TV & Radio
The Nelson-raised comedian who hoodwinked TVNZ's Breakfast show into a pro-commercial whaling interview yesterday morning says there are more hoaxes to come.
Guy Williams, 22, was interviewed by the show's host Paul Henry while pretending to be Jay Pryor, spokesman for the fake organisation Commercial Whaling New Zealand.
He put forward the argument "that if whaling is commercialised, it will be better for the whales in the long term", and said the group would be seeking 500 signatures for a petition.
In the same persona, he was also interviewed by the Sunday News for an article published last weekend.
Today, following an apology to viewers by TVNZ for being taken in, Mr Williams confessed that the whole thing was part of the Quest for Fame show on youth entertainment channel C4, owned by TVNZ's rival MediaWorks.
"It was all very easy," he said.
The idea came from the producers and writing team for the C4 show. "It was my job to carry it out, and I didn't put that much effort into it."
Mr Williams said the success of the deception had been surprising, considering that another hoax – about an eight-yolk egg – had aired on television the night before and also made the front page of the Waikato Times.
"To get on Breakfast doing a live interview the next day was pretty fantastic, especially since I went under the name Jay Pryor and the [C4 show's] host is Jono Pryor – we didn't change it that much."
He said the original plan had been to achieve as much fame as possible, but the success of the egg hoax suggested there was "a massive loophole" to exploit.
"The other thing was, I was quite frustrated by all the crap they do put on these programmes.
"My dream was to get on Sainsbury [Close Up] or Campbell Live because they show these ridiculous stories every night, and I thought, 'It's not going to be very difficult to fabricate one of those' – but we ended up on Breakfast."
A bonus had been meeting Prime Minister John Key, who was also in the Breakfast studio yesterday.
More surprises were planned, he said.
"Obviously the bar has been raised a lot now, so who knows if we can achieve this much again?
"We've made a good point here, and we think maybe we should leave poor old Paul Henry alone for a bit."
He said the apology had sparked a lot more attention than he had expected.
"Before you know it, we're on National Radio – they've never heard of C4."
Although pleased by the success of the hoax, Mr Williams said he "felt bad for my Mum back in Nelson".
"When my Mum finds out about it, there's real trouble."
His mother, Roseanne Williams, said this morning: "Last night I was thinking of moving to Canada.
"Today, I've let it go."
Mr Williams, who went to Nelson College, got his C4 contract after winning a comedy contest last year.
His younger brother Paul has made a name for himself on the internet with parodies of hip-hop songs.
In 2008, the pair won a national short film award with And Inconvenient Tuth, a parody of Al Gore's film on global warming.
- © Fairfax NZ News