Richard (Dick) Driver

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Dick Driver Into The 80s Tour Mainstreet

Born in St Albans off the M1 just north of London, Richard Driver arrived in New Zealand with his family at the age 8.  Leaving home at 15, he worked on farms around Canterbury, on a Federated Farmers cadetship.  By 1975 he had made his way to Australia, arriving with $60.00 in his pocket.  Two years later at age 20, he was back in Christchurch, having had 42 different jobs in five years.  By 1977 the first wave of punk rock had hit the country, and Dick found himself up front in one of the city's first overtly punk groups — The Doomed.  By the following June, punk had become enough of a phenomenon to attract media attention, and a Neil Roberts story for Eyewitness marked the beginning of Dick's accidental career in television, as he appeared on screen and boldly declared that The Doomed were the best band in the Southern Hemisphere.  Other bands followed — Splash Alley (Dick left just as the band changed its name to Pop Mechanix) and then Hip Singles and Blam Blam Blam, but by the end of 1983 he saw no future in the music business.


With The Doomed - Mollett Street circa 1979

With Splash Alley - Mainstreet circa 1980


With Hip Singles circa 1981
Dick Driver, Steve Ward, Peter Zeug and Trevor O'Neil

With Blam Blam Blam late 1981
Mark Bell, Tim Mahon, Don McGlasham and Dick Driver (seated)


Fronting a segment for What Now gave him a further (albeit very brief) taste of TV.  With a new family to support, he took a job in Malawi running a transport company owned by an uncle, but when his wife and child were refused permission to join him, he came back to New Zealand and found work as a taxi driver.  A note to the producer of Radio with Pictures, saying he was back in the country coincided with the search for a successor for host Karyn Hay.  He auditioned, and began on screen at the start of 1986, but six weeks in, his initial stint was curtailed for months by a dispute between TVNZ and the Recording Industry Association, over music video funding.  Radio with Pictures resumed in 1987, but Driver was never completely comfortable in the presenting role.  He thought there might be more of a future on the other side of the cameras — making programmes.  In 1988 he directed a film — the well-received documentary Hokonui Todd (about Sir Garfield Todd), and in 1994 he won a local television award for the youth show InFocus.  The following year he partnered with Karyn Hay, his Radio with Pictures predecessor, producing Music Nation, a music video show presented by Bic Runga and Ian Hughes (later Hugh Sundae).  A four-year stint followed as an Executive Producer, then Creative Director at then newly-formed company Screentime.  In 2008) Driver returned to the other side of the camera, as a judge on Prime TV's New Zealand's Got Talent, and in 2014 he was announced as the new managing director of Greenstone TV, semi-retiring in 2017 to become the company's Chairman.  In 2016 he joined the Digital Media Trust, the board which oversees NZ On Screen and its sister website, AudioCulture.  Sky TV launched the Documentary Channel in November 2006, with Driver in yet another screen role as owner and programmer.  In 2010 it was announced thath he'd sold the independently-owned channel to BBC Worldwide, the first time a local channel had sold overseas.  The BBC then relaunched the local channel as a retooled arm of its own channel, BBC Knowledge.


Dick Driver

Back to Mollett Street

Hassles on the road .... but on we go

Back to Mollett Street

Dick Driver - Chairman of Greenstone


Additional Dick Driver information is available on the following individual pages .....


Use links to supplementary data The Doomed   º    Splash Alley   º    Pop Mechanix Use links to supplementary data