As we enter the fourth week of lockdown, Spy celebrates the well-known names going the extra mile to keep our spirits up through entertaining and/or philanthropic gestures. Here are those who have stood out to Spy.
Billionaire siblings Nick and Anna Mowbray, and their brother Mat, have been at the forefront helping out during the Covid-19 crisis. Their business Zuru Toys has massive networks in China, where they have shared their knowledge and staff to source medical equipment. Also, after speaking with the PM, Nick learnt one of the greatest concerns was for the vulnerable throughout this period. The Mowbrays answered the call by partnering 25 foodbanks, the Salvation Army and other businesses to get food parcels to people in need, with Zuru matching every food pack donated. Visit www.foodbank.org.nz/zuru to chip in and learn more.
Thespians and actors have led a great deal of cheerleading from home. Among them Kiwi screen icon Sam Neill provided singing, poetry and general musings of life to his Instagram page before lockdown.
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In a dark Dunedin NZ Hostelry as long ago as 1907. No one knows who wrote it , but we do know it was originally meant for Tenor and Bagpipes. It had been a terrible day at Carisbrook , the House of Pain itself. Then its fame spread, and traders in whale oil took it to New Orleans; it became a favourite among the clientele of famous bordellos on Beale St. Soon the cotton fields transformed a song about a sad day at the rugby to became a universal cry for help and mercy, a cri de coeur for the lonesome everywhere. No. 1 on Death Row in Missouri for decades. Finally it became a popular song, made it to Broadway, the West End and Las Vegas. it was Elvis' first #1. Celine Dion gave it rock 'n' roll feel that surprised everyone except francophone Canada. Slim Dusty took the beer out of the hotel, making it even bleaker. Whitney Houston sang it wearing very little. Meryl Streep made us all cry with this in Mama Mia. (No one cared that ABBA never dared touch this song - she was that good) Closer to home, I remember Jimmy Barnes duetting this with Dame Joan Sutherland just before I passed out one summers night. It is MONUMENTAL. SO ... here it is again - SOUND UP !
A Place to Call Home Stars, Sara Wiseman and husband Craig Hall, have produced some hilarious Instagram skits from their bunker in Pauanui. Wiseman's co-star in new supernatural murder mystery One Lane Bridge, which premieres on TVNZ 1 tomorrow night, Dominic Ona-Ariki has been doing volunteer work filling boxes at the Spark Arena foodbank with Auckland Emergency Management creating food parcels for those in need.
Westside star Jordan Mooney wrote a rap song about everyone's hero, Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield on YouTube called Sir Ashley Bloomfield, A Rap Tribute. Mooney has created content for his show Westside's Facebook page and his co-star Lily Powell has made appearances in much of his work.
In Leagues of their own
Former rugby league star and boxing personality Monty Betham is one of the champions of www.manaaki.io . A network that represents a love letter to small businesses, helping the backbone of the country to maintain their livelihoods. The website is a great visit, filled with experts from all fields that inspire. Many famous faces support the network, including PM Jacinda Ardern, media personalities Toni Street, Sam Wallace and Laura McGoldrick and musician Stan Walker.
Ex-NRL player Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck has created content for The Warriors fan engagement department, (his brother is captain Roger.) Johnny is as much of a threat on screen as he was on the footy field. His awesome YouTube videos have amassed hundreds of thousands of views since he started his signature skits, which are a uniquely funny take on everyday situations. During lockdown, Tuivasa-Sheck has fully committed himself to creating hilarious, light-hearted TikTok content to lift the mood of his audience in these tricky times. The former league player fully scripts, films and edits the infectious comedy content himself. The man is a true creative and we hear he is also very polite and humble, which is why we love him.
Nadia Lim has captured the hearts of Kiwi families in the afternoon with her lockdown show Nadia's Comfort Kitchen on TVNZ 1. With just her husband filming and her kids in the mix, it has been a saviour for many families.
A radio gal and her baking husband have taken to home cooking and made it their own. ZM's Megan Papas and husband, former boyband member Andrew, have created a cute Insta-Series – Baking with the Papas, Treats On Lockdown. Every day they've been creating and posting new recipes that involve little hassle and not too many fancy ingredients. Delicious comfort foods like carbonara, brioche, and plum and custard tarte (recommended for breakfast!) have been on the menu so far. Megan's sunny mood and yummy food have been a highlight for many on not so bright iso-days.