This Saturday Morning: Noelle McCarthy stands in for Kim. She starts by talking to Nigel Pascoe QC, who has prosecuted or defended in more than 100 homicide trials in the UK - he's also a playwright and an actor; Professor Franca Ronchese explains the latest on allergies, in time for the beginning of spring;  film director and psychologist Paora Joseph on his 'suicide docudrama' Māui's Hook;  Lucy Saunders, who was instrumental in creating Healthy Streets for the City of London - and hopes to give New Zealand pointers; author Mike McCormack on his award-winning novel, which is just one sentence spread over 270 pages; Venus Envy part four looks at inequities that still exist in the sex industry; poet Hollie McNish claims Nobody Told Me what the parenting lark was all about, and finally, legendary RNZ soundie Andre Upston recounts a stellar career capturing and finessing some of the best music New Zealand has produced.  


8:09 Nigel Pascoe QC - high-profile UK lawyer, actor and playwright

Nigel Pascoe

Nigel Pascoe Photo: supplied

Nigel Pascoe QC is a specialist practitioner in UK criminal jury advocacy, undertaking Courts Martial, and some civil work including serious abuse and baby shaking cases, and defamation.  He's been one of the UK's top jury advocates since taking Silk in 1988. He has considerable experience in mental health issues, notably in murder cases.  He is also a a prolific playwright and actor, and has performed his play, Merely Players: An advocate’s tribute to Shakespeare, in Auckland this week, where he is also a keynote speaker at the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association conference, details here


8.35 Franca Rochese - The latest science on allergic reactions

Franca Ronchese, head of the immune cell biology programme at the Malaghan Institute.

Photo: Supplied

Professor Franca Ronchese is head of the immune cell biology programme at the Malaghan Institute. Her research is founded around what exactly happens when we develop an allergy or allergic response - what cells are involved, what chemicals are they producing, what effect does that have, and what can we do to interrupt this process. With spring just around the corner and likely to spark pollen-related allergic reactions for many, Noelle talks to Prof Ronchese about her work and the latest science on finding the cause of allergies and how to manage them.  


9:06 Paora Joseph - The pain of suicide for whanau explored in Māui's Hook

Joseph Paora and Tana (Niwa Whatuira) - from 'Māui's Hook'

Joseph Paora and Tana (Niwa Whatuira) - from 'Māui's Hook' Photo: supplied

Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph is of Atihau-a-Papaarangi and Nga Rauru descent, from Kaiwhaiki Pa, near Whanganui. His first job was as a youth worker on the streets of South Auckland, which led him to train as a clinical psychologist. He later worked as an actor with renowned Māori filmmaker Don Selwyn on plays for theatre. Selwyn encouraged him to become a director, which led to Joseph making Hiding Behind the Green Screen (2010), Tātarikihi - The Children of Parihaka (2012), Te Awa Tupua - Voices from the River (2014) and now a suicide docudrama, Māui's Hook, screening around the country at the New Zealand International Film Festival.


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9:35 Lucy Saunders - Bringing healthy streets to cities 

Lucy Saunders

Lucy Saunders Photo:

Lucy Saunders is a UK public health expert who has revolutionised the way London city is planning its streets and transport systems. She is the architect of the Healthy Streets approach to transport, which has been adopted by Transport for London  and the Greater London Authority. It aims to make streets more inviting for pedestrians, and public transport easier to access, among other things. Saunders has been in NZ as a keynote speaker at the 2WALKandCYCLE conference in Palmerston North this week, and will be speaking at the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities (hosted by the University of Otago) seminar on August 8 in Wellington, details here.  

10:04 Mike McCormack - Prize-winning novel, Solar Bones

Author of Solar Bones

Photo: Supplied

Irish writer Mike McCormack's latest book is Solar Bones, a novel written in a single sentence that flows over 270 pages, and spans a single day in which the ghost of a Mayo engineer called Marcus Conway looks back on his life and death. In June this year, Solar Bones won McCormack the Dublin Literary Prize of €100,000, (NZ$171,500) the largest literary prize in the world for a single novel published in English. He talks to Noelle about revealing the soul of the civil engineer among the concrete and granite, and how he builds his books. McCormack has published two collections of short stories, Getting It In the Head and Forensic Songs and two other novels - Crowe's Requiem and Notes from a Coma.

10:40 Venus Envy Podcast: Are We There Yet in the sex industry? 

The Oldest Profession, a sex worker on Karangahape Road in Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In the fourth part of  Venus Envy - made in association with Are We There Yet?, the new women's suffrage and equality exhibition at Auckland Museum - Damaris Coulter, Annah Pickering and Nunu Davey talk about sex work and the law, activism, being trans in NZ, and the #metoo movement - why it doesn't apply to everyone.
Full-length versions of the podcast series can be found at

11:04 Hollie McNish - Author of a meditation on parenting, Nobody Told Me

Hollie McNish

Hollie McNish Photo: supplied

Hollie McNish is a UK poet based between London, Cambridge and Glasgow. She has two poetry collections - Cherry Pie and Papers and an album Versus, which made her the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios, London. She won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016. That year she also published Nobody Told Me, a collection of poems and stories taken from her diaries about raising a child in modern Britain - "sex, commercialism, feeding, gender and of finding secret places to scream once in a while". McNish will be coming to WORD Christchurch, details here.

11:35 Andre Upston - RNZ's own music-mixing legend 

Andre Upston

Andre Upston Photo: RNZ

Andre Upston has been a music recording engineer at RNZ for 22 years. In that time he has recorded some of the country's top artists including Brooke Fraser, Shihad, Bic Runga, Neil Finn, and five studio albums with Anika Moa. He has also recorded and mixed a number of film soundtracks including Black Sheep, The Locals, and Snakeskin, plus various TV soundtracks, and podcasts. In 2006 he won Best Engineer at the NZ Music Awards for Bic Runga's Birds album, and was a finalist two other times for engineering and mixing Anika Moa and Miriam Clancy albums. He has also won numerous NZ Radio Awards for technical production including this year's award for The Rock Top 1500 Live @ The Powerstation.


Books mentioned in this episode:


Solar Bones

by Mike McCormack

ISBN 0992817099

Tramp Press


Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood 

by Hollie McNish

ISBN 0349134359