Catherine Saunders has worked in both broadcasting and public relations. She began as a radio announcer in 1961 and produced a number of documentaries, before crossing over to television. In the mid 60s, Saunders reported for Town and Around (she was paid half the amount of the male reporters). Later she spent 12 years as a panelist on Beauty and the Beast, and hosted chat show Tonight with Cathy Saunders. In the 90s, Saunders co-hosted 50 Forward, a show aimed at older viewers.
Originally from Holland, world famous 'Bug Man' Ruud Kleinpaste has called New Zealand home for over 30 years. His TV career began in 1990, hosting farming documentary series The Enduring Land. He soon made a name for himself talking about bugs on children’s programmes The Early Bird Show and What Now?. Kleinpaste was then a primetime regular on TVNZ’s long-running gardening series Maggie’s Garden Show. Making the documentary The Bug House with producer Bryan Bruce led to international success with Animal Planet’s World’s Biggest Baddest Bugs.
Leigh Hart is well known for his offbeat comedy, which can be found on the internet, the moon, and in commercials for Hellers. Hart broke onto the small screen via cult sports show SportsCafe, before launching his own series, Moon TV. He has appeared in reality programmes and documentaries Shock Treatment, Descent from Disaster and DNA Detectives. His parody talk show The Late Night Big Breakfast Show was picked up by online channel WatchMe.com.
The late Marcia Russell was an award-winning journalist and TV writer/producer with a long career in New Zealand media. Her first television role was as host of the 1970s talk show Speakeasy. Russell moved on to news and current affairs roles with TVNZ, and helped set up the fledgling TV3 news department in the late 1980s. She was involved with some of the most notable documentary series produced in New Zealand such as Landmarks and The New Zealand Wars. Russell also produced the four-part documentary series Revolution, which chronicled the rise of the Lange Government and its impact on the New Zealand economy and society. Russell was awarded an OBE for services to journalism in 1996 and was a recipient of the Academy of Film and Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Leigh Hart is known for his offbeat comedy, and sausage adverts. He broke onto the small screen doing interviews for SportsCafe, before launching Moon TV. Hart's parody talk show The Late Night Big Breakfast Show was picked up by online channel Watch Me. In this ScreenTalk Short, Hart talks about how he first ended up on TV, failing to get deep and meaningful on Shock Treatment, going missing during Leigh Hart's Mysterious Planet, and his famous voice.
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.
Outrageous Fortune ran for six seasons, and lodged itself in New Zealand pop culture forever. The series tells the story of Cheryl West and her attempts to turn her Westie family away from a life of crime. A ratings hit for TV3, Outrageous Fortune proved that New Zealand television drama could hold its own against overseas productions.
Jeremy Wells made his broadcasting debut on student radio station 95bFM, reading the news on Mikey Havoc’s breakfast show. The pair teamed up again for Havoc, a talk and music show on the fledgling MTV, before hosting travelogue/social commentary shows Havoc and Newsboy's Sell-Out Tour, and Havoc's Luxury Suites and Conference Facility on TVNZ. Wells then worked with producer/director Paul Casserly to produce seven seasons of the media satire show Eating Media Lunch, which won Best Comedy Programme at the Qantas Film and Television Awards in 2008. He also presented the satirical series The Unauthorised History Of New Zealand in 2005, and an episode of Intrepid Journeys in 2007.
Bailey Mackey is a former reporter on Te Karere and 3 News, who is now producing commercial Māori series through his company Pango Productions. He was the main creative force behind high profile show The GC, and reality series The Life and Times of Temuera Morrison.
Radio DJ Simon Barnett has done his share of television too. His screen debut was as a presenter on long-running kids’ show What Now?.