This Saturday Morning: Kim starts the morning in conversation with writer, musician, comedian and Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle, who has just written what he calls a 'sortabiography'; Joanne Drayton explains why she's chosen to delve into the love story between two of New Zealand's most famous television chefs, Peter Hudson and David Halls; Lucy Hawking, daughter of the late Stephen Hawking, explains why his posthumous book seeks to answer  some of the world's 'big questions'; Richard Roberts on his transition from coal-mining in Yorkshire to managing - and  transforming - Dunedin's airport; Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, explains why she's introduced a 'green card' to battle sexual harassment and assault on movie sets; Zoya Patel on her 'hyphenated life' as a Fijian-Indian woman in Australia; and finally, Peta Siulepa runs the Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival which this year pays tribute to famous Samoan jazz singer Mavis Rivers.    



8.09  Eric Idle - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life 

Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman are Monty Python

Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman are Monty Python Photo: Wikicommons

Eric Idle

Eric Idle Photo: supplied

Eric Idle is a comedian, actor, writer and musician, most notable for his membership of the Monty Python comedy troupe. His career in comedy began in earnest in 1968 when he began writing and acting in two series of a children's TV hit, Do Not Adjust Your Set, with Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. The success of this show led to four series of Monty Python's Flying Circus for the BBC from July 1969 through 1973, with the addition of John Cleese and Graham Chapman.  The group enjoyed great success on stage and screen until disbanding in 1983.  After Python, Idle continued to work on radio comedies, write books, appear in movies and even on the opera stage. He has recently released a 'sortabiography' called Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - also the title of a song he composed for the closing of the movie Life of Brian - and one which has grown to become a signature tune for Monty Python. 




9.04 Joanne Drayton - Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love

Joanne Drayton

Joanne Drayton Photo: supplied

Auckland-based Joanne Drayton is author of New York Times bestseller The Search for Anne Perry (2014), which was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards 2013 and the subject of a 60 Minutes documentary. Her critically acclaimed Ngaio Marsh: Her life in crime (2008) was a Christmas pick in the UK's Independent newspaper in 2009. Drayton has written three other groundbreaking biographies - the latest is Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love, which she'll be discussing with Kim.  In 2007 she was awarded a National Library Fellowship, and in 2017 she received a prestigious Logan Nonfiction Fellowship at the Carey Institute in Upstate New York. 


9.35 Lucy Hawking - Her father Stephen's Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Stephen and Lucy Hawking

Stephen and Lucy Hawking Photo: Michael Cockerham 2014

The late Stephen Hawking was an acclaimed theoretical physicist and considered to be one of the world's greatest thinkers. He held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for 30 years and is the author of the bestselling A Brief History of Time as well as a host of other works. After he died in March of this year, his academic colleagues, family and the Stephen Hawking Estate moved to complete a project that was already in development - a book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions. It aims to answer 'the big questions' that Hawking had frequently been asked throughout his life, with those answers taken from his vast personal archive. Kim talks to Stephen's daughter Lucy, who was part of the book's production and wrote its Afterword. 

10.05   Richard Roberts - Dunedin Airport takes off

Richard Roberts

Richard Roberts Photo: supplied

Richard Roberts took over as Dunedin International Airport CEO in 2014 and he's credited with an impressive increase in both passengers and revenue in the time that he's been in charge.  Earlier this month it was revealed that the airport  is about to begin a $13.5 million project to extend its departure lounge and security screening area. Originally from a coal-mining town in South Yorkshire in the UK, Roberts studied mechanical engineering and worked in the coal industry. He's been in Aotearoa for 22 years; he is passionate about the country - and particularly passionate about Dunedin. 


Dunedin street art 


10.35  Anna Serner - CEO of Swedish Film Institute and battler of gender inequality in Nordic movie industry

Anna Serner

Anna Serner Photo: supplied

When Anna Serner became the CEO of the Swedish Film Institute six years ago, she set down a target that half of all Swedish films should be written, directed and produced by women, within four years.  In the wake of the MeToo movement, and allegations of sexual misconduct in the Scandinavian film industries, the Swedish Film Institute launched an initiative that compels production houses to complete an education programme about sexual harassment, giving them a  'green card'  and funding for their productions if they do so. Serner is being brought to New Zealand by WIFT (Women in Film and Television) and she will be giving a keynote address at the Big Screen Symposium on October 27.

11.04 Zoya Patel - A search for belonging

Zoya Patel

Zoya Patel Photo: Supplied

Zoya Patel is a Fijian-Indian, who came to Australia when she was three - a heritage which has left her with a sense of not really belonging anywhere. She describes this estrangement as "a hyphenated life". Her book, No Country Woman: A memoir of not belonging is a collection of essays on race, feminism, religion and family - and searching for identity. She was in her mid-teens when she set up the website Feminartsy, an online feminist arts and literature journal, she was the former editor-in-chief of Lip Magazine, and she studied gender studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. She is coming to Aotearoa next month for LitCrawl Wellington


11.35 Peta Siulepa - Samoana Jazz Festival celebrates Mavis Rivers

Peta Siulepa

Peta Siulepa Photo: Supplied

Peta Siulepa is about to present her fifth Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival in venues in both Apia, Samoa and PagoPago, American Samoa. This year the festival focus is a tribute to Samoan New Zealander and Grammy Award winner Mavis Rivers, described by many of her peers as one of the world's greatest female jazz singers. Rivers' son, La'auli Matt Catingub (also a Grammy Award winner) will be at the Samoana Festival with his own band, playing alongside artists from Samoa and Aotearoa. Siulepa is herself a jazz singer and musician as well as festival director.

Mavis Rivers

Mavis Rivers Photo: Supplied


Books mentioned in this week's show: 

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life 
by Eric Idle 
ISBN: 9781474610278

Hudson and Halls: The Food of Love
by Joanne Drayton
ISBN 978-1-98-853126-7
Otago University Press 

Brief Answers to the Big Questions
by Stephen Hawking
ISBN: 9781473695986

No Country Woman: A memoir of not belonging
by Zoya Patel
ISBN: 9780733640063 

Music played in this show

Artist: Monty Python
Song: Always look on the Bright Side of Life
Composer: Monty Python
Album: Monty Python's Life Of Brian: Original Soundtrack
Label: EMI
Played at: 08.15

Artist: Mavis Rivers
Song: Slightly Out Of Tune (Desafinado)
Composers: Jobim/Mendonca/Hendricks/Cavanagh
Album: Released as a single with Footsteps of a Fool
Label: Reprise
Played at: 11:35