Extraordinary Kiwis

7:00pm Saturday, August 28 on Prime

Simon Woolf

Documentary Series

Simon Woolf lives and breathes photography, with his work appearing in a number of publications all over the world. One of his more interesting jobs saw him as the official photographer for Prince William during his visit to New Zealand in January this year, and he now remains the official Government House photographer. While Clarke may be familiar with a television camera tonight his challenge is to master the art of professional photography under Simon’s watchful, creative eye. First he has to get his girlfriend’s camera to work, before taking some photos that are more than just holiday snaps! He’s also drafted as a lighting technician – will he succeed at either?

7:00pm Saturday, August 21 on Prime

Documentary Series

Sarah Macdonald

Tonight Clarke tests his creative skills as he meets Sarah Macdonald, a fashion designer who specialises in outdoor clothing for women. Not only is she a dab hand with a sewing machine she’s also a huge fan of the outdoors and is a committed hunter, stalking deer and smaller animals. Uniquely, Sarah combines her passion for hunting with an ever expanding range of clothing with female hunters in mind! Clarke’s challenge is to stop talking long enough for a duck or two to come in range of Sarah’s 20 gauge shotgun. They both have a crack at duck shooting, and round the day off with skeet shooting and high velocity rifle target practice. With Clarke’s design skills not as refined as his on-camera ability, he elected to stick with the outdoors on this episode rather than trying his hand at fashion design! Probably a wise decision.

7:00pm Saturday, August 14 on Prime

Documentary Series

Anthony Lealand

Tonight we meet Anthony Lealand, a pyrotechnics expert who runs a fireworks company and organizes pyrotechnics effects like explosions and gunshots for the film industry. So far this sounds like every man’s dream job, but Clarke’s first challenge has him taking a bullet for the team! Thankfully it’s not as dangerous as it sounds with Anthony demonstrating how gunshots can be realistically portrayed for the film industry. He recovers sufficiently to help Anthony make fireworks for a display over Lyttleton harbour. Exact measurements of gunpowder are critical, and safety is paramount, with Clarke being warned that if he struck a match they’d both die a painful death of third degree burns. Clarke not only has to make the fireworks, but set up the electronic firing sequence and then push the right buttons at the right time. No pressure!

7:00pm Saturday, August 7 on Prime

Documentary Series

Josh Coppins

Josh Coppins is a Kiwi whose name is more famous overseas than at home. The world motocross superstar was born in Motueka where he owns a farm along with a purpose built training course, but spends most of his time in Belgium, competing on the European circuit. Tonight Clarke’s challenge is to complete a circuit of Josh’s extreme motocross training track in one piece. With Josh flying meters in the air, it’s a daunting task. Clarke has all the gear – a top motorbike, full protective kit with specialist riding boots, helmet and gloves, but will he have the bottle to throw man and machine around the track like Josh does? Let’s find out…

7:00pm Saturday, July 31 on Prime

Documentary Series

Majic Johnson

Clarke Gayford’s challenge tonight is to become a soldier for a day, and this time Army Sergeant Majic Johnson (who is currently on assignment as a peacekeeper in the Middle East) is putting him through his paces. Clarke’s day involves not just the usual marching and running, but using a bayonet to gently probe in sand for landmines, and the ultimate test, using NBC (Nuclear, Biologicial, and Chemical) safety equipment – a full protective suit designed to keep our soldiers safe if attacked by one of these agents. It’s never fully explained how the suit will ward off a nuclear blast but Clarke gets plenty of practice with the gas mask. And to prove it really works the troops are marched into a room full of tear gas, told to take off their masks and get a lungful!

7:00pm Saturday, July 24 on Prime

Documentary Series

Tonight host Clarke Gayford gets all hot and heavy (literally) as he meets Philip Woolf, a fire chief in the small Golden Bay township of Takaka. This loyal local is also a very astute businessman with a string of hardware stores to his name. His biggest claim to fame, however, is his management of a major fire-fighting operation when the local Fonterra dairy factory caught fire. After the blaze it was touch and go whether Fonterra would re-build or move the processing operation elsewhere. But as Woolf and his team had saved a key milk powder tower which formed the heart of the operation, Fonterra decided to rebuild retaining hundreds of jobs in the remote settlement.

