This segment of my original works is written by my son, John Maybury
Maybury’s On Air
Upon my return from
London, it was back into the theatre but this time in a production
management role. Oh, OK, as an actor too. Learning was at the
forefront of my mind. I took up acting technique classes with the
master of the NZ stage acting and directing, Raymond Hawthorne. Thrown
into a class of seasoned veterans like Lucy Lawless among others, I
felt very much the junior (no pun intended) with a lot to prove. I
could see how the acting fraternity could be so ‘cliquey’, so hanging
around this group of people couldn’t do any harm. The acting classes
continued for a further 5 years that brought some success. My only
regret was when Raymond cast me in My Fair Lady (I was the only
non-singing, non-dancing chorus actor in the cast) that the show
didn’t go ahead due to ticket sales. It was such a superb collection
of actors from New Zealand and abroad. A national tour and I was in
it. I would have learnt so much. As an actor, you get used to the near
misses. Its part of life I guess.
Throughout this time I continued with the Milford Playhouse
in a number of roles but ventured out with other theatre groups;
Pumphouse Winter Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, Antipholus of
Ephesus Director: Stephanie McKellar-Smith.
Dolphin Theatre, Twelve Angry Men, Juror 6 (Best
Supporting Actor Award, 1993) Director: Peter Morgan. Theatre
Workshop, Maidment Theatre, Pawn to Queen Two, Alex Director:
In 1992, I also had the pleasure to work on a film ‘The
Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior’ starring Jon Voight and Sam Neill. As a
young kid this was fun and I was being paid for it! I wasn’t in the
cast (except for a couple of crowd scenes) but I had a more
en-‘lightening’ role, I was Jon Voight’s stand-in (double if you like)
and the person responsible of driving his ‘trailer’. It was great to
sit around the set and talk with him about his glittering film career
and to catch a few helpful hints on the
Hollywood industry. My big moment came when he asked me to ‘run some
lines with him’. There we were sitting in his trailer, just he and I.
I read Sam Neill’s lines (woohoo) and he reading his. I think he read
it a dozen different ways. At the end of the film he gave me his
trusty jacket worn throughout the film and a book with signatures
blazoned through it (along with the rest of the cast). A gracious and
TV roles came and went. You know when you’re an actor when
you get on Shortland St!
Even though every man and his dog had been on Shortland St. My character was a dog (of a role). At
least Johnny Givins, the director of the episode, made it fun for all.
Along with acting in the early ‘90s, I started my own
business, John Maybury Entertainment that specialised in Compering,
retail spruiking and corporate work. In addition to this, voicing
TV/radio commercials became another income stream that continued for
another eight years.
Also at this time, I also found myself behind a microphone
at the Easter Show under the direction of some old bugger with MY
name! I had done a couple of years ‘helping out’ a few years earlier
so I was eager to impress. All I remember hearing was, “You don’t have
to yell into the microphone, you have such a brilliant melodic sound
of pitch, pace and colour in your voice, better than I ever can
produce”. Coming from someone who was not only the boss but from a
master behind the microphone himself, I remembered that. A great
compliment, thanks Dad.
The association with the Easter show continued for a
further 12 years. Two Maybury’s’ in tandem. One senior, one learning
the ropes. It wouldn’t be the last time.
A few months after returning from the UK, I also was knocking down
doors of the radio stations to see if there was an opening. Any
opening. Easy Listening i98FM or Radio i as it was better known, gave
me that chance. Thanks Mike Regal. At the time he sat in the corner
office of the Old Great South Rd studios looking after the programming
department. On air at the time were Kerry Smith, Bob Leahy
(newsreader) Alice Worsely, Peter Burgham and the incomparable Peter
Then a few other radio stations joined in the fun. Radio was changing,
as it was a deregulated market, saving money was all part of the
overall plan. (No surprises here). Into the building came 91FM and
Radio Hauraki (Both stations were, along with Radio i, part of the
then Independent Broadcasting Corp). Talk about a lot of egos in one
building. Hauraki’s on-air line up included Mark Perry, Dean Lonegan
and the fabulous Leah Panapa, Gavin Comber and Dave White. 91FM had
Dave Jamieson at the breakfast helm. There were a number of brilliant
voices and talent. It was great for me to be part of the team.
