Richard Driver - on his serendipitous TV career

Posted on 21 June 2010

Richard Driver began his showbiz career in a punk band, and calling himself Johnny Abort. He then moved on to the popular Kiwi rock bands Pop Mechanix and Hip Singles. Driver made his TV presenting debut replacing Karyn Hay on Radio with Pictures and hosted the show for three years. He later collaborated with Hay making music television for several years, ran the New Zealand arm of Screentime, and then formed his own company called Visionary Productions. Driver has made several influential documentaries such as Hokonui Todd, about the life of Garfield Todd, and Love, Speed and Loss, the story of racing star Kim Newcombe and his widow Janeen. More recently Driver set up The Documentary Channel on the Sky TV platform. In this ScreenTalk interview, Driver discusses:

  • The hard task of replacing Karyn Hay on Radio with Pictures
  • How TV presenting didn’t come naturally to him
  • Why a major fight between RIAANZ and TVNZ took RWP off air
  • The challenge of directing his first documentary Hokonui Todd
  • An emotional journey through the life of racing legend Kim Newcombe in Love, Speed and Loss
  • Why chefs, sharks and Nazis led him to create The Documentary Channel
  • Being happy with having an “accidental” career in television

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



producer, documentary channel, radio with pictures, presenter, sky tv

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