Debra Kelleher is an award-winning drama and entertainment producer who has worked on both sides of the Tasman. Beginning her career with Grundy Productions, she worked on a number of Australian TV shows including Neighbours, Sale of the Century and Perfect Match. Back in New Zealand, Kelleher has produced everything from Dancing with the Stars and Good Morning, to sci fi hit The Tribe.
Lisa Harrow left New Zealand in the 1960s to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in England – it was this move that cemented her love of theatre and later enabled her to build an international screen career. She has visited New Zealand periodically and starred in locally-shot movies Other Halves and Shaker Run. Nowadays Harrow lives in the US and is involved in environmental campaigning. Her most recent Kiwi project was a role as the grandmother in TV2’s Step Dave.
Kelly Johnson is best remembered for his lead role in the iconic Kiwi film Goodbye Pork Pie. He followed that success with roles in the films Carry Me Back, Bad Blood, Battletruck and Utu. In more recent times, Johnson has worked as a lawyer, but he still does occasional guest acting roles, including in Shortland Street and Maddigan’s Quest.
Jude Dobson became famous in New Zealand as co-host of nightly game show Sale of the Century. She went on to present a range of lifestyle series on TVNZ including Open Home, Alive and Kicking, and NZ Living. In 1997 she began hosting five nights a week magazine show 5:30 with Jude. Since then she has set up her own production company and produces media content about parenting.
Mark Everton started his broadcasting career in radio, before joining the TVNZ newsroom in 1985. After jumping ship to help run Nightline for TV3, he set himself up as an independent producer and director. Everton has been involved with a number of award-winning documentaries including Back from the Dead and Lawson Quins story The Five of Us. His credits also include the series Epitaph, Captain’s Log, MasterChef New Zealand and Making New Zealand.
Film producer Don “Scrubbs” Blakeney came from a background in finance. Returning from working overseas in the 1970s, he met pioneering filmmakers Grahame McLean and John Barnett. Blakeney had become disillusioned with the corporate world, and ended up drifting into the film industry as unit caterer on Sleeping Dogs. In 1979, his background in both finance and film made Blakeney the ideal first Executive Director of the newly-established New Zealand Film Commission. He later produced Geoff Murphy’s classic Māori western Utu. Veteran producer and industry colleague John Barnett is Blakeney's guest interviewer.
Poetry, satire and music were the mainstays of Gary McCormick’s life, before he took his unique world view to television. His on screen career began with the award-winning documentary Raglan by the Sea, on which he collaborated with filmmaker Bruce Morrison. McCormick's best-known TV series was Heartland, which ran for four years and told the stories of communities across the country. In the mid 90s McCormick teamed up with his buddy and fellow poet Sam Hunt for a romp around New Zealand in the celebrated documentary The Roaring 40’s Tour. In 1998 McCormick returned to his home town of Porirua to host The Bay Boys – a gripping documentary about life in the suburb. Since then McCormick has hosted other talk shows and was a guest host on Nightline. Now resident in Lyttelton, McCormick shares hosting duties on More FM in Christchurch with his mate Simon Barnett.
Veteran producer/director John Laing has worked in film and television in New Zealand, Canada and the UK. His feature films include the Arthur Allan Thomas-inspired Beyond Reasonable Doubt, cross-cultural romance Other Halves and thriller Dangerous Orphans. Laing has also directed a long list of popular drama series for TV, including Go Girls, Nothing Trivial, Street Legal, Inside Straight and Marlin Bay; plus tele-feature Safe House.
Broadcaster Miriama Kamo began her television career as a reporter on 1990s arts show Backch@t. Kamo later worked as a reporter on current affairs show Sunday for three years, before starting a six-year stint hosting 20/20. She subsequently returned to front Sunday, and has also done stints on Marae, One News, and Tonight. In 2015 she signed on as the host of TV One’s new lifestyle show Kiwi Living.
Actor Jim Moriarty cut his teeth on the early dramas Pukemanu and Close to Home, then went on to appear in a number of other TV projects such as Inside Straight and City Life. He has starred in films The Strength of Water, No Petrol No Diesel, and played Jesus in Saving Grace. As well as acting, Moriarty has directed in television and theatre, and works with at risk Māori youth.