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Three Television Icons Return

30 March 2001

Media Release

Three Television Icons Return


NZ On Air has announced funding for the return of three established television favourites, confirming Billy T James is as much a New Zealand television icon as the Young Farmer of the Year.

The TV2 Big Comedy Gala and Billy T Awards for stand-up comedy will return for a 2001 season, alongside this year’s coverage of the Wrightson Agmardt Young Farmer Contest, according to NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall.

"The Young Farmer Contest seeks to find a true all-round farmer who is not only accomplished in the practical and theoretical spheres of the agricultural sector, but who reacts well under the pressure of television cameras and live audiences," said Ms Tyndall.

"The contest has been supported by NZ On Air since 1994 and we are looking forward to seeing a fast paced and nail-biting programme again this year," she said.

While the late comedian Billy T James may not have won a Young Farmer of the Year title, there are probably fans who think he deserved this award and many others.

The Billy T James brand of comedy lives on in the annual TV2 Billy T Awards held in conjunction with the TV2 Big Comedy Gala. The gala launches the New Zealand Comedy Festival, providing a showcase for New Zealand’s finest comedy performers. The Billy T Awards are made at the finale of the festival, when five finalists pit themselves against each other to find an overall winner to carry away the $7,000 cash prize.

NZ On Air has allocated $115,432 to Phoenix Television to produce 1 x 1 hour special TV2 Billy T Awards 2001 and $114,080 for 1 x 1½ hour special TV2 Big Comedy Gala to be broadcast on TV2.

Dexterity Productions will receive $109,150 to produce 1 x 1 hour Wrightson Agmardt Young Farmer Contest 2001 to be broadcast on TVOne.


For further information:
Jo Tyndall
Chief Executive, NZ On Air
Tel: (04) 382 9524
The media release is available on the Internet, at http://www.nzonair.govt.nz

Wrightson Agmardt Young Farmer Contest 2001 $109,150
One hour special
Broadcaster: TVOne
Producer: Jo Raymond & Mark Leishman, Dexterity Productions

TV2 Billy T Awards 2001 $115,432
One hour special
Broadcaster: TV2
Producer: Simon Sinclair & Mandy Toogood, Phoenix Television


TV2 Big Comedy Gala 2001 $114,080
One and a half hour special
Broadcaster: TV2
Producer: Simon Sinclair & Mandy Toogood, Phoenix Television


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