Te Radar: Opinionist

Te Radar (Andrew J Lumsden) is an award winning satirist, documentary maker, writer, stage and screen director, failed gardener, and amateur historian. He was also the presenter of six top rating TVNZ documentary series, Global Radar, Radar Across the PacificRadar’s Patch, Off the Radar, Hidden In The Numbers and Homegrown.  Global Radar won the 2012 New Zealand Television Award for Best Information Programme, and  Radar Across the Pacific won for Best Factual Programme.  Te Radar was nominated for Best Presenter –  Entertainment/Factual.  Radar’s Patch won the 2010 Qantas Film and Television Award for Best Information/Lifestyle Programme. 

He has recently toured his acclaimed New Zealand history show Eating the Dog following its award-winning season at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. This Awful Place, his live show about Antarctica, premiered in 2012 at the Christchurch ICE Festival. Te Radar  played Mr Twit in Auckland Theatre Company’s 2011 production of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, and will appear in 2013 as the Narrator of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Peter and the Wolf

Off the Radar (TV1 Sunday @7.00pm) was a 13 part television series about sustainable living, for which he spent 10 months attempting to subsist off a small allocation of land.

Radar’s Patch (TV1 Sunday @7.00pm) was an 8 part television sereis following on from Off The Radar, moving his quest for a sustainable lifestyle from a farmlet to a ¼ acre section.

Hidden In The Numbers (TV1, Tuesday @ 7:00pm) was a 3 part documentary series using the NZ Census and other statistical information to document the changing face of New Zealand culture and life.

Homegrown (TV1 Saturday @7.00pm) was a 7 part light-hearted documentary series investigating how produce has shaped New Zealand both culturally and economically.

Global Radar (TV1, Sunday @7:00pm) is an 8 part television series delving into sustainability issues on a global scale, comparing initiatives in New Zealand with projects across the world.  In this series Te Radar visits England, Dubai, Borneo, Africa and China.

Radar’s Pacific (to be scheduled) is a documentary style television series focusing on social and historical elements of Pacific island nations.

In an episode of TVNZ’s “Intrepid Journeys“, he traveled through Mali, surviving both a scorpion attack, and the dust of Timbuktu.

Over the past decade he has traveled extensively throughout New Zealand, Russia, Scandinavia, UK, and Canada, and he has filmed documentaries locally and in Australia, East Timor, Israel, Africa and The United States.

As well as performing comedy both locally and internationally he has worked for Radio New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald, TVNZ, Maori TV, TV3, Alt TV, Kiwi FM, and various other publications. He has twice won the Qantas Media Award for Best Humour Column for his New Zealand Herald columns and he has published a book of his experiences with sustainable living, entitled Off The Radar: A Man, A Plan, and a Paddock.

He is often asked to speak to Multinational Corporations, Local Businesses, Arts Organisations, Charities, Government Departments, the New Zealand Military and once, the All Blacks.

He has a passion for New Zealand history, and in 2005 was commissioned by the Christchurch Arts Festival, in conjunction with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, to write and perform “Hitori”, a history of the South Island. He also collaborated with Mike King on “Welcome to King Country“, a show about New Zealand’s history.

In 2006 he completed his 3rd series of the comedy “B and B” for Maori Television, and fronted the acclaimed series “Hidden in the Numbers“, 3 one-hour documentaries examining New Zealand through statistics, for TVNZ.

For several years he has been combining comedy with documentary making. For National Radio he created 2003’s “Dispatches from the Provinces”, followed in 2004 by “Dispatches from the Holy Lands“, a four part series about his travels through the Arab-Israeli conflict, where he became the last New Zealand journalist to interview Yassar Arafat. A TV version of this, entitled “War Tourist; Christmas in Bethlehem” was screened on TV2 in December 2005.  He is currently working on a new documentary about the impact of the American elections on a small town in a swing state. Filming for this documentary will cover three election cycles and is due for completion in 2012.

He was the 1998 recipient of the Billy T Award For Comedy Excellence and the 2009 Fred Award for Comedy Achievement.  In 2008 he received the Kevin Smith Memorial Cup for Artistic Achievement.

His history show Eating the Dog won the 2009 New Zealand International Comedy Festival award for Best Local Show, and was also selected as Best Show that year by the New Zealand Comedy Guild, and Best Comedy the Dunedin Fringe Festival.  His 2005 show “Timor ODDyssey“, which tells of his first attempts at pursuing a career as a war correspondent, was also judged Best Local Show at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. He was in fact nominated for that award twice that year, as the show From India with Love, which he co-wrote and directed was also one of the other 3 nominees. He had previously won the award in 2004 for Indian Invaders.

He has been a regular fixture on National Radio’s Nine to Noon each Friday for 6 years, providing a satirical review of the week that was; he was a regular for all 12 series of National Radio’s satirical quiz show Off The Wire.

His Television credits include TV2’s Eating Media Lunch, At Least You Are Havin’ A Go, Pulp Comedy, Gather Round and Newsflash, Max TV’s The Sunday Night Guy, and TV1’s Fair Go Millennium Special.

He has directed a number of theatre shows including Whore to Culture, Welcome to King Country, and Dog.

He was the director and writer of The Journey, 2004’s 48 Hour Film Festival’s ‘Best Film’.

He has traveled and performed comedy extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally, including the Edinburgh Fringe, where he was described by the influential Scotsman newspaper as “…the bastard son of Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten and J.R.R.Tolkien…”


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