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'top town' Posts

Ron Pledger: Praise Be live TV …

Posted on 31 March 2014

Got a major live event you want to put on television? Ron Pledger has long been one of the first people to get on the phone. The MBE-awarded director has commanded live coverage of Sir Edmund Hillary’s funeral, Kiri Te Kanawa in concert, This is Your Life and roughly 20 Anzac Day ceremonies. His screen career also encompasses church choirs, Canadian soap operas, the infamous GOFTA awards, and the madness of Top Town. In this ScreenTalk, Pledger talks about:

  • How the music mad saxophone player walked into his first broadcasting job, at Radio 2ZB in Wellington
  • July 1, 1961: on location for Wellington’s first night of television
  • Scoring a gig on Canadian-shot soap Moment of Truth 
  • Moving into directing
  • Golden days in the TVNZ entertainment department, where he created programmes showcasing jazz and dance
  • Rushing around NZ for town versus town hit Top Town
  • His take on the infamous, booze-laden Gofta awards of 1987
  • The key to pulling off This is Your Life
  • How he sets about covering major live events
  • His biggest live gig to date: three hour epic Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
  • Travelling the country for Praise Be
  • Leadership lessons learned from his time in television

This video was first uploaded on 31 March 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

live events, avalon, avalon, wntv1, new zealand broadcasting service, radio 2zb, top town, just jazz, knock on jazz, jazz scene, top dance, greymouth, gofta, tomb of the unknown warrior, this is your life, praise be, moment of truth, choral singing, ballroom dancing, dancing with the stars, choir

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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.

 
 

  Tags

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

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Roger Gascoigne: The man with the golden smile (and that wink)

Posted on 19 November 2012

Roger Gascoigne was at one stage the most famous man on New Zealand television. He began his TV career as a continuity announcer and introduced his infamous wink to the nation. He went on to present a huge range of TV shows in the 70s and 80s including Ready to Roll, Top Town and several Telethons. During the 80s he made the transition to news presenting on regional show Today Tonight. In this ScreenTalk, Gascoigne talks about:

  • Becoming the face of television
  • How ‘the wink’ became an institution
  • Getting excited about music videos in the early days of Ready to Roll
  • Revamping the midnight to dawn slot on Telethon
  • Ruining a valuable piece of equipment on Top Town
  • Fearing for his life while being mobbed on the show
  • Changing the focus of his career by hosting Today Tonight
  • Acting a role similar to his real persona in Peppermint Twist
  • How the arrival of Holmes led to him leaving television
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

Screentalk, tv, today tonight, peppermint twist, Ready to Roll, top town, interview, television, holmes, Roger Gascoigne, telethons

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Mark Leishman: Television, dogs and longevity…

Posted on 9 October 2012

Long-time television and radio host Mark Leishman began his TV career as a continuity announcer, and then moved on to the regional news show Today Tonight. Over the years, Leishman has appeared on a number of hit shows including Top Town, That’s Fairly Interesting and Tux Wonderdogs. As well as presenting, he has also directed documentaries such as A Friend For Life and Kohi: A Guide For Life. In this ScreenTalk, Leishman talks about:

  • Getting a chance to read the news and create stories on Today Tonight
  • Taking over the reins on Top Town
  • How budgets and health and safety regulations weren’t an issue
  • A future All Black becoming ultra competitive
  • Joining a youthful Phil Keoghan hosting That’s Fairly Interesting
  • Missing out on some great footage when directing the Peter Blake Bi-Centennial Race Around Australia
  • Making Tux Wonderdogs a hit
  • Jim Mora’s scripts and voice bringing personality to the show
  • Creating a series of documentaries on guide dogs
  • Pitting celebrities against a young genius on The Great NZ Spelling Bee
  • Feeling fortunate to have had a good long run on TV
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

interview, television, presenter, host, Screentalk, tv, tux wonderdogs, Mark Leishman, today tonight, top town, that’s fairly interesting, a friend for life, kohi a guide for life, The Great NZ Spelling Bee

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