Broadcaster the late Phillip Leishman had one of the longest and most successful TV presenting careers in New Zealand. He began presenting sports news and events in the 1970s, and hosted major live events such as the Olympics and test rugby. Leishman also hosted long-running game show Wheel of Fortune, and the internationally-syndicated Golf Show.
Wayne Leonard began his career as a sound operator, but later moved to directing, where he made his name helming sports and live shows that require multiple cameras. Leonard has directed some of the biggest events on television from the Olympic Games and America’s Cup, to Christmas in the Park. He has also produced or directed primetime TV shows This is Your Life, My Kitchen Rules and Game of Two Halves. In 2013 he was part of the team nominated for multiple Emmy awards for coverage of the America’s Cup in San Francisco.
Emmy award-winning producer/director Denis Harvey cut his teeth on TVNZ information shows Dig This, Kaleidoscope, and Science Express. Later he moved into sports. Harvey has gone on to make a significant contribution to television sports coverage both nationally and internationally, particularly in America’s Cup coverage and Olympic yachting. In recent times, he has also produced Asian and Israeli versions of The Amazing Race.
Veteran broadcaster Bill McCarthy was the popular face of TV news and sport in the 1970s. Starting as a sports anchor, he later moved to primetime news-reading, and then became a producer on the classical music series Opus, as well as one-off big event television such as the 1987 Rugby World Cup and Telethon. In later years, McCarthy has produced host broadcasts for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and become involved with Christian broadcaster Shine TV.
Peter Williams has had a distinguished career as a sports broadcaster and newsreader. He began his broadcasting career in radio while still in his teens, then joined TVNZ as a sports reporter and commentator in 1979. He went on to present major events such as the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup. Since the 90s Williams has read the news on TV ONE’s Breakfast, and on primetime weekend bulletins.
After growing up partly in Peru, Leigh Hart moved back to New Zealand with his family when he was 11. Later he made his name on shows like SportsCafe and Moon TV.
John Clarke was one of New Zealand’s best-loved comic performers. His 1970s farming character Fred Dagg became an icon of Kiwi comedy. Clarke worked as a comedian, actor, writer and director. His satirical television series The Games was an Australian Film Institute award-winner. Although based in Australia since 1977, he lent his unmistakeable comic voice to Kiwi TV comedies bro’Town and Radiradirah. In a departure from our usual ScreenTalk format, this extended audio interview was produced and recorded by Andrew Johnstone and Richard Swainson with the assistance of Hamilton Community Radio and The Film School.
Stu Dennison was a much-loved TV presenter in the 1970s who introduced his ‘naughty schoolboy’ character and thumbs up to a generation of Kiwi kids, on show Nice One Stu. Sometimes he played sidekick to popular TV host Roger Gascoigne. After Dennison ended his on-air career, he re-invented himself as a sports producer at TVNZ.
Comedian turned producer Paul Horan interviewed more than 120 people for the Funny As series. In the 100th interview for the show, he finds himself in the hot seat. Horan ranges across Kiwi comedy history as well as his own, including: How making John Clarke laugh was like qualifying for the Olympics — and how the distinctive voice of Clarke's character Fred Dagg was influenced by horse racing commentator Peter Kelly His theory that David Lange's beloved "smell the uranium" joke from 1985 may have influenced New Zealand's emerging comedians How comedy festivals provided a valuable education for Kiwi stand-up talents — from talking with visiting comedians after a show, to witnessing Bill Bailey spin "an extraordinary routine out of the most absurd idea" How Facial DBX (Horan was a member) transformed "from a group of stupid students, through to performers, through to people who ran a venue" (Auckland's Classic Comedy Club) Feeling "extraordinarily proud" to be part of the Kiwi comedy tradition — an art form that forged its own path and thrived despite criticism and a lack of government support Note: Horan is also part of this Funny As discussion about comedy group Facial DBX.
After two decades as a print journalist, Robyn Scott-Vincent moved to television, where she reported for the primetime news, Top Half and Holmes. Since moving into producing and directing, she has worked on a number of documentaries including Kirsa. A Mother's Story, Cindy's Diary and Grammar Boys. These days Scott-Vincent runs Attitude Pictures, making award-winning series Attitude.