Broadcaster found his niche in golf

Last updated 10:54 27/02/2013
PHILLIP LEISHMAN: Was a regular on New Zealand screens since making his first television appearance on Dunedin regional station DNTV2.

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Veteran sports broadcaster Phil Leishman said late last year that he wanted to be remembered as a "natural broadcaster" who loved his job.

Colleague Keith Quinn described him as a man who liked to have a laugh and "give a good ribbing".

He recalled the 1976 Olympics, at the height of apartheid protests, which African nations boycotted over New Zealand's attendance.

Technical issues meant no sound at the opening ceremony was being broadcast to New Zealand, so Quinn was told to dictate his research down the phone for Leishman to put on air. And, it turned out, receive the kudos for the quality of research.

"He rode that story for a while. I was furious, but I never told Phillip, and he thought it was a great laugh."

Leishman was operated on for a brain tumour in March 2012. The cancer recently returned.

Once host of Wheel of Fortune, but most recently seen appearing on popular television production the HSBC Golf Club, he first appeared on Dunedin regional station DNTV2 in the 1970s.

From there he moved to the nightly network bulletin as a sports news presenter, covering Olympic and Commonwealth Games between 1976 and 1998.

Leishman worked on Turf Talk with Glynn Tucker in the mid to late 1970s, and hosted 1250 episodes of quiz show Wheel of Fortune in the early and mid 1990s.

In 1997 he joined journalist Phil Smith to form company Uplink, now Sportinc, to produce the golf programme, which he described as probably his most satisfying role.

In 2011 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting and the community.

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- The Southland Times


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