TVNZ released the following tribute to Phillip Leishman today.
Statement from Jeff Latch, Head of TV ONE and TV2:
We awoke this morning to the sad news that one of New Zealand’s favourite broadcasters, Phillip Leishman, has died.
Those of us fortunate enough to work with Phil know that he was an extraordinarily gifted presenter and broadcaster – a favourite with viewers and much respected by his industry peers.
Phil’s history with TVNZ goes back to the old NZ Broadcasting Corporation days in 1971, when he got his first break at Dunedin’s DNTV2.
Over 40 years Phil carved out a career as one of this country’s preeminent sports broadcasters, first as a presenter on our nightly news and then later fronting a host of major sports events including multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby test matches and many other local and international sporting events.
Versatility was a hallmark of Phil’s TV career. He showed a lighter touch as the host of Wheel of Fortune for five years in the 1990s, fronting the magazine travel show Air New Zealand Holiday and compering many big awards functions.
For the past 16 years Phil has become synonymous with the game of golf through producing and hosting a range of New Zealand and international golf programmes and tournaments.
Phil had a unique ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds and he was able to effortlessly build rapport with live and onscreen audiences.
Those of us who had the personal and professional privilege of working with Phil will be feeling his loss. Our thoughts and condolences go to Michelle, Harry, India and Lily.