Extraordinary Kiwis screened on Prime TV. Each episode showcases a New Zealander in their natural habitat and looks at what makes them extraordinary; subjects ranged from household names (Scott Dixon, Colin Meads) to unsung heroes. The third season introduced an on-screen presenter, with Clarke Gayford willingly stepping up to the plate Paper Lion-style to experience the subject's world: from trying to keep up with All Black star Dan Carter, to duck shooting with a fashion designer, fishing in Antarctica, and playing for laughs as a stand-up comedian.
Each episode of Extraordinary Kiwis shines a spotlight on a particular Kiwi and the activities that make them extraordinary. In this third season pilot, Clarke Gayford spends some time in Antarctica with scientist Victoria Metcalf, who investigates how fish survive in such extreme cold and their use as bellwethers for climate change. The "very Auckland" Gayford learns to fish amongst the seals. Dealing with hooks and bait in -20°C conditions is challenging for the self-described "sook in the cold", but Gayford proves pretty handy with a rod.
Jaquie Brown's first TV role was as co-host of youth culture show Space with Dominic Bowden in 2000, before becoming one of the two main anchors on burgeoning music channel C4. From there, Brown moved into 'grown up' TV with John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld, in the series A Queen’s Tour, before becoming a reporter on the current affairs show Campbell Live. Brown then stepped into the challenging realm of programme-making, forming her own production company with Gerard Johnstone. One season later and The Jaquie Brown Diaries was a hit with critics and viewers, and was named Best Comedy at the 2009 Qantas Film and Television Awards.
This pop-punk version of Monte Video's novelty hit by Wellington band Spacial Verb was the winner of a competition run by radio station Channel Z. The video reprises the original's tale of finding love in all the wrong places, with the station's staff making up the cast and lead roles for breakfast show hosts (and former ICE TV presenters) Nathan Rarere and Jon Bridges. Rarere rings every ounce of lasciviousness out of the already suspect lyrics — and that's Bridges in the pink. Watch out also for James Coleman and Clarke Gayford in the trio of drag queens.
Jaquie Brown began her media career in radio, before branching out into television as host of music show Space and star of comedy series The Jaquie Brown Diaries.
Guitar-playing yodellers The Topp Twins have been bringing audiences together for decades. As this Funny As interview demonstrates, Jools and Lynda Topp make for a formidable team. Among other topics, they talk about: Six decades of making each other laugh, starting from when they had to share a bath as children Making yodelling funny How an empty petrol tank and a prison cell launched their career; how busking taught them showmanship Protest, politics, loose elastic bands, and the value of "beautiful mistakes" Winning over an audience of London punks How Lynda got married before gay marriage became legal
Hayley Holt's CV showcases her eclectic skill set. The Aucklander has been a professional snowboarder and ballroom dancer, a Green Party candidate, the winner of 2007's Treasure Island: Pirates of the Pacific, and a co-host of both Breakfast and political show Back Benches. Holt appeared on sports programme The Crowd Goes Wild on and off over eight years, and was a dancer and judge on New Zealand's Dancing With The Stars. In 2017, Holt stood unsuccessfully for the Green Party in the Helensville seat. The following year she replaced Hilary Barry on Breakfast, after Barry moved to Seven Sharp.
When he left Shortland Street in 2005 after 14 years and 3100 episodes, Karl Burnett was the soap's longest-serving cast member. His oft comical character Nick Harrison stole many scenes, romanced at least eight Shortland characters, and memorably watched as long-time love Waverley Wilson was kidnapped. Post-Shortland, Burnett has worked on and off camera, directed low budget film Captain Amazingly Incredible and the Space Vampires from the Evil Planet, and won a scholarship to study video games. In 2019 he won media headlines, after deciding to withdraw from TV's Celebrity Treasure Island.
Irene Gardiner is known for her work as a producer, TVNZ production unit head and commissioning editor. She has particular expertise in the area of popular factual programmes and documentaries. Gardiner also has a sideline career as a commentator on media issues on radio and television. She was NZ On Screen's Content Director from 2009 to 2016.