This Saturday Morning: Kim talks to British journalist Poorna Bell, who discovered her Kiwi husband struggled with drug addiction and depression before losing him to suicide in 2015; veteran director Ken Loach talks about quitting retirement to return with I, Daniel Blake - a movie that became an integral part of the 2017 UK election; fertility expert Dr Rick Legro joins us to discuss the question of whether obesity should be treated prior to conception - or not; filmmaker and ethnographer Paul Wolffram explains what it was like to immerse himself in the spiritual world of the Lak people in the rainforests of southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea; author and playwright Emily Perkins brings her reimagining of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House to Wellington; and finally a chat and a live performance from Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's concertmaster, violinist Andrew Beer.


8:09 Poorna Bell - Chase the Rainbow

Poorna Bell

Poorna Bell Photo: Supplied

Poorna Bell is an award-winning journalist who works as executive editor for The Huffington Post UK - the UK's third most-read digital website. Bell has also previously written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Observer. For five years she was a regular on BBC radio, and has featured on BBC news, Sky news, London Live and ITV.  Bell has recently written Chase the Rainbow, an account of her marriage to New Zealander Rob Bell, who suffered severe depression, and revealed his heroin addiction three years into the marriage. Rob Bell took his life in May 2015, at the age of 39. 


For issues raised by this interview: 

  • LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
  • SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
  • YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
  • NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
  • KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
  • WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
  • DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
  • SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666



9:05 Ken Loach - Life and films  

Ken Loach

Ken Loach Photo: supplied

Ken Loach was born in 1936 and attended King Edward VI Grammar School before studying law at St. Peter's Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long and distinguished career directing social-realist films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the sixties to Land And Freedom, Sweet Sixteen and The Wind That Shakes The Barley in recent years. His latest movie, I, Daniel Blake, depicted the lives of beneficiaries in today's Britain and won a slew of awards including the Bafta for Outstanding British Film, 2017.  Both I, Daniel Blake and a documentary about Loach as he turns 80 and looks back at over 50 years of filmmaking, Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, will be showcased on Rialto Channel 39 during August. 


10:05 Dr Rick Legro - Obesity and fertility 

Dr Rick Legro

Dr Rick Legro Photo: supplied

Professor Richard (Rick) Legro is the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. He is an internationally recognised expert in fertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Professor Legro has held many important national and international roles. He is first author of four New England Journal of Medicine articles as well as many other highly regarded journals for the specialty of reproductive medicine. His topics of interest are fertility, obesity, genomics, insulin resistance, and clinical trials. Legro is in New Zealand as a guest of the University of Auckland where he will give a public lecture about obesity and fertility in women, which aims to answer the question "can we and should we treat obesity prior to conception?"


10:30 Paul Wolffram - Initiation into a shaman cult

Paul Wolffram

Paul Wolffram Photo: supplied

Ethnographer and filmmaker Paul Wolffram spent two years living with the Lak people in the rainforests of southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, for his earlier documentary, Stori Tumbuna. In his new film, What Lies That Way, Wolffram aims to take his cultural understanding to a spiritual level by going bush for an initiation process into the Lak's Buai shaman cult. In a remote part of the forest he is left to fast without food and water, assisted by an elderly sorcerer who assures him that things will get tough - but he won't die. What Lies That Way is screening at the NZ International Film Festival.





11:05 Emily Perkins - Ibsen and The Fuse Box

Emily Perkins

Emily Perkins Photo: supplied

Emily Perkins holds a Master of Creative Writing from The University of Auckland and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School. Her first book, Not Her Real Name and Other Stories, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (UK) and the Montana Award for Best First Book of Fiction (NZ). Her four novels include Novel About My Wife, which won the Montana Book Award (NZ) and the Believer Book of the Year (US). Her most recent novel is The Forrests, selected as a Book of the Year in The Daily Telegraph, Observer, and New Statesman among others. She is the co-writer, along with  director Alison Maclean, of The Rehearsal, a feature film based on the novel by Eleanor Catton and her first play - an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House - will be performed at Wellington's Circa Theatre, opening on August 5. Perkins and her IIML colleague, senior lecturer Chris Price, have recently edited The Fuse Box - a collection of essays from writers about the creative process. 

11:35  Andrew Beer - Baroque Voices

Andrew Beer

Andrew Beer Photo: supplied

Violinist Andrew Beer has been described as a performer displaying "accuracy and subtle charisma" by the Boston Globe, and as a "musical gift" by the New York Times. He has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, and his performances have been broadcast widely. Beer also teaches both privately and at the University of Auckland. He frequently serves as a judge for competitions and scholarship funds throughout New Zealand, including the selection panel for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. Humanitarian and outreach concerts have also played an important role in his musical output, and through such endeavours he was awarded a US Congressional Commendation in 2006.  Beer, concertmaster for the APO,  will play lead violin in the upcoming APO production of Baroque Voices, which will feature one of Bach's happiest works, Orchestral Suite No.3 in D Major - the second movement has become famously known as the 'Air on the G String'. Andrew Beer will play for Kim and discuss the upcoming performances. 



Books mentioned in this episode: 

Chase the Rainbow

by Poorna Bell

ISBN 1471160696

 Simon & Schuster UK


The Forrests 

by Emily Perkins

ISBN 1408809230



The Fuse Box: Essays on Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters 

by Emily Perkins and Chris Price 

ISBN 9781776561650

Victoria University Press 


Music played in this episode

'Air' from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major - Johann Sebastian Bach

'Chaconne' from Partita in D Minor for Solo Violin - Johann Sebastian Bach

Music played in this show

Artist: Jesca Hoop
Song: Memories Are Now
Composer: Jesca Hoop
Album: Memories Are Now
Label: Sub Pop
Played at: 9:55