Australian comedian Heath Franklin, who goes by the stage name Chopper, will front a new comedy series for TV3, which is set to receive $90,000 of taxpayer money from New Zealand on Air.

When asked whether it was unusual for NZoA to fund a series featuring Australian talent, a spokesperson said she thought Franklin lived in New Zealand.

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However, despite regular appearances on TV3's comedy panel series 7 Days, the Aussie comic is still based in Australia, crossing the Tasman for filmed appearances.


Chopper's Line Up will be presented by Franklin and aims to "give new comedy talent a break, with stand-up slots alongside international talent".

The NZoA spokesperson went on to say the key funding criteria is that the production company is based in New Zealand, not the onscreen talent.

The series will be produced by Hikoi New Zealand, a Rotorua-based production company, which produced the Maori Television show Hunting Aotearoa.

Managing director Piripi Curtis said they chose Chopper to front the show due to an exisiting relationship with him. He said they never considered using a Kiwi comedian to host the series.

He confirmed Chopper still lives in Australia and would be flown to New Zealand to work on the series, which will be filmed around the International Comedy Festival in May.

Mr Curtis said exact details were still to be worked out as he had been unaware funding had been approved until the Herald called him.