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What NZ Can Learn from the Aussie Sitcom

NZ On Air Media release
30 March 2005

Look at Moy, Look at Moy, Look at Moy - What NZ Can Learn from the Aussie Sitcom

Where is the New Zealand sitcom based on everyday life in Godzone?

Where are the great New Zealand comedy characters for the 21st century?

Who are the New Zealand Kath and Kims?

These and other questions about New Zealand humour will be examined in a comedy symposium run by NZ On Air on Thursday 31st March, at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland.

Providing his perspective on recognising, developing and protecting the talent that will deliver great comedy will be Australia’s Kath and Kim director, Ted Emery, who is keynote speaker at the symposium.

Ted Emery is one of Australia's most successful comedy directors. As well as Kath and Kim, his credits include Full Frontal, and Fast Forward and feature films, The Honourable Wally Norman and The Craic.

NZ On Air chief executive Jo Tyndall said the aim of the symposium was to identify options to deliver sustainable, innovative comedy programmes to New Zealand audiences. Attendees would include broadcasters, directors, writers, producers and performers.

“We are delighted that Ted Emery can attend as he has been helping Australians laugh at themselves since the 1970s. He brings an experienced, external perspective that should help to stimulate ideas and discussion.”

Recent research commissioned by NZ On Air on attitudes to local comedy and drama showed that our confidence in the potential of local comedy writers was growing, she said.

“What we’ve found is that New Zealanders think home grown comedy is getting better, with bro’Town taking an exponential leap forward, but there are still gaps, including the development of a sitcom that reflects life as we know it, based on rich and believable New Zealand characters.”

The results of the focus group research will be presented at the symposium, which will also feature sessions on finding a successful comedy concept, finding talent and finding the money to develop new programmes.

Ends

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