Paul Ellis and Richard Driver join Miriama Smith on Judging Panel

Entertainment industry stalwarts Paul Ellis and Richard Driver will join actress Miriama Smith as judges on Prime’s upcoming variety series New Zealand’s Got Talent.

Executive Producer of New Zealand’s Got Talent Nicola van der Meijden is delighted with the new additions to the show’s judging panel: “Richard and Paul each bring a wealth of industry experience and credibility which is hugely important in a series that showcases such a wide variety of talent.”

An influential figure in local and international industries, with a music career spanning 17 years, Ellis has recently returned to New Zealand after working at Channel Nine in Australia.

Ellis was a judge on the hugely popular NZ Idol and is looking forward to returning to our screens to find New Zealand’s next great talent.

“This is the only show that I would ever consider coming back to television for,” says Ellis. “I had a wonderful time on the first two seasons of NZ Idol but out of all the big entertainment shows, this one has to tick all the boxes.”

Formerly a host of Radio with Pictures, Richard Driver has worked as managing director, producer, director and performer across all entertainment genres. He has created and produced international award-winning documentaries and launched SKY Television’s Documentary Channel in November 2006.

Driver’s diverse experience makes him an ideal choice for New Zealand’s Got Talent.

“This show is an absolutely fantastic format that will give so many talented New Zealanders of all ages a real go at being seen and heard by the rest of the nation.

“I am very excited about being a judge on a show where raw and unknown talent has the opportunity to perform publicly,” he says.

Ellis and Driver will join popular actress Miriama Smith on the judging panel to decide, with the help of the New Zealand public, who will walk away with the $100,000 grand prize.

“The thing I want to see on that stage is acts that are engaging and entertaining for the whole country,” hints Ellis.

“I have the utmost respect for what Miriama and Richard have achieved in their individual careers and because we come from such different backgrounds, I’m looking for some healthy debate about the different acts that are going to be performing for us!”

Driver agrees. “I hope to see genuine, original and honest performances. My approach towards each act will be mostly supportive and constructive, although I won’t hesitate to dress down and reprimand anyone who I believe has not prepared adequately.

Most of all, I am looking forward to some exceptional talent being discovered, the weird, the wonderful and the naturally gifted – I’m sure that we will get them all.”

New Zealand’s Got Talent will be hosted by Jason Reeves and Andrew Mulligan and will air on Prime later this year.

What do you think about the judging panel?

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  • tvnewser

    That’s a bit of a let down.

  • MrCynical

    Oh look at that, two guys and a girl. Shocker

    And two guy presenters…double shocker.

  • bobscoffee

    …never heard of richard driver and as for paul ellis, i guess nz idol says it all

  • Rachel

    Richard Driver is referred to as Documentary Channel’s programmer and Managing Director on various sites.


    I’m guessing Paul Ellis stood down at TVNZ PR to take on this role? Probably best, a deaf,dumb and blind person could’ve handled the Veitch saga better.

  • Frybaby

    Should of been Tony Veitch. lol. He could bitchslap the bad acts right off the stage.


    @Frybaby: Errrrr Bad taste :-S

  • reece_555

    Dont you need to have talent to judge talent ???????

  • MrCynical

    Do you have to be a movie critic to give an opinion about a movie?

  • kp

    All i can say is I’m glad I don’t get Prime at my house!!

    “Popular actress Miriama Smith” Sorry, what’s she been on? As for Paul Ellis – NZ Idol?? more like NZ waste of time.

    We should have learnt from Stars in their Eyes that this show should be called NZ has NO talent!!!

  • poophlinger

    Anyone confirmed from the Auckland auditions yet? it’s been 2 weeks

  • Rachel
  • Sazbo

    Heya, I’m waiting to hear from the Wellington audition. When they say you have “great talent” and send you for extra filming, it’s kinda hard not to get your hopes up! Still kind of giving up hope now =o(

  • PonsoGal

    Oh great – look forward to another year of Paul Ellis looking around every bar, restaurant and club he visits to see who is looking back at him… groan… and Hello Paul… no doubt you’re googling yourself too 🙂

  • Genevieve Driver

    This show is great fun!
    Even if you don’t think Nzs got talent “Np”.
    New Zealand has got talent you dork!
    Look how far Brooke Fraser, Shihad and more have come from just being an ordinary school kid!
    If people think that they have a telant, they should be able to show it to the rest of the Nation! and it’s up to Richard, Miriama and Paul and the crowd to choose who in nz has the best and most different talent.
    You don’t have to think this show is the bomb or anything, But give it a watch, cause i’ve been to two of the shows, and i LOVED THEM!