16 Apr 2017

The Pantograph Punch: Dead Air

From Pantograph Punch, 4:06 pm on 16 April 2017

When you talk for a living, silence can take on special significance: it can be the response to a curveball question, an awkward admission, or a total bombshell that leaves you lost for words. John Campbell, Carol Hirschfeld, Wallace Chapman and Noelle McCarthy provide a master-class in storytelling styles, from a stand-up routine about the invention of a new musical genre, to confessions about how one speaker refused to talk to someone else in the household for five years, and how a broadcasting career was built on a foundation of extreme shyness. The final story is a dazzling one about a life in TV - funny and profoundly moving in turns. Hosted by Guy Williams. A collaboration between RNZ and The Pantograph Punch.


John Campbell

John Campbell Photo: RNZ

"Bloody marvellous" journalist and presenter John Campbell began his career at Radio New Zealand in 1989. He went on to work in TV3’s press gallery before stints on the current affairs show 20/20, presenting 3 News and, in 2005, starting Campbell Live. Between 2000 and 2002, he was also the host of RNZ’s Saturday Morning programme. He re-joined RNZ in September 2015 to host a revamped Checkpoint.

Noelle McCarthy

Noelle McCarthy Photo: RNZ

Noelle McCarthy came to broadcasting via a half-finished thesis on Dracula and a one-year working holiday visa. After arriving in New Zealand from Ireland in 2003, her first job was at Auckland student radio station 95bFM where she voiced ads for a local Irish bar and read the news. Summer Noelle on RNZ came along in 2007, and with one honourable exception – when she went in search of a White Christmas in Ireland – she presented the show through to 2015. She's a regular online columnist for the NZ Herald's Viva, where she writes about style, and for Metro, where she is a book reviewer. Noelle produced and presented the six-part podcast series ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ – stories about getting older in a world that wants us to stay young.

Carol Hirschfeld

Carol Hirschfeld Photo: RNZ

Carol Hirschfeld  rejoined RNZ in November 2014 as Head of Content, coming full circle having begun her career at Radio New Zealand as a cadet reporter. In between, she was a reporter for Fair Go, co-presented Crimewatch, was a network news producer and field producer for the Holmes show, a producer for Frontline and in 1998 found herself co-presenting 3News with John Campbell. In 2005, Carol became producer and presenter of Campbell Live and in mid-2009 moved to Maori TV to become head of programming.

Wallace Chapman

Wallace Chapman Photo: RNZ

Graduating with a degree in English and Education from Otago University, Wallace Chapman left the halls of academia to become the Creative Director of Radio One 91FM Dunedin, where he also hosted the popular arts and current affairs show, The Saturday Late Breakfast. A phone call in 2001 from radio 95bFM saw Wallace return to his home town of Auckland to head up the bFM Creative Director role, where he stayed for five years. He's been the 95bFM Breakfast host, the breakfast show host on KiwiFM and a host on Radio Live. He started his television work reporting stories on Eating Media Lunch, and is the host of the unique ‘pub politics’ show Back Benches, now in its seventh year.  His interviewing style was once described in a Listener profile as “fearless, but never mean”.

Guy Williams

Guy Williams Photo: Pantograph Punch

In 2014, Guy Williams achieved everything there was to achieve in the world and by that I mean two TV Guide “Best On Box” awards for “Sexiest Man” and “Funniest Person”. He should probably retire now at apex of humanity but somehow keeps on going, and it’s that kind of spirt that makes him a legendary New Zealand Hero. He's a regular on Jono and Ben at Ten and The Edge radio station drive show  and an irregular on various other projects including 7 Days and Bacon and Cheese a primary school student production that he is yet to receive any payment for despite frequent emails and threats of legal action against children.  Guy has also won other awards that he keeps on holding onto to justify himself to people, including Metro magazine Best Comedian (2013) and the Billy T Award (2012). He wrote this bio in third person himself and is, quote, “a bit of a loser”. 

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