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From the Vault

We're teaming up with NZ On Screen, to polish up some local gems from the past. Relive some of the best moments in television history, from breaking news to pop culture, comedy, drama, sports and more.

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    Before They Were Famous: Russell Crowe
    • Wednesday 1 Nov 2017

    G These days Russell Crowe is known for his movie career, but back in 1985 he was busy trying to make a name for himself in the music business. In fact, he was trying to make a somewhat different name for himself than the one we now know him by. Back then, Russell went by Russ le Roq, and was the leader of Auckland band Roman Antix. Here he's seen promoting their debut video on teen music show Shazam!, looking fresh-faced, but already showing the drive and determination that would soon land him in Hollywood. Fast-forward 15 years and he would be leading Romans of a different kind, playing General Maximum Meridius in Gladiator.

    Watch Now
      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G The Topp Twins have been called New Zealand's national treasures and they've come a long way, baby, since their beginnings busking and playing small venues throughout New Zealand. In this excerpt from the feature film Untouchable Girls, Billy Bragg affectionately calls the twins an 'anarchist variety act' and the clip shows just how popular their political songs were with the audience.

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G To some, Kate Sheppard is simply the face on the ten-dollar note. But this 2012 docudrama tells the story of suffragist Kate's final push in her 'votes for women' campaign. In this excerpt, Kate (played by Sara Wiseman) receives the disappointing news that the government of the day will only agree to women's suffrage if it is backed by a majority in a general referendum.

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G A NZ Herald assertion that women's music is just "gentle, political folk songs" leads off this report for TVNZ's mid-80s rock show, Radio with Pictures. Presented by Dick Driver, the music special features the late singer/songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker, blues singer Mahia Blackmore and Dianne Swann. Those sensitive folksongs are in short supply but the same can't be said for the obstacles encountered in dealing with a male dominated music industry.

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G Those who remember the 80s will remember singer Shona Laing as the shaven haired, tough-looking woman who sang that she was 'Glad I'm not a Kennedy.' Rewind to a decade earlier, and Shona Laing was a fresh-faced teenager with long hair and a successful music career ahead of her. This Newsview piece profiles the then-17-year-old who, even then, is a relatively guarded interviewee, while her school mates are a bit bewildered about her success.

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G The award-winning series Pioneer Women dramatised the lives of groundbreaking New Zealand women. This clip looks at controversial safe-sex campaigner Ettie Rout. In World War I she travelled to Egypt to care for Kiwi soldiers; there she found venereal disease was rife, and recommended that prophylactic kits be issued and that brothels be inspected for hygiene. She was charged, at the time, with having 'immoral' ideas, but in the more enlightened decades since, Rout is considered a "guardian angel of the ANZACs".

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G Germaine Greer is arguably Australia's best-known feminist. Her book, The Female Eunuch, took the world by storm, and she's been making controversial waves ever since. In this clip she goes head-to-head with Kim Hill and explains why she believes "it's time to get angry again".

      • Saturday 1 Sep

      G The 1970s current affairs show, Inquiry, was one of the first news shows to take an in-depth look at the role women played in politics. It gives a potted history of the trailblazers, from Kate Sheppard to Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan (who was the first to have a baby in office) but even though women had had the vote for 80 years when this documentary was made - it is a bit of an eye opener to see that most women in parliament at the time were still in background roles, such as typists, tea-makers and waitresses. Particularly jarring, to modern day eyes, is the plaque commemorating suffrage that is half hidden by an old painting.

      • Wednesday 1 Aug

      G One of New Zealand's acclaimed television dramas of the 70s was The Governor. The six- part series examined the life of Governor George Grey but in a way not seen before on screen. The series was hugely controversial, provoking a parliamentary inquiry. This excerpt, from the first episode, looks at the chopping down of the flagpole by Hone Heke, played here by George Henare.

      • Wednesday 1 Aug

      G Nice One's Stu Dennison is the host of this 1978 NZ Record Awards show. It's a long way from the glitz and glamour of today's awards, but the charm is irresistible, in both Dennison's on-trend dungarees and the groovy graphics - but there's no doubt the main attraction here is singing legend John Rowles who sings live on the show and in one song manages to capture everything great about the 70s.

      • Wednesday 1 Aug

      G In the 1970s another feature of local television was the fact that there was only one channel to watch - and that channel was TV One. It had a regular slot for documentaries and one of the best loved was Survey. The topics varied widely; from social issues to a potentially humdrum AGM meeting - but you could be sure they would always either entertain or enlighten. The series featured several names who would go on to be pioneers of our local film industry, including Roger Donaldson, and John O'Shea. In this excerpt, from an episode that looks at the 'history of service clubs in New Zealand', the focus is on children - with some very sardonic commentary from poet Denis Glover.

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