Maori Television Involved in Comedy Festival

Maori TV Jumps on the Comedy Bandwagon

The NZ International Comedy Festival is delighted to announce Maori TV as the new sponsor of the prestigious Billy T Awards. Maori TV is the third network to join the Comedy Festival whanau; increasing the national coverage of New Zealand comedy.

The Billy T James award is in remembrance of New Zealand’s legendary Maori comedian, who remains an icon of inspiration in our nations comedic and entertainment history. The awards are now in their eleventh year and are a proven benchmark for emerging comedians. Erina Tamepo, Producer – General Programmes at Maori Television explains that Maori TV “completely supports the notion of nurturing new comedic talent”. Maori TV will film the nominee’s individual shows and their festival finale performances at Last Laugh which will go to air as part of the Billy T Season. They are also generously providing the cash award of $5000 to the talented 2007 winner.

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This new sponsorship of the Billy T’ Awards presents an incredible opportunity for exposure not only for the nominees but for the NZ comedy industry. Festival Director Hilary Coe hopes “that this will be a long standing association and we are excited and heartened by Maori TV’s partnership with the Festival in developing new talent”.

Alex Hawley (Wellingtonian winner of the 2006 National RAW final)
Grant Lobban (The Classic’s Ticket Guy takes to the stage as The Comic’s Comic)
mrs.peacock (musical comedy duo, two times winner ofthe NZ Comedy Guild Award for “Most Offensive Gag”)
Jamie Bowen (Melbourne Comedy circuit regular, 2006 Billy T nominee, former member of GARY)

The 2007 Billy T judging panel includes
Andrew Szusterman – Station Manager for C4 Television
Nigel McCulloch – The Down Low Concept (producer of Off The Wire, Pop Goes The Weasel & national winner of the 48 Short Film Competition)
Louise Hunter – BLP Ltd (Producer of Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran…)
Dai Henwood (star of C4’s “Insert Video Here”)
Jon Bridges (ex Ice TV, all round good guy)

The Billy T Award is part of the 2007 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, which plays:
Auckland 4 – 27 May
Wellington 7 – 26 May
Nationwide Comedy Convoy 21 – 26 May

Other NZ International Comedy Festival televised events:
Crunchie Comedy Gala: TV2 will screen on Wednesday 9 and Friday 11 May at 9.30.
AotearOHA: TV3, screening TBC.

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