One of New Zealand’s kings of broadcasting has returned to his roots.
PHOTO JOHN BORREN
We’ve got a bit of déjà vu going on. Three years ago, we interviewed veteran broadcaster Peter Williams for UNO Issue 32 at the Mount’s Latitude 37, and now, here we are again, lime and soda-ing while listening to the country’s most recognisable voice discuss his radio role on new channel Magic Talk.
UNO: Peter, do you remember much about your cover shoot for UNO in 2016?
Peter: I couldn’t believe I was in a professional photography studio tucked away in a suburban garage in Arataki. [Photographer] Quinn O’Connell was very easy to work with. It felt like the old days of TV: I wore a shirt and tie for the shoot, but waist down I looked like I’d been on the beach.
UNO: Now you’ve left television screens and come full circle, back to radio.
Peter: I really am very lucky. I thought I’d float off into the sunset and do a bit of sports writing for the paper now and then. But MediaWorks asked if I wanted to host their new talkback show [Magic Mornings], which is broadcast live here in Tauranga, so at 65 years of age, I’m learning the ropes in a brand new job.
UNO: How does radio today compare to the ’70s when you were a DJ?
Peter: It’s very crowded. There would have been only a couple of stations per city back then – now there are about
12 in Tauranga alone.
UNO: It must feel pretty familiar to be back behind the mic again.
Peter: Actually, it’s very different. And, of course, it’s a bit of a change [for me]; presenting the news meant keeping my opinions out of it, but now it’s the other way around.
UNO: What are you doing with all that spare time now you don’t need to commute from the Bay of Plenty to Auckland to present the news?
Peter: It’s a very enjoyable but busy job – I’m not sure I have much more spare time! My show is on from 9am until midday every weekday, so I go into work at about 6am to prepare and talk to my producer.
UNO: What would you say are the nation’s favourite topics of discussion right now?
Peter: Whatever’s going on in the news that day. It could be capital gains taxes or legalising marijuana – I’ll talk about anything with anyone.
Listen to Peter on Magic Mornings from 9am to 12pm weekdays. Read Peter’s cover story at unomagazine.co.nz/peter