The year's best radio pranks

Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 1 December 2016, 10:51PM

Radio shows and pranks on unsuspecting victims go hand in hand. But not all pranks are created equal.

So, without further ado, allow us to present some of the best radio pranks 2016 had to offer.

While my Dyson gently weeps

Mike Hosking's love affair with his vacuum cleaner has become the stuff of legend.

But when news emerged that not all of Hosking's Newstalk ZB colleagues were enamoured with his vacuum cleaning habit in the studio, ZM hosts Jase Hawkins and PJ Harding stole his beloved Dyson and held it to ransom.

The duo promised to return the vacuum cleaner if Hosking agreed to go for a spin with them in Harding's 1996 Toyota Corolla. The man more used to driving around in luxury European vehicles agreed. And we think he almost enjoyed himself.




The war over car park space #16

The Dyson kidnapping wasn't the first time hosts from ZM and Newstalk ZB pranked each other this year.

For a while, newsreader Bernadine Oliver-Kerby engaged in a battle with ZM breakfast host Vaughan Smith over a car park space at the NZME offices.

The conflict escalated when Oliver-Kerby first placed a sticker of a unicorn excreting cupcakes on Smith's car and then managed to tie a bright orange road cone to the front of the vehicle without Smith noticing.



Smith tried his best to get Oliver-Kerby back, but ultimately failed to land any shots.


Going toe to toe

Smith and his breakfast co-hosts also had their traditional April Fool's Day prank derailed this year, when it was hijacked by their ZM afternoon colleagues.

A year after being suckered into working what turned out to be an awkward fake morning show, Jase and PJ exacted their revenge by moving in on a stunt involving a toe being surgically removed on air. (Yes, really.)

When Fletch, Vaughan and temporary co-host Laura McGoldrick organised a stunt where a man was supposedly being paid $5000 to have his toe amputated, then reattached, in the studio, Jase and PJ told the man and his doctor to pretend the toe had been cut for real.

The look on the morning hosts' faces as the Inception-style prank-within-a-prank unfolded was priceless.


More car park wars

As it transpired, Jase and PJ were very busy on April Fool's Day this year, also taking the time to prank the hosts of TVNZ's Breakfast show in the early hours of the morning.

After arranging to have the Breakfast presenters' swipe cards deactivated, the ZM presenters pretended to be security staff and denied them access to the TVNZ car park.

While Nadine Chalmers-Ross eventually twigged that a prank was being played and laughed it off, some of her colleagues were left rather unimpressed (understandably, given the hour of the day).



What goes on tour...

The Hauraki Breakfast's Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells took their infamous "No Sleep Till Breakfast" on the road to Christchurch this year and couldn't resist a little billboard theft when the opportunity presented itself.

The duo hitched a giant mobile billboard of More FM's Simon Barnett and Gary McCormick to their vehicle and dumped it down the road where no listener would find it. We don't think we'll ever tire of seeing Si and Gary's smiling faces hitched to that Hauraki wagon.




Righting an airline wrong

The Hauraki Breakfast also had a bit of fun at an airline's expense after it refused a passenger boarding a plane with a goldfish as their carry-on luggage.

Heath and Wells enlisted their producer to board several flights over a week and see what animals could be smuggled on board as carry-on.

As it transpired, a goldfish, a mouse and two rabbits were able to get on the flights. Their attempt to smuggle a dog on to a plane failed.

Honourable mentions

Jase and PJ over at ZM have certainly been busy on the prank front this year. Here are a few of their other efforts:


Wheel-clamping a rival network's car in Queenstown when it parked too close to their Spafternoon Delight show for their liking.


Jase broadcasting a photo of a sleeping PJ on to two giant electronic billboards.


Jase letting PJ think he uttered a very bad word live on air.



And finally...

At least one of Vaughan Smith's pranks did go to plan this year.

When his colleagues, Carl Fletcher and Megan Sellers, both lost Gram Wars one week, Smith told them their punishment was to feed a lion at the zoo while blindfolded.

And with the help of a gate, a steak and a rather large dog by the name of Chief, they fell for the gag hook, line and sinker.