Kiwi comedian reports back from Antarctica

06:12, Oct 02 2012
te radar landscape
COMEDY: Te Radar filmed the Our Far South documentary about the challenges facing the region.

A story of  men playing ''horrendous'' bagpipe music to penguin colonies in Antarctica was among the unusual tales a Kiwi comedian heard while travelling in the icy continent.

Te Radar spent a month sailing through the subantarctic islands to Antarctica while filming the Our Far South documentary about the challenges facing the region.

The self-confessed history fan came across several tales of the continent that surprised him, including how people would play musical instruments to penguin colonies to pass the time.

He planned to write a book and take photographs based on his experiences and research, but it never happened.

Instead, it turned into a ''comedic lecture'' called This Awful Place, a phrase coined by Captain Robert Scott 100 years ago.

Te Radar said his ''lecture'', to be performed in Christchurch at IceFest on Friday and Saturday, will educate New Zealanders about the  appeal, history, delights and horrors of Antarctica.

It will be filled with tales of people trying to perform surgery while isolated, the troubles people ran into trying to get around, and amusing research projects.

''It'll be a talk about Antarctica that they have never seen before,'' he said.

A common misconception people have is that penguins are cute and cuddly, but the smell of a penguin colony is foul, Te Radar said.

The comedian, who has previously toured an irreverent take on New Zealand history called Eating the Dog, said he had enough material for about nine hours of talking, but had cut it down to about an hour and a half.

Te Radar hopes the documentary, which will be shown at the festival tonight, and his lecture will raise awareness of the need to look after Antarctica and the subantarctic islands.


The Press