First Hand was a series of mid 1990s documentaries made for TVNZ. Newbie filmmakers were armed with consumer cameras, aiming to capture “natural human behaviour” with the new technology and minimal crew. This edition, directed by David Ambler, profiles 23-year-old Newstalk ZB late-night talkback host Mike Yardley, and introduces regular callers from his nationwide audience of 150,000: service station worker Lucas channels Oprah, Petone radio poet George rhymes about detached organs, and Merle dances to an organist. Radio veteran Marcus Lush narrates.
As the third season of hit show Dancing with the Stars began, broadcaster Paul Holmes was an underdog. His dance partner Rebecca Nicholson told Newstalk ZB that Holmes "dances like my dad". By mid-season Holmes knew that he needed to pull something out of the bag to stay in the running. The result: dancing the paso doble to Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller'. Judge Craig Revel Horwood called the routine "appallingly fabulous", as Holmes traded quips with the judges. In 2018 Stuff rated the homage to the King of Pop one of the show's most memorable moments.
Mike Hosking is one of Aotearoa's most polarising media figures. The longtime Newstalk ZB radio host began his television career in 1997, hosting Breakfast for six years. From 2014 he did another four as co-presenter of high profile five-nights-a-week TV show Seven Sharp, with Toni Street. The pair resigned in December 2017.
Popular and idiosyncratic radio and TV host Marcus Lush chronicled his love affair with the railways on high-rating series Off the Rails, which won him an award for best presenter at the 2006 NZ Screen Awards. Lush followed it with Ice, which saw him spending time in Antarctica, before making further Kiwi excursions South and North.
Paul Holmes, KCNZM, helped change the face of New Zealand broadcasting. In 1989 the actor turned radio host began presenting primetime news and magazine show Holmes in spectacular style, when guest Dennis Conner walked out of his interview. Holmes balanced the TV show and a popular radio slot for 15 years, followed by a stint with Prime TV and current affairs show Q+A. He passed away on 1 February 2013.
The name Phillip Leishman is synonymous with sports broadcasting in New Zealand. Over a four decade career he presented sports news and major events from the Olympics to rugby tests, plus a globally-syndicated golf show. He also branched out into popular quiz shows and entertainment specials (notably Wheel of Fortune). Leishman died on 25 February 2013, after a battle with cancer. He was 61.
A vocational chameleon who found his natural home in broadcasting, Danny Watson started in television after a flatmate saw a newspaper ad for Spot On. Later he joined the crew on another kid’s classic: What Now? Watson’s natural energy was further harnessed on variety show Danny’s Cafe, and a TV3 version of Candid Camera. These days Watson is most associated with radio; he hosts the afternoon slot on Newstalk ZB.
After a 14-year run co-presenting Morning Report, Sean Plunket left Radio New Zealand in 2010, to take on morning shifts for Newstalk ZB, then Radio Live. Television jobs dominate his early career: apart from a “dream job” reporting for Fair Go — where a painter once threw a ladder at him — Plunket has both worked on Holmes, and been senior political reporter for TV3. Mid-2014 saw the debut of Prime Television current affairs show Prime Time with Sean Plunket. After a brief spell doing public relations for Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party, Plunket joined the Broadcasting Standards Authority in October 2017.
Bernadine Oliver-Kerby’s 25 plus years in broadcasting have ranged from sports reporting (including All Blacks tests and the Olympics) to reading the news — she was a longtime co-presenter on the One News weekend slot. Oliver-Kerby has hosted sports show Skoda Game On, the Halberg sports awards and quiz show New Zealand’s Brainiest Kid; she is also an award-winning radio newsreader.
Peter Montgomery’s colourful and vibrant commentaries made him “the voice of New Zealand yachting”. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Montgomery played a major part in the sport’s move to mass popularity and had a central role in radio and TV coverage of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup campaigns. On dry land, he has covered many other sports, and made the Eden Park side-line his own over two decades of rugby commentaries.