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.
Programmer John McCready has had a significant impact on the television industry in New Zealand. After extended time in music and radio he joined TVNZ in 1989 as Manager of Presentation and Promotion, just as TV3 came on air. The following year McCready became TVNZ's Director of Programming, and revamped both TV1 and TV2 over a four year period. He headed overseas for a while, before returning to New Zealand as Director of Programming and Marketing for Sky TV. Before retiring in 2007, McCready successfully launched The Living Channel and Food TV on Sky.
Teuila Blakely began her TV career presenting C4’s live music show Freestyle, before landing an extended role on Shortland Street. Blakely has shown her versatility by appearing in comedy shows (bro’Town, RadiRadiRah and Funny Girls), dramatic series (This is Not My Life) and films (Sione’s Wedding and Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business). She also made a splash as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Vincent Ward has won an international reputation as one of New Zealand's most original and visionary filmmakers. Vigil and The Navigator played in competition at the Cannes Film Festival (the first Kiwi films to do so). In Hollywood, Ward made Robin Williams afterlife drama What Dreams May Come. Urewera-set docu-drama Rain of the Children in 2008 revisited characters from Ward's 1980 documentary In Spring One Plants Alone.
Millen Baird found comedy after deciding there was no future for him in being a tax accountant — yes, a tax accountant!
South African-born Urzila Carlson got her break in Kiwi comedy in 2008, after a workmate entered her in a stand-up competition.
Shaun Brown’s distinguished television career spans 45 years, beginning as a reporter with the NZBC. In his early days as a journalist, he covered a number of historic stories including the nuclear bomb tests on Mururoa Atoll, and the funeral of New Zealand Prime Minister Norman Kirk. Brown moved from reporting to producing, followed by executive roles as the Head of TVNZ News and Current Affairs and then the boss of TV ONE. He then moved to Australia to head up the Special Broadcasting Service.
Jesse Mulligan was studying law in Hamilton when his career in comedy kicked off at a stand-up comedy contest. The Project host talks in this Funny As interview about working in radio and television, plus other topics, including: How he "crashed and burned" at the 1995 University Comedy Competition, where Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie and Taika Waititi also performed Getting his break in radio on The Edge in Hamilton — "I learned the lesson that would help me throughout my career, which is that if you're funny, you'll be useful in most organisations" The difference between comedy audiences in Auckland and the capital — "Wellington was a more generous audience" Honing his comedy writing for Jono and Ben and 7 Days
Starting out in Christchurch with the aim of becoming a serious actor, comedian Eli Matthewson has found his place further north, in stand-up and as a writer for television.
The multi-talented Jim Hopkins started as a serious debater, but inspired by a more comedic style of debating, brought it to New Zealand shores.