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'telethon' Posts

Stephen Stehlin: Providing a voice for Pasifika people…

Posted on 23 September 2013

Stephen Stehlin is the longtime producer of TVNZ's weekly magazine show Tagata Pasifika, which targets Pacific communities in New Zealand. He has also worked on a number of other factual TV shows such as Koha, Maori Battalion - March to Victory and When the Haka Became Boogie. Stehlin was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to Pacific Island television and the arts.

In this ScreenTalk, Stehlin talks about:

  • Having to learn to type for his first job in television
  • Working on the show Koha when it was in primetime
  • Getting the crew out of trouble while filming Maori Battalion - March to Victory
  • Having an amazing time learning about early NZ popular music on When the Haka Became Boogie
  • A traumatic camera failure on his first directing job on Countdown to Telethon 1990
  • Being told he was the ‘wrong’ race when applying to work on Tagata Pasifika
  • Overcoming a lack of resources to produce a news segment for the show
  • Bringing drag queens onto the show to inject entertainment value into the programme
  • Why the show matters to its diverse audience
  • Being proud to have worked with comedians The Laughing Samoans

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



telethon, koha, tagata pasifika, when the haka became boogie, laughing samoans, maori battalion - march to victory, tainui stephens, drag queen

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Wayne Tourell: Creating landmark television…

Posted on 19 August 2013

Veteran drama and documentary producer/director Wayne Tourell's career has taken him from Shakespeare to Shortland Street. Tourell's credits include major television series such as Landmarks, Hanlon and Gloss, as well as numerous live TV events including Telethon 1988. More recently he has worked at Natural History New Zealand, and been a regular director on our nightly soap Shortland Street.

In this ScreenTalk, Tourell talks about:

  • Learning from directing legend David Lean on documentary Lost and Found
  • Working with geographic genius Professor Kenneth Cumberland on Landmarks
  • The tortuous process of bringing Hanlon to the small screen
  • How Gloss perfectly mirrored the era it was portraying
  • Why City Life was the wrong show in the wrong time-slot 
  • Worrying that no money would come in while producing Telethon 88
  • How Shortland Street is the Shakespeare of today

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



drama, documentary, wayne tourell, shortland street, landmarks, hanlon, gloss, telethon, natural history, producer, director, lost and found

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Stu Dennison: Giving the thumbs up to kids TV…

Posted on 27 November 2012

Stu Dennison was a much-loved TV presenter in the 1970s who introduced the ‘naughty schoolboy’ and thumbs up to a generation of Kiwi kids on the show Nice One Stu. He went on to host a range of TV shows, often as sidekick to popular TV host Roger Gascoigne. After Dennison ended his on-air career, he re-invented himself as a sports producer at TVNZ. In this ScreenTalk, Dennison talks about:

  • Being the ‘everyman’ on Ready to Roll
  • Creating the outrageous persona on Nice One Stu
  • Becoming famous by being controversial
  • How a spontaneous ‘thumbs up’ became his signature gesture
  • Winding up the prim and proper Roger Gascoigne on Top Town
  • Getting a pie in the face on Telethon
  • Enjoying the mix of live entertainment and skits on How’s That
  • Moving from presenting to editing and producing sports
  • Carrying the torch at the Beijing Olympics
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



stu dennison, nice one stu, telethon, Screentalk, tv, presenter, Ready to Roll, top town, interview, television

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