Leigh Hart

Born in Greymouth, Leigh's childhood covered a lot of ground. His father was a West Coast miner who was lucky to survive the 1967 Strongman mine explosion. He took up tunnelling instead and, as a result, Leigh spent time in Hong Kong, Melbourne, and a Peruvian village high in the Andes, before arriving back in New Zealand around the age of 11.

One evening in 1996, Marc Ellis turned up at Leigh’s flat carrying a container of snails, desperately seeking a replacement guest for live panel show SportsCafe. Leigh’s flatmate was not interested so he stepped up to play an international snail trainer, in a mock interview. With SportsCafe's Cannonball character leaving the show, he was offered a weekly slot doing sports stories under the nickname That Guy.

In 2002, Leigh proposed his own late-night show to Sky Television. With roughly $6000 in sponsorship