4 Nov 2023

TimProvise on the art of interviewing: 'There's methods to the madness'

9:34 am on 4 November 2023
NZ broadcaster TimProvise

NZ broadcaster TimProvise Photo: Seth Siope

Between sampling Aotearoa's finest pies, co-hosting a morning radio show and interviewing sportspeople, TimProvise is non-stop.

But it's a "busy that's fun", the Kiwi broadcaster tells TAHI's So'omalo Iteni Schwalger.

'"I was a teacher before so my busy was road patrol and telling kids off for not wearing hats outside, doing reports...

"My busy now is I get to hang out with Ardie Savea, I get to eat pies and rate them and I get to be on the radio with my best mate Regz – it's a good busy.'

Provise says the thing he misses most about being a schoolteacher is seeing the kids.

"The other things that come with it, I'm like 'I'm so glad I don't have to do that'. Like [writing school] reports… and being the only male teacher. There's not a lot of male teachers out there. You have to be the guy that tells everybody off.

"Teaching is a tough profession and I don't think they get paid enough … when they do, I might go back," he laughs.

TimProvise is currently co-hosting The Morning Shack on Niu FM, reporting for the Sky Sport show The Crowd Goes Wild and visiting Kiwi bakeries with local celebrities on the video series Bakery Run.

All of these jobs involve interviewing, which he tells So'omalo is harder than it looks and also something he'd love to teach one day.

"A lot of people see me on The Crowd Goes Wild and they think 'he's just out of the gate and he says some things' but there's methods to the madness."

Provise often gets just one day's notice before meeting a sports team – this was the case when he welcomed the All Blacks home from the World Cup at Auckland Airport this week.

"I get the call – 'hey man, you're going to see the All Blacks at the airport'. My brain starts going 'Okay, how can I make this different?'"

He had the idea of using cards as a conversation starter.

"Everyone was getting the cards… the red card, the yellow card, at the World Cup. So I'm like 'Man, I'm just gonna show up with Pokemon cards and give them out. That was the whole thing.

"I said 'Sam Cane my bro, choose any Pokemon card. He chooses the red one… and he's just laughing. For me, [interviewing is about] finding that 'in'. My 'in' there was the card joke."

With Bakery Runs, Provise takes his guests to local bakeries to chat over some "nice cheap hood pies that people love".

"I want to help small businesses, that's what it's about."

For this show, he gets his 'in' with his guests ahead of time and does an "icebreaker over the DMs".

Once they're at the bakery,  Provise works on "segueing" conversation about the pies into a subject the guest is into.

When Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick brought up the "integrity" of the Veggie Breakfast Pie she was eating at the K Road bakery Piefee, he jumped on it as an opportunity to talk about her work.

"My brain goes 'click'. Integrity… politics... Let's talk about integrity in politics. So it's that segue from one to the other that's really the skill… Radio is really good to flex that muscle and develop it a bit more."

Ahead of the election, Provise says he reached out to a lot of politicians to go on Bakery Run. Former prime minister Chris Hipkins – "nicest guy out" – agreed on the Friday before the election.

"I'm like 'yo, let's go to the hood, let's go to [South Auckland's] Clendon Bakery, let's go the people!'.

"And his secret service were like 'Hell no, we're going to [heritage community centre] Nathan Homestead, you can bring the pies to us'."

This December, Provise will take Bakery Run across the Tasman to film five episodes in Brisbane and Sydney. 

There, he'll challenge mixed martial artist Justin Tafa to prove his allegation that Queensland pies are better than Auckland ones.

"I'm calling you out, Justin Tafa… you've been talking smack about the Clendon Bakery. I'm coming to [Gold Coast city] Logan and I'll see you mate, I'll see you soon."

Fans of Bakery Run should keep an eye on their Instagram for details of a pop-up pie shop with merch on 26 November, Provise says.

Three brand new pie creations will be on offer that he's really excited to share.

"There's this one pie, it's a luxury pie, and I just cannot wait to drop it."

 So'omalo Iteni Schwalger and TimProvise Photo:

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