Condemned as "designer news" before it had even been to air, Newsnight was TV2's foray into late night news for a younger audience (with one eye on the success of TV3's Nightline). Strongly influenced by the celebrity and human interest focus of women's magazines, it received an unsuccessful BSA complaint for not covering a major story (a teacher's strike). Simon Dallow made his TV debut alongside Lorelei Mason and then Alison Mau — while Marcus Lush's idiosyncratic take on the world earned the show a degree of cult (if not always critical) success.
In these excerpts from TV2's mid-90s late night news show, reporter Mark Staufer talks to Chic Littlewood about a TV career that has taken him from Chic Chat, his 1970s kids show (with puppets Nowsy and Willie McNabb) to playing policeman Laurie Brasch on Shortland Street. Andrew Shaw, whose show followed Chic Chat, reveals a studio shortage at TVNZ at the time. Meanwhile Marcus Lush goes behind the scenes at a luxury Auckland hotel, only to discover a notable lack of TV set destruction from its rock star clientele. Perhaps they were too busy with the telescopes.
In this excerpt from the mid-90s late night news show, Kim Webby interviews Francis Hooper and Denise L’Estrange-Corbet — the duo behind fashion label World — following their win in the avant-garde section of the 1995 Benson & Hedges Fashion Awards. Their winning outfit? A Japanese-inspired two-piece made out of cardboard that L’Estrange-Corbet describes as “21st Century origami couture”. Meanwhile Hooper showcases World designs (lurex, vinyl, AstroTurf) and merchandise (tequila lollipops and voodoo dolls) – “you can never get enough kitsch in life”.
In this excerpt from TV2's 90s late night news show, a bemused Mark Staufer interviews Jordan Luck (aka "slightly tipsy singer") as his band The Exponents plays on a rooftop on Auckland's Karangahape Road, to promote a new album and summer tour. The jokes about not falling off may have a point. Luck suggests the new release is "a magical recording of ancient times" and confirms that they will be touring the whole country, "and Greymouth as well ... and Westport". The bakery underneath is long gone — replaced by an adult shop. Bassist David Gent also says some words.
In these excerpts from TV2's late night news show, Simon Dallow watches new American boy band All-4-One perform in an Auckland record store and interviews them about the trappings of fame. Meanwhile, Marcus Lush channels Country Calendar as he investigates a novel new agri-business venture: an emu and ostrich farm near Katikati (although it's unlikely his colleagues on TVNZ's venerable rural show ever gave their watches to animals to play with). Lush's verdict? The world's biggest living birds ("because we killed the moa") are "more fun than sheep".
This excerpt from mid 90s show Newsnight features the extraordinary story of Max Corkill and his motorcycle-riding cat Rastus. After having Rastus dumped on him as a kitten while he was motorcycling around Canada, Max took him along on the road. Quickly becoming comfortable on the bike, Rastus would stand on the handlebars as they drove along. Back in New Zealand, the pair became community favourites, and regularly raised money for the local SPCA. They passed away on 20 January 1998, after being involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.
Aussie import Alison Mau has been a regular on New Zealand television for more than 20 years, across news, current affairs, and lifestyle programmes. After first crossing the ditch she appeared as host of business show Made in New Zealand, before moving to late night news shows Eyewitness and Newsnight. Mau was a presenter on Breakfast, and part of the original team on TVNZ’s primetime show Seven Sharp.
Producer Irene Gardiner has had a long career in television, including roles at TVNZ as head of the Production Unit, and Commissioning Editor. She is also a media commentator, and spent seven years as NZ On Screen’s Content Director.
Kim Webby cut her story-telling teeth as a TVNZ reporter on One News. She moved on to consumer affairs show Fair Go and then 60 Minutes. After that, Webby began directing documentaries for both TVNZ and Māori Television. Her latest work is the feature length documentary The Price of Peace, which concludes the story about the 2007 police raids on Rautoki.
Alison Mau has been a regular on New Zealand television for over 20 years, including time on Newsnight, Breakfast, and at the launch of TVNZ’s primetime show Seven Sharp.