Clarke’s challenge tonight is to keep up with the fire chief on a range of training sessions, including time trials for getting all the equipment on, finding a victim in a smoke filled room and dragging him to safety. It’s a hot business, especially with full fire-fighting protective clothing, and 25kg’s of breathing equipment on your back. Clarke also has to run out the hoses and use water to knock down targets and then cut the roof off a wrecked car to free a trapped passenger!

7:00pm Saturday, July 17 on Prime

Documentary Series

Tonight host Clarke Gayford meets Jessica Whiddett (pictured right), a free diver and spear fisher who has been the women’s freediving champion three times in the last five years! She can also, rather impressively, hold her breath underwater for a staggering five minutes! Clarkes challenge is to learn how to dive and shoot fish while holding his breath – no oxygen tanks allowed! His first target will be scallops, which move surprisingly fast over the seabed. They are caught by hand of course, but it’s soon time to load up the speargun and stalk the big prey. Let’s hope he has a steady arm!

7:00pm Saturday, July 10 on Prime

Documentary Series

Clarke Gayford’s challenge tonight is to produce a carving in the traditional Maori style, with the help of carver Tom Bishop (pictured right). Tom (who studied under master craftsman Rangi Hetit) hails from Tainui, Waikato Maniopoto and took up carving when a promising rugby career was cut short due to hip problems. Under Tom’s guidance Clarke’s work of art will be chiselled from native Totara. But to do it right, he’s first got to find a tree to provide the wood, and (as he quickly finds out) there’s a whole lot more to cutting down a tree for carving than just firing up the chainsaw! It all starts with a lot of prayer and protocol…

7:00pm Saturday, July 3 on Prime


Tonight’s second episode of Extraordinary Kiwis is as much about presenter Clarke Gayford as Ben Hurley, as Clarke gets coached for his first ever six minute stand-up at the Classic Comedy Club in Auckland. A confident presenter on television, radio, and as a DJ, Clarke says the six minutes in front of a live audience was one of his toughest assignments. And as for Ben Hurley, well he’s one of New Zealand’s best loved comedians. From humble roots in Taranaki, Ben started with a stand-up routine in Wellington, winning a Billy T Award for outstanding potential in 2004. He then moved to the UK and mastered stand up comedy on the unforgiving British circuit winning widespread praise. Returning home Ben was voted NZ comedian of the year in 2008. He still plays on his origins as a small-town boy, and is quick to poke fun at Hawera, and New Zealand in general. Will Clarke crumble under the pressure or will his first live solo performance be a hit?

7:00pm Saturday, June 26 on Prime

Documentary Series

From All Black Dan Carter to a young female fashion designer who hunts deer in her spare time, Extraordinary Kiwis throws Clarke Gayford into the shoes of some of New Zealand’s most interesting individuals. Literally getting a real hands-on approach to our Extraordinary Kiwis’ day to day lives, the naturally competitive Clarke gets a lot more than he bargained for throughout the series – particularly in the first episode which see’s him endure a “light training session” with rugby legend Dan Carter.

This new PRIME series is a celebration of an eclectic mix of outstanding New Zealanders – men and women who embody their national ethos, many of them Kiwis you wouldn’t normally hear about, but who make fascinating subjects with incredible stories to tell. In tonight’s first episode we see Dan Carter getting fake sweat sprayed on for a photo shoot, and a “light” training session with Clarke leaves the poor bloke in a real sweat, and hobbling for a week! Clarke’s first challenge is to just keep up with the All Black great on what’s pitched as a “light” training session. From pumping iron in the gym to squat jumps and press ups, this is going to be a tough day for Clarke. He gets some great tips on how to kick a footy ball, but struggles to get it over the bar while Dan’s are sailing high. Catching a high ball is another challenge, with Dan promising to shout if Clarke can get even one out of five. But it’s the endurance running at the end of the day (which even Dan hates) that will be Clarke’s greatest test.