Initially I worked mainly weekends on i98FM doing Sunday morning
breakfast and floating on other stations in various day parts but for
two years it was ‘choice’ to be around these professionals and stars
(not to mention the ego’s).
An opportunity arose in 1994 to work for a radio station to rival the
two major ‘talkback networks’ (Radio New Zealand’s ZB Network and
Radio Pacific) through a broadcasting mate from Blenheim. The money
(!) was coming from Christchurch entrepreneur and businessman, David
Henderson with the programming and station direction from TV news
anchor and interviewing guru, Lindsay Perigo. Along with his mate
Deborah Coddington, they were self-proclaimed Libertarians and the
station took its stance following the beliefs and writings of Ayne
Radio Liberty was the new kid on the block. Aside from its libertarian
positioning (which was focussed in the weekday breakfast and morning
shows), the rest of the day was all business/finance news (hosted by
David Popplewell and Rueben Aitcheson) along with night-time talkback.
Throw Australian shock-jock Arch Tambakis into the mix and you had a
recipe for interesting talkback. Luckily he was working nights
while I read breakfast news for Perigo and Coddington. This was a true
opportunity to ply my skills, doing the lot. Reading, writing, editing
and collecting the news. It sure kept me busy. Although the 3.30am
starts killed the social life! On the weekend’s, it didn’t stop. I had
a two-hour show to produce and look forward to…
The Two Johns
John. I’m John, I’m Maybury the father and I’m Maybury the son.
Together we’re the Maybury’s”. The first father and son commercial
radio show in New Zealand was born. (John Snr and his Dad Jack, had
done a father/son show across the Tasman in 1951 but this was NZ
commercial radio) The show’s opening line was a little corny
(hell, the whole show was a little corny) but we had fun. The show was
in fact “Sporting Life with the Maybury’s” for a whole two hours on a
Saturday night from 6-8pm. No show was complete without the compulsory
quizzes, interviews with current sporting people, commentators and
previews of upcoming events. We certainly were not Murray Deaker or
Peter Montgomery so we didn’t try to be like them. The Maybury’s had
their ‘own’ brand of entertainment. The only way they knew how.
Thinking back, it was an honour to work alongside my Dad. Although he
was often not there, saying “I’m off to the toilet son, back in a
couple of shakes”.
The weekend was packed full of names. Max Cryer (Arts), Eion Scarrow
(gardening), Grahame Thorne (sports) and The Maybury’s. Good company.
Pity it all came to an end. The station didn’t sell enough advertising
to keep the ship afloat but we had made our point.
Love Is In The Air
Upon Radio Liberty’s demise I went back to announcing and
floating on i98FM, Hauraki and 91ZM and doing promotions again.
Meanwhile, during my time away, Peter Sinclair had been poached by
Classic Hits 97FM and the new weekday host of ‘Lovesong’s til
Midnight’ was the adorable Gael Ludlow. Management had decided to take
the show to 7-days and that left an opening for me. For three years, I
stuck to the show hoping for an opening in other areas of the station.
