing landmark book New Zealand Television – The First 25 Years. Boyd-Bell joined the state broadcaster in 1965, and later headed TV One's northern newsroom. He also has an extensive involvement in delivering programmes online.
For three decades Peter Sinclair was one of New Zealand’s leading TV presenters. A radio announcer by training, he was the face of music television, fronting Let’s Go, C’mon and Happen Inn from 1964 to 1973. He reinvented himself as a quiz show host with Mastermind — and hosted telethons and beauty contests until the mid 90s. Sinclair returned to radio and wrote an online column until his death in August 2001.
Advertising veteran Jonathan Gunson stepped into TV shows en route to books and the internet. After writing a children's book in 1985, he created futuristic kids series Space Knights and sci fi series The Boy from Andromeda. Then came internationally bestselling puzzle book The Merlin Mystery, offering readers a 75,000 pound prize. After work in internet marketing, Gunson launched his own blog for wannabe writers.
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.
Carolyn Robinson has presented TV news for roughly two decades. For seven years she hosted Nightline, and was a weekend anchor for 3 News (alongside Simon Shepherd). She also filled in as a weekday back-up to Hilary Barry, and fronted foreign affairs with Mike McRoberts. Robinson also hosted consumer investigation show What’s Really In Our Food. In 2016 she took over presenting 20/20 for TV One.
Intrepid cinematographer Jacob Bryant has shot everywhere from Iraq and Afghanistan to the mean streets of Auckland (Super City). His work with leading documentary makers has been nominated for multiple screen awards. An episode of TV show Ends of the Earth shot in Afghanistan won Bryant a 2007 Qantas Award; he also shared a Documentary Edge gong for filming Finding Mercy in Zimbabwe.
Some jobs never make the headlines; in the screen industry, one of those unsung positions is the production manager. After seven years on film sets in Asia, Brian Walden returned home in the mid 70s to production manage the shoots of many classic TV dramas, from Hunter’s Gold to Hanlon. In 1985 he went freelance, keeping a firm hand on shoots involving horses, hospital porters, vampires and underwater aeroplanes.
Dunedin-born Bridget Armstrong has found success in a range of British and Kiwi stage and screen roles. At 18 she joined the touring NZ Players, where she recreated characters as diverse as Anne Frank and Elizabeth I. Later in London, Armstrong showed her comedic talents and played Katherine Mansfield for the BBC. Back in New Zealand she acted on TV's Gather Your Dreams and Roger Hall film Middle Age Spread.
Lani Tupu, sometimes credited as Larney Tupu or Lani John Tupu, is the first Samoan to have starred in a Kiwi television series; in 1985 he segued from theatre onto the screen, to play doctor David Miller on period TV drama Country GP. The New Zealand-raised Samoan then relocated to Australia, where his many screen roles include Lantana, sci fi success Farscape, and a TV reboot of Mission Impossible.
Jimi Jackson found fame showcasing his comic chops on the internet. In 2013 he began starring in short, expletive-loaded comedy clips. Loaded onto Vine, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, they won him a devoted fanbase — and over 900,000 Facebook followers. Soon he was doing live comedy tours in Aotearoa and Australia. In 2017 Jackson starred in Māori Television show Jimi's World, and won headlines after being photographed in blackface. The following year he made his big screen debut in comedy Alien Addiction — starring as Riko, who discovers a UFO near his Waikato town and befriends some aliens.