Message from one luvvie to another: HTFU

My good friend Brian Edwards has written an open letter to John Campbell.

Now, before you start raging at the screen, it is well worth a read considering Brian Edwards explains how many times he got the sack and for why.

Shit happens, John. I?ve been ?let go?, sacked from more broadcasting jobs in New Zealand than I care to remember. And, more than once, with absolutely no warning. ?To add insult to injury, the sackings generally occurred at a time when the show was enjoying both public acclaim and ratings success.

He then lists them… and for someone of his advanced years there are a few times he has been sacked.

Top of the Morning (1994-1999)


The latest radio survey had just come out.TOTM, whose previous incarnation?had a cumulative audience of around 80,000 when I took over the slot?in 1995, now had an audience of 340,000. It was the highest rating Saturday morning radio programme in the country, not to mention outrating almost every other programme on National Radio. We had every reason to expect a warm reception from the boss.

We were called in separately to be told the news. I?d been sacked.

To this day I have absolutely no idea why I was sacked as host of TOTM. Poor ratings? Get real! Poor listener response? Ditto! My role as media advisor to Helen Clark, the newly elected Prime Minister? Hardly, TOTM was a politics-free zone with the exception of one personality-style interview ? with Jenny Shipley!


Gallery (1969-70)

After two not unremarkable years as an interviewer on the ground-breaking television current affairs programme, Gallery, the NZBC offered me a measly $15 a week increase to renew my contract for a third year.

For the previous two years I?d been a reporter on the Christchurch edition of Town and Around, a job I absolutely loved. I was tempted to come to Wellington to join the Galleryteam by a $7,000 a year contract which not only included two Gallery programmes a week but ?producing and appearing on Checkpoint ?on my days off?.

Within six months I was more famous than Paul Holmes ever would be, admittedly because there was only one TV channel in New Zealand at the time. So naturally I regarded the $15 as an insult and threw my toys out of the cot. Which, I suspect, was exactly what the Corporation had hoped would happen.

I then found myself unemployed and seemingly unemployable.

Shit happens, John.

Toy throwing and dummy spitting rarely works.

This is the best one though:

Radio Pacific (1989-90)

Half way through my one-year contract, I interviewed a guy from the Aids Foundation. I was on my way to the studio the following morning when I ?was stopped by someone I took to be a member of the Board who asked me who I was having on the show that morning.

?Armistead Maupin.?

?Who?s that??

?Gay writer from San Francisco. Wrote Tales of the City. Very famous.?

?Can?t have faggots on the programme two days in a row, Brian.?

I recounted this conversation to the charming Maupin on air and we spent most of the remaining three hours discussing this type of homophobia.

Some days or weeks later, I was called into the boss?s office. ?This isn?t working, Brian,? he said. ?We?re going to have to let you go.?

I assumed he meant in a month or a fortnight, but he meant right away. If I?d had a desk, I?d have had to clear it then and there.

Judy came home to find me half pissed and dancing in the living room.

?I?ve been sacked,? I slurred, ?This is the happiest day of my life?.

?Thank god, it was me who wrote the contract,? she replied.

Shit happens, John.

He outlines two more instances of getting the sack.

I started writing this because it occurred to me that there were some similarities between your recent experience with TV3 and one or two of my more memorable media exits, including the tyranny of ratings and ?the offer they know you can?t accept?.

So here?s my suggestion: After your last programme, go home, get pissed, put on some music and dance around the living room. It?s wonderfully therapeutic.

I suspect the sight of Brian Edwards dancing pissed in his tighty whiteys would be a sight that could never be unseen.

Basically Brian Edwards is telling John Campbell and his army of pathetic supporters to HTFU.


– Brian Edwards Media