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The Real New Zealand Idol

News Release
The real New Zealand idol

Ben Lummis, Jonah Lomu, Scribe, Carlos Spencer, Helen Clark...Peter Jackson? No, the person Kiwi kids most "wannabe" is Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Announced this evening at the 2004 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards Preview Party in Wellington, the Whale Rider star and Oscar nominee was voted as the winner of the New Zealand Wannabe award, an honour bestowed on a celebrity role model who Kiwi kids most "want to be."

This is the first time Nickelodeon Asia Pacific has awarded the Wannabe award in any of its territories and Keisha's mantel piece will be the first outside of the U.S.A. to be furnished with the trademark, blimp-shaped award.

More than 2,000 New Zealand kids voted across six categories in the awards for their favourite TV show, celebrity, movie, book, music performer or band and their favourite New Zealand wannabe by email, post and text message.

Keisha is delighted at being announced the winner of the New Zealand Wannabe award.

"It's so flattering that kids say they want to be like me. I think they like that although I've had some amazing opportunities, I'm still me, a normal Kiwi kid. If you have a dream you should just go for it.

"It's especially cool to get this award since the Nickelodeon awards are all about having fun. Sliming and burping sure don't get that at the Oscars," says Keisha.

New Zealand kids have shown patriotism for other local stars in picking another of their 'favourites'.

Whilst American kids voted resoundingly in favour of Finding Nemo as their movie of the year, kids here thought the Lord of the Rings was better.

And as for their favourite musician?

Well it wasn't Outkast, Hilary Duff or Nelly, winners of music categories in the US, but the Black Eyed Peas instead.

However some favourites are universal. Like their US counterparts, Kiwi kids love the Harry Potter series for favourite book. SpongeBob SquarePants made it in, not as favourite cartoon, but all-time favourite TV show. Kiwi kids also voted in favour of Hilary Duff as their favourite celebrity.

Nickelodeon is thrilled with the positive response to voting for the awards from New Zealand kids.

"It's always very interesting to get a little insight into kids' minds and see what they're into, who they look up to and what they enjoy doing," says Lucy Young, Vice President, marketing and communications for Nickelodeon Asia Pacific.

The 17th Annual Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, hosted by Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers, was filmed in L.A last month and a special New Zealand preview screening was shown to 200 kids in Upper Hutt today at the H2O aquatic centre.

The awards, together with the New Zealand segment, will be televised on the Nickelodeon Channel on SKY TV on Saturday June 6, 2004 from 9am.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Asia, the leading entertainment brand dedicated exclusively to kids, is seen in more than 112 million households throughout the region with 24-hour channels and programming blocks in India, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Korea, Hong Kong and China. Nickelodeon's portfolio of branded businesses also includes websites (, mobile downloads, consumer products, as well as global sales and licensing of Nickelodeon programme franchises. These extend the brand's cumulative reach to 471 million households and 161 territories globally. Internationally, Nickelodeon's businesses also includes music, publishing, interactive games and Nickelodeon Movies. Nickelodeon is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc.

About SKY Television

SKY Television, with more than 1.6 million viewers, is in more than 40% (552,000) New Zealand homes. The latest digital technology offers SKY subscribers more than 70 top quality entertainment channels including live sport, movies, news, documentaries, dramas, all the nationwide free-to-air channels, key radio stations, music channels and interactive services. SKY broadcasts on two networks; UHF and Satellite, and as one of New Zealand's pre-eminent media companies, is the market leader in providing viewers with new and innovative television services. The Nickelodeon channel can be found on Channel 42 on the SKY TV network.

Issued for Nickelodeon by Pead PR


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