Kiwi comedian visits Antarctica

04:54, 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  hat 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 says his ''lecture'', which he will  perform 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 will cover the rigours of scurvy, scientific madness, odd flora and fauna and the weird people who  have lived in Antarctica.

''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 says.

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