By this stage there were seven brands in the one building; Kool 93
(50s/60s), i98FM and Easy Listening i (on the AM network, purpose
built for the audience of Alice Worsley. The frequency now plays host
to radio sport), rock station Hauraki, Today FM, 91ZM and a news/sport
station 1476AM with Tim Bickerstaff. I worked on all of them. I
remember one day, working four shifts on four stations. A busy time
but eager to stay in the mix as new announcers were always arriving
willing to take on work. Some came and some went. Here are a few of
the names I remember that hung around:
1. Adam ‘Boom Boom’ Butler (Kool 93 Breakfast Host)
2. Tim Laurence- now editor of business magazine, Espy
3. Steve Pulley- now in China working in radio
4. Eddie Hribar - Hauraki for a time but was on-air at 91ZM
5. Andrew White - brother of Dave White, now in Melbourne/Geelong
6. Robert Scott - all round sweet-talker who pulled breakfast on ZM
7. Peter Burgham - went on Sydney at 2CH programming and on-air
8. Leah Panapa - now on ‘The Rock’ Auckland doing breakfast - talent
9. Don Linden - who did the children’s stories show on Sunday
10. Geoff Rooke - Kerry Smith’s on-air partner, now at Solid Gold
11. Jacqui Tucker - with Andrew Dickens on 97FM and married to Mike
12. Mark Kennedy - formerly of the Top Marks, a voice agent, now, who
13. Murray Inglis -former 91FM breakfast host
14. Andrew Dickens - Classic Hits breaky host
15. Guy Needham - operations manager from ‘95-’97. A cool head for
16. Rueben Aitchison - ex Blenheim radio, worked with him at Radio
17. Alison Audrey - floater announcer at Radio Network and a bundle of
18. Warwick Rees - drive on i98FM for a number of years – one of the
few ‘nice guys’ of radio)
19. Gael Ludlow – Current host of Lovesongs – still! (10 years on &
she’s still doing what she loves!)
20. Bob Leahy – breakfast news with verve!
21. Alice Worseley – She had (and probably still does) a following
like no other. A gem to sit alongside her in the studio next door just
22. Mike Oliver – Another talented broadcaster with a face for radio
23. Murray Lindsay – One of those first father figures that you turn &
ask ‘cos he knows!
24. Stephen McIvor – I only worked briefly with him at ZHFM but he had
big plans. I salute success!
25. David Brice – Having already mentioned his PD prowess earlier; he
too had an eye on the top job where he now presides.
The Maybury’s did reunite for one last time, filling in for two weeks
for the then host, Jackie Tate (wife of Dylan Tate) on Today FM. It
had all the same humour but in a smaller, cramped studio! We even got
our picture in the NZ Herald! I’m sure they put the picture/story in
the paper because people actually listened to this station.
The news reading experience on Radio Liberty must have helped because
I was able to grab some time at IRN (Independent Radio News). More
experience for a year or two. If I were to work on-air in radio again,
news reading (or sports) would be my chosen field, creatively. For a
day job, give me a station (or group) to manage. God knows I’ve got
the experience - I’ve worked in every department!
In 1996 and still acting, one day, very relaxed, I toddled
off to yet another audition over in Auckland’s, Eden Terrace. You get
used to doing these auditions. Most you don’t get but occasionally,
just occasionally they ask you to come back for a second look. At this
audition, they asked me to strut around like a robot. I strutted very
Anyone for a home loan?
For four years, I was cast as the ASB Bank’s Robert, the
Robot. An actor’s ‘commercial’ dream as it was regular work and nobody
knew who I was! Nationally, I did over 50 TVC’s, Radio, Internet,
Press, Cinema, ATM machines, POS and moneyboxes. I always wanted to be
a moneybox! Send donations…
The ASB Bank management wanted to keep my identity hidden so even when
all the press and radio jocks are talking about ‘Who is the ASB
Bank Robot’ AND I’m on the radio with them, I had to keep
my super-hero status a secret.
Shooting our first series of commercials presented a number of
challenges. Starting work at 4am with a prosthetic make-up call for
three hours was hell. The face came in five parts covering lips, head
and neck (all glued down on my face) plus the hand gloves, there was
the body armour suit that didn’t have extensive ‘breathing’ holes.
Once make-up and costume was fitted, I had to wait for the set to be
complete and lit precisely. I didn’t mind waiting as they gave me two
personal assistants and a humongous fan to stand in front of! The only
problem was, I couldn’t eat anything but sweets! Shooting then
continued for another 13 hours. Make-up off by 10pm, home, dinner
(although hyper with lots of sweets), then bed only to do it all over
again. Six days of shooting.
On the 7th day (this has a holy ring about it), Robert
rested. Although they tried to shoot a half day but after applying
make-up and getting ready, the tears starting falling from exhaustion,
ruining the make-up and they sent me home. Was it exhaustion or was it
the fact that the All Blacks had lost a test the night before!
At age 28, when you are supposed to take advantage of these little
opportunities and move ahead at a great rate of knots, I thought, I’m
going to enjoy this. I hadn’t taken a holiday for more than seven
years. So a positive to come out of this role (other than my bank
balance) was my golf handicap. I must have been the only 28 year-old
actor, who, for a good year, ditched the weekly jobs, played golf from
Monday to Friday and worked on radio on the weekends. Life was good.
From sheep rooter to sheep stealer
Born of a mother who is Australian (and a New Zealand father), I was
destined to find my roots. I’d visited Australia on many occasions,
with my parents on holidays to Melbourne and when I worked for Jetset
Travel. When I travelled to Sydney to shoot another TV commercial,
this time for Harvey World Travel, I found myself sitting on Bondi
Beach in mid-September, sunning myself in 28-degree temperatures.
Thinking of going for a swim, I thought, no, I couldn’t possibly, it’s
September! A seed was sown and within 3 months I’d packed my bag
(Speedo’s and sunnies) and moved to Sydney. Giving up my post on
Lovesong’s was tough but radio in NZ was changing. There was a
rumour around that the stations I worked for were to be sold to
another radio group. This meant redundancies and a lot of experienced
broadcasters looking for work. Time for a sea change. It was right for
me so I moved on.
I still call Australia home
One of the reasons I moved to Australia was the opportunity that
experiential marketing offered. I knew that performance-based work was
always going to be limited so I had to carve out a new career. It was
1998 and along came an audition as a presenter role in a travelling
shopping centre show. For 6 months the ‘family circle and Better
Homes and Gardens Show’ travelled around Australia visiting key
shopping malls representing an array of clients. As the MC and
presenter, this lead to a number of short and long term gigs over the
next seven years.
After this show, I moved from ‘a man behind the mike’ to a Monday to
Friday, 9-5 lackey and after time to, a Performance Director with an
experiential marketing and media company in Sydney. I’ll never be the
traditional ‘suit’ in agency land but there are now a number of
strings to my bow of a promotions and creative director, corporate
trainer and compere/presenter. I still find the time to rip through
quiz shows on a weekly basis, throwing in some of the well-travelled
gags learnt from my mentor. You can’t keep a good man down.
Two people stand out as wonderful (and patient) contributors to my
growth in Australia, Samantha Hollier; whom I toured with on the
family circle show 1998. Sam and I even got married on a shopping mall
centre stage at Liverpool. Luckily the union was annulled by tours’
end as her cooking skills were atrocious! Needless to say, since then,
she’s been a wonderful source of energy, a colleague and a confidant
and will remain that way for many years to come. Latterly my
inspiration has come from another North Shore boy (Sydney) who proves
that LIFE IS FUN, regardless of the time of day, home or work,
boardroom or bedroom. A dedicated father and husband, who also has
found the time to pass on considerable business management skills that
would be precious to any aspiring student of life. That learning
pathway is endless. John Evans, thanks.
Appreciation too, for the patience and understanding from my friends
and family who gave me that spark to get behind a mike. Especially, my
Dad, John Maybury Snr.
I remember my time in radio with great fondness. The people I worked
with, the fun that was had. I always thought I had something to prove
by following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather but was
really matters; you do what you’re good at, what you enjoy, what
challenges and inspires you. Ultimately it’s where you can make a
difference. That’s what drives me.
I only wish I could have met Jack Maybury, what a three-some we would
have made on-air!