As the founder of production company Desert Road, Steven O'Meagher has produced a long list of documentaries, films and television shows. His documentaries include The Understudy, Million Dollar Tumour, and Reluctant Hero. O'Meagher executive produced TV drama This is Not My Life, and made the police series Harry, featuring Oscar Kightley in the lead role.
Kevin Milne is one of New Zealand’s most popular TV presenters after more than 20 years on Fair Go. In that time he won settlements worth millions of dollars. Before Fair Go, Milne was a reporter for Eyewitness News and the TVNZ lifestyle shows Production Line and Then Again. He has also been a presenter on the travel show Holiday and Fair Go spin-off Kev Can Do. Milne left Fair Go at the end of 2010.
New Zealander Phil Keoghan has become an internationally-known TV host thanks to his role on Emmy-winning American reality series The Amazing Race. Keoghan began his career as a TVNZ cameraman before moving into presenting on kids show Spot On. He hosted a number of TV shows in New Zealand, such as That's Fairly Interesting, 3:45 LIVE! and Yahoo. Keoghan moved to the USA in the 1990s, where he began to get broadcasting work, eventually landing the coveted role as host of The Amazing Race. Keoghan has also produced and presented other international shows including No Opportunity Wasted, After the Climb, and Keoghan’s Heroes.
Producer Rachel Gardner studied at the London School of Economics, and worked as a journalist at the BBC. After returning downunder in 2002 she moved into producing: her work on hit show The Lion Man resulted in an invitation to spend time as Head of Drama at Great Southern Film and Television. Gardner has also worked with Angela Littlejohn on a run of short films, plus features Apron Strings and Show of Hands.
Award-winning director Brendan Donovan cast Lee Majors in his debut short film. It was a success. Then after eight years working in New York, the Howick native returned to New Zealand, where he has directed and written for television and cinema both here and in Australia, including making feature film The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell.
Producer Philip Smith comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so it’s always been in his nature to pursue opportunities. Currently working as head of the production company he created, Great Southern Television, Smith also had an eventful career in journalism before moving into producing. He was once expelled out of Tanzania while working as a print journalist, and sold his first production company for several million dollars while still in his early 30s. Great Southern has produced Lion Man, Eating Media Lunch, The Unauthorised History of NZ and The Cult. Smith lives in both Auckland and Queenstown, where he does a lot of brainstorming out in his woolshed.
Close to Home first screened on TV One in May 1975 and ran for eight years. The popular and ground-breaking series was New Zealand television's first soap opera. It was based in Wellington and centred around the trials and tribulations of the Hearte family. At its peak in 1977, Close to Home attracted a twice weekly audience of one million viewers.