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Triangle presents Celebrity Roast of Gray Bartlett

Triangle presents Celebrity Roast of Gray Bartlett

Take one famous New Zealander, assemble decades of friends and associates - including entertainers Michael Barrymore and Brendan Dugan and Dame Thea Muldoon - and roast slowly under the glare of television lights.

That's the recipe for this year's annual Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Celebrity Roast featuring the one of the country's best known guitarists Gray Bartlett MBE whose successful music career began more than 35 years ago.

Triangle Television filmed the roast and will screen this humorous one-hour programme on Tuesday July 19 at 8.30pm.

Gray Bartlett has played with singers and entertainers such as Rolf Harris, Michael Crawford, Boney M and The Hollies, and has helped with the careers and first albums of stars such as Hayley Westenra, Yulia and Ben Morrison. But, in the true tradition of roasts, he receives very little star treatment from his friends at his celebrity roast!

Musician Brendan Dugan reveals a few secrets from life on the road with Gray, author and journalist Dianne Haworth recalls Gray's pet dog's contribution to Auckland's art scene, singer Jodi Vaughan pokes fun, and musician Larry Morris ridicules his friend's quest for immortality.

Gray takes it all with good grace. "I thought it was just a fabulous occasion, and wonderful that it was an absolute sell-out. The icing on the cake was that the money went to one of my favourite organisations - the SPCA."

Held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at Westhaven Marina Auckland, the roast sees Michael Barrymore delight the audience with his quips and antics throughout the proceedings - he even engages in some lively repartee with NZ First leader Winston Peters - but he also pays tribute to Gray's considerable kindness to him.

A former Auckland City Councillor, Gray Bartlett was a board member of the Aotea Centre, Auckland City Art Gallery chairman and a long-standing member of the CMA of America. He was awarded an MBE for his services to New Zealand music and art as well as for his community work.

Triangle Television is Auckland's only regional, non-commercial television station and has operated as a public broadcaster to Greater Auckland since August 1 1998. The channel screens a mix of regional-access television with international news and information programmes. It is non-profit making. Triangle broadcasts 24 hours daily from UHF channel 41 and, in Remuera and surrounding suburbs, from UHF channel 52.

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