Conchords soar over all

'HIGHLIGHT IN A YEAR OF HIGHLIGHTS': Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who  burst on to US cable television in June with <i>The Flight of the Conchords</i>, were home last night to claim top honours at the Wellys.
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<a href="javascript:vPopup('/videoplayer/119141a25281.html',0)"><font size="1">View video: The Conchords accept their award</FONT></a>
ROBERT KITCHIN/The Dominion Post
'HIGHLIGHT IN A YEAR OF HIGHLIGHTS': Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who burst on to US cable television in June with <i>The Flight of the Conchords</i>, were home last night to claim top honours at the Wellys. <br><img src="/static/images/misc/cam.gif"> <a href="javascript:vPopup('/videoplayer/119141a25281.html',0)"><font size="1">View video: The Conchords accept their award</FONT></a>

Business time made way for some hard-earned celebration when comic musical duo Flight of the Conchords were named the 2007 Wellingtonians of the Year.
The winners
View video: The Conchords accept their award

The award, presented at the Duxton Hotel last night, caps a year of staggering success individually and collectively for Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement.

In characteristically deadpan style, Clement drew the first laugh from the podium when he said: "I disagree with this decision."

McKenzie agreed it was "really inappropriate".

"There's all these amazing people here and we tell jokes and fool around. Plus, we haven't been in Wellington most of the year."

Speaking after the ceremony, Clement said that, as a boy from Masterton, he had never dared to dream he would one day become half a Wellingtonian of the Year. "It's a dream I never had, but it's come true." McKenzie said the award was "a highlight in a year of highlights".

Since The Flight of the Conchords series aired in June, they have gone from being unknown in the United States to having their catchphrases picked up by a much wider audience. Sports commentators have taken to bawling "it's business time", the phrase, now known to millions, that Clement made his own.

The pair have secured filming of a second series of their show on US cable network Home Box Office – best known for prime- time hits such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City.

The pair have released an EP, and finished a studio album of songs from the show. A DVD was released in the US this month.

The Wellys were started 18 years ago by The Evening Post.

WELLYS WINNERS

Arts: Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie

Business: Infratil chief executive Lloyd Morrison

Community Service: Somali community workers Adam Awad and Koos Ali

Education: Ex-principal of Wellington East Girls' College Janice Campbell

Government: Sir Geoffrey Palmer

Science and technology: Climate scientist David Wratt

Sport: Phoenix Football Club owner Terry Serepisos

Youth: Interpreter for the deaf Darryl Alexander

Wellingtonians of the Year: Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie

The Dominion Post