When it comes to our TV watching, it seems Kiwis are largely none too prudish. Over the years we've developed our appetite for the racy, and have come to anticipate all sorts of shenanigans on screen. However, the odd piece of local content has raised a few more eyebrows than others.
Angela D'Audney in The Venus Touch
In 1982, New Zealand was shocked when newsreader Angela D'Audney revealed considerably more than the day's headlines on screen. Starring in risqué drama The Venus Touch, she played the dissatisfied wife of a sexologist, appearing topless as part of the role. Despite the scandal, D'Audney earned strong reviews for her performance, and remained rightfully proud of her brief transition from current to sordid affairs.
6.30PM News - Leeza Gibbons
Entertainment this Week host Leeza Gibbons and Coronation Street star Christopher Quinten found love amongst dancing bellybuttons and conga lines, while taking part in the 1988 NZ Telethon. Their infamous on-screen kiss and then courtship consumed the nation, warranting no less than primetime news coverage. This 6:30PM News segment recaps the romance and follows the pair on a winter escape to Arrowtown. Warning: features multiple excruciating pashing scenes.
Pulses were raised by a different pashing permutation, with the arrival of 90s drama City Life. Billed as our answer to Melrose Place, the opening episode featured a same sex snog between actors Charles Mesure and Kevin Smith. Smith would go on to star in Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess, before his tragic death in 2002.
Eating Media Lunch
In 2004, Jeremy Wells introduced New Zealand to our first indigenous porn movie, the "historically accurate" Anal Mana. The spoof was delivered - with Wells' trademark straight face - as part of satire series Eating Media Lunch, and drew a surprising lack of complaints. Note: This content is not suitable for children.
Outrageous Fortune arrived the following year, setting the shock bar high from the get go. The debut episode opened in the matrimonial bed of Wolfgang and Cheryl West, both rather intent on maximising their final moments together before Wolf was carted off to prison. Five years and six great series of West family wantonness were to follow.
The Almighty Johnsons
Clearly having studied the Outrageous Fortune handbook, comedy/drama The Almighty Johnsons also chose to start with a, er, bang. Actually, it was closer to several, clocking up a fairly high raunch count in its opening minutes. It didn't appear to harm the show's international prospects however - all three series were screened in the US.
Watch the raunch-filled first 10 minutes of The Almighty Johnsons here: