British-born Jaquie Brown moved downunder at age 15, and began winning radio awards in the late 1990s. After co-hosting TV2's late night music show Space, she presented on C4 and reported for Campbell Live. In 2008 Brown co-created double Qantas award-winning comedy The Jaquie Brown Diaries. She played a once popular TV personality trying to recapture her fame. Since then Brown has presented parenting series Keep Calm and Carry On, and madcap game show Pop Goes the Weasel. She co-wrote Cannes-nominated short film Nothing Special, and has been a guest host on Three's primetime show The Project.
After twice winning the 48 Hour Film Contest, Gerard Johnstone used some of the prize money to make a pilot for a comedy. Though the project went nowhere, TV3 went on to screen two seasons of his award-winning comedy The Jaquie Brown Diaries. In 2014 Johnstone’s first movie —horror comedy Housebound — garnered rave reviews and interest from America, which ultimately saw him working on the script of superhero movie Justice League Dark. In 2016 Johnstone rebooted 80s series Terry and the Gunrunners. The show's online debut won headlines, after it was judged too mature to screen in a children's slot.
Producer Matt McPhail’s CV includes a number of Kiwi comedy hits. He started his career directing 1990s youth show Ice TV, before helping write and direct internationally successful superhero series Amazing Extraordinary Friends. His producing credits include The Jaquie Brown Diaries, the acclaimed Hounds, and downlowconcept feature Gary of the Pacific.
Kelly Martin is chief executive of leading New Zealand production company South Pacific Pictures. Martin rose through the network ranks from photocopying to international acquisitions, before she became director of programming at TV3 — where she oversaw local drama successes like Outrageous Fortune, and comedy hits bro’Town and 7 Days. In 2012 she left TV3 to head up South Pacific Pictures.
After working on a selection of music documentaries and shows, Hayley Cunningham won a Qantas Television award in 2009 for producing the first series of award-winning comedy The Jaquie Brown Diaries. In 2017 she was nominated for a NZ Television award for her work on the Kiwi version of Dancing with the Stars. She has also been on the production team of The X-Factor New Zealand, The Real Housewives of Auckland, and multiple international incarnations of The Amazing Race. In 2015 she produced Loading Docs short Conversations with Pets.
Onstage, Jonny Brugh's comic armoury has included melon-throwing, mutant clowns and hanging in the air in a superhero costume – some of the above occured while he was in high energy, Billy T award-winning duo Sugar and Spice (with Jason Hoyte). Brugh played a current affairs host in TV's The Jaquie Brown Diaries, before winning further laughs as vampire Deacon in hit movie What We Do in the Shadows, where his erotic dance scene went down a treat. He has also played idiotic school principals (web series Educators), dating gurus (How to Meet Girls from a Distance) and firefighters (800 Words).
Brit-born Helena McAlpine moved to NZ in her 20s. Soon she was DJing on The Edge and being headhunted by C4, where she became one of the music channel’s main hosts. After discovering she had breast cancer, she got busy on a large bucket list, including cameoing on Shortland Street, campaigning for the Breast Cancer Foundation, and flying a plane once again. McAlpine died on 23 September 2015.
James Coleman has done time as a DJ (from Channel Z to Radio Live), TV presenter and actor (including parodying himself on award-winning comedy series The Jaquie Brown Diaries). His presenting work includes TV3 breakfast show Sunrise, and souping up barbecues and letterboxes for popular science show Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger. Coleman's extended radio CV includes three years doing drivetime at Channel Z — named New Aotearoa's Best Non-Breakfast Music Personality in 2001, he was twice nominated for the top local award for radio hosts. He has also done ScreenTalk interviews for NZ On Screen.
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.
Bill Ralston is the everyman of New Zealand television, a sometime political correspondent, arts and current affairs presenter, award-winning journalist and head of TVNZ news and current affairs. With fingers in many pies and always ready with a pugnacious opinion, Ralston is one out of the box.