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David McPhail QSM ONZM

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John R Campbell Collection

 
 

David McPhail QSM ONZM

 
 

David Alexander McPhail ONZM QSM was born on April 11th, 1945 in Christchurch, and was educated at Cathedral Grammar School (where he was a Cathedral Chorister), Christchurch Boys' High School, and The University of Canterbury.  David is a New Zealand comedic actor and writer whose television career spans four decades.  He first won fame on sketch comedy show A Week of It (1977-1979), partly thanks to his impressions of New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.  He went on to appear in multiple series of sketch show McPhail and Gadsby (1980-1987) (1997-1998), and hit comedy Letter to Blanchy (1996-1997).  All three shows featured his longtime friend Jon Gadsby.  David joined the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation as a journalist in 1967, and worked on both radio and television news stories.  Between 1968 and 1969, he was a reporter on the magazine show Town and Around, and from 1971, he worked as a television producer and actor, and produced light entertainment shows for three years, before winning fame in 1977 with A Week of It (one of NZ's earliest comedy shows, which both satirised politicians and won a wide audience, with a series of mixed sketches lampooning politics, sport, and television.  A Week of It ran for three seasons.  McPhail went on to create and appear in at least seven series of skit show McPhail and Gadsby, co-starring his A Week of It colleague Jon Gadsby, and backwoods comedy Letter to Blanchy, which spawned a 2008 play.  Music television series which McPhail produced were Norman in 1972 (hosted by Paul Holmes), and the 1972-1974 Popco Series including the 1974 Popco Special  McPhail starred in the two seasons of the series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby where he plays Gormsby, a dominating, old-fashioned school teacher who ruffles feathers when he begins teaching at a school in a low income area.  David McPhail went on to play eccentric superhero The Green Termite in The Amazing Extraordinary Friends.  His autobiography, The Years Before My Death: Memories of a Comic Life was published by Longacre in 2010.  David received his Queen's Service Medal for public services in the 1992 New Year Honours, and in the 2008 New Year Honours, he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to television and the theatre.