The bright young things burning up our TV screens

Anna Murray,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 17 November 2016, 11:14PM
Alex Tarrant, Laura Daniel, Sam Kelway and Verity Johnson. Photos / Instagram
Alex Tarrant, Laura Daniel, Sam Kelway and Verity Johnson. Photos / Instagram

Whether they're confidently bringing us our daily news, making us laugh of a Friday evening, or showcasing their talent on some of the nation's biggest dramas, there are plenty of eager young TV stars snapping at the heels of the networks' old guards.

Here are just a few of Spy's favourites...

Verity Johnson

Since the inception of Paul Henry's eponymous breakfast show over at MediaWorks, there have been several presenters shackled to the bunker they devote to social media.

But the latest person to warm the chair in there has been a particular bright spark in the mornings. Journalist Verity Johnson manages to hold her own against Henry and even gets him to occasionally take an interest in social media, a forum he's often shown contempt for.

Smart as a whip and quick to a laugh, Johnson demonstrates an energy that should be illegal so early in the morning.



Chris Chang

Meanwhile, over at rival network TVNZ, reporter and weather presenter Chris Chang is another strong talent to hit our TV screens in recent years.

Toiling away in the live environment of Breakfast before graduating to TVNZ 1's 6pm bulletin, Chang's confidence on air has been there for all to see.

And, of course, he'll forever have a place in our hearts for his supreme impersonation of colleague Dan Corbett last year.




Sam Kelway

Chang's TVNZ colleague Sam Kelway is another reporter whose experience on Breakfast has obviously stood him in good stead when it comes to the dark art that is the live news cross.

Kelway's on-air poise was again on display during last night's 6pm bulletin as he confidently ducked and dived along the red carpet at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

And he always looks the part, too. Having previously graced Spy's round-up of the country's most stylish men, we doubt the consistently sharp-suited Kelway ever gets pulled up over TVNZ's infamous reporter dress code. 


A photo posted by Sam Kelway (@samkelway) on Nov 15, 2016 at 9:45pm PST


Laura Daniel

Comedian, actor and writer Laura Daniel has also had a big couple of years on New Zealand's TV screens.

Stepping into Rose Matafeo's shoes on TV3's Jono and Ben, Daniel has become a mainstay of the show, delivering sass and wit at every turn. Her tongue-in-cheek interviews with prominent rugby league stars have been a particular highlight on the show.

But it doesn't stop there – this Billy T Award nominee also shines in her work for sketch show Funny Girls and animated series The Barefoot Bandits.


A photo posted by Jono and Ben (@jonoandben) on Nov 4, 2016 at 12:36am PDT


Kimberlee Downs

Award-winning sports reporter Kimberlee Downs has gone from strength to strength at TVNZ since joining the broadcaster as a student back in 2009.

Downs clearly knows her stuff and her enthusiasm for all things sport is obvious. She was one of the jewels in TVNZ's Olympic coverage crown earlier this year, shining in particular with her reporting of the Paralympics.

And she's a good sport herself, as evidenced in an Olympic blog posted by presenter Peter Williams in Rio. We applaud anyone who can keep it classy and hold their own when ambushed by an outfit by the name of Pornhub on Ipanema beach!



Alex Tarrant

Alex Tarrant only made his TV debut last year in the drama When We Go To War, yet he has snagged – and aced – roles in two other big shows in 2016.

The actor has starred in the popular Kiwi-Australian show 800 Words, as well as the controversial (and very expensive) Filthy Rich.

With this many big productions under his belt already, it's safe to say we can expect even more of this young talent on our screens over the coming years.