It’s your third most important vote of 2023 - after the General Election and Bird of the Century.
Nine Kiwi television stars want your vote and the 10th — a Dame — isn’t that fussed about the New Zealand Television Awards Personality of the Year.
The awards producers chose their 10 finalists from across the broadcast landscape.
Some of this year’s finalists are veterans in their field, while others are relative newcomers who have made a splash both on TV and via social media.
The winner is decided by public vote, so it’s up to viewers to choose their favourite.
TVNZ Breakfast host Jenny-May Clarkson has been singled out from her colleagues and tells Spy she is humbled by the nomination, but feels slightly embarrassed.
“I’m not one for enjoying recognition of any sort,” Clarkson reveals. “In fact, I will generally dismiss it or become terribly shy when receiving it. I’m grateful for whānau, friends and my Breakfast team who give me space to be me, and of course the viewers for watching.”
Clarkson’s competition — Ryan Bridge, co-host of AM on Three — says he is so happy to be nominated alongside awesome people. “Good luck everybody and thanks to all the crew working on these shows who make it all happen,” says Bridge.
Comedian Dai Henwood has shown heart and grit, oozing charisma on many broadcasting projects and has shared his cancer battle with Kiwis. Building on his lengthy career on Kiwi screens, he is nominated for making bricks fun on LEGO® Masters NZ, which he says was an amazing show to host on many levels.
“Meeting Lego heads who were so creative and skilled with their building was a joy, plus I could dust a bit of humour on top. The show really resonated with New Zealanders, and I was super proud to be part of it,” says Henwood. “Hopefully winning the award will remind people to give it a re-watch!”
For her NZ persona, Kim Crossman has been nominated for her work on Snackmasters, Homebound 3.0, The Brokenwood Mysteries and Creamerie.
It is customary for those nominated to campaign for votes on social media; Crossman went the extra mile and minutes after the TV Awards were released, sent out a bulk email. We like her style of campaigning.
Crossman says given all that is going on in the world at the moment, it felt a little off to ask the public to vote for her, for something that will just stoke her ego.
“I propose…If I win, I promise to donate at least 100 hours of my time to work with New Zealand charities to help add some good into the world with a focus on climate, children and animals in 2024,” says Crossman.
“I would really appreciate your vote and hope a vote for me also empowers you to feel like we are dedicated to putting some good back into the world, together.”
For comedian Guy Montgomery’s show, Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee, on Three, the main emotion he has had since being named a finalist is relief.
“It is a relief to finally be able to shed my day-to-day personality and to start to live my life as a New Zealand Television Personality,” he says.
Shortland Street’s most long-lived and iconic character Chris Warner, played by Michael Galvin, might be a shoo-in, as fans of Ferndale are known for their passion.
Galvin says he is extremely chuffed to be nominated for this award.
“As I don’t have much of a profile outside of Shortland Street, I feel it’s an acknowledgement of our wonderful show and how much it means to people. I feel honoured to be representing Shorty,” he tells Spy.
The Whakaata Māori channel is immensely proud of what host Luke Bird has achieved for the channel, the values he represents and the energy he brought to making Lucky Dip on the Road one of their most successful shows.
Bird told Spy the classic line that he feels like he’s already won, but winning is validation for people like him.
“It will show that a strong rainbow Māori boy from a small town in Northland can absolutely dream big, succeed and WIN because I’m authentically me, I’m no act, I’m the only Luke Bird,” says Bird.
“This is for all those kids out there who feel like they’re unseen, too much or colourful, I see you and never let anyone dim your light just because yours is shining bright.”
Multi-talented Joe Daymond’s work for his show Bouncers on Sky TV’s Comedy Central is also spotlighted, and he says the nomination is a true honour.
“Coming from a small town like Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley, being recognised in this way was beyond my wildest dreams,” says Daymond.
“I wanna share this nomination with the crew, the network and funders that gave us this opportunity, but most importantly the amazing cast who trusted in me and came along for this journey.”
For reality show fans there are two votes to consider: Dame Susan Devoy, for her back-to-back work on Celebrity Treasure Island and Treasure Island: Fans V Faves, and Aesha Scott for Below Deck Down Under.
Devoy didn’t campaign with Spy, but Scott did and says winning would mean the world to her.
“How I am on the show is 100 per cent genuinely authentic and is how I am off camera as well, so winning New Zealand TV Personality of the Year would mean the world to me! I am fortunate to have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of this new Below Deck series from its birth,” says Scott.
“So, winning this award would be validation that we managed to do it right! It’s always very nice when you are passionate about your work and get recognition or indicators that you are doing it well, so I’m chuffed to even be nominated.”
To vote go to NZTVawards.co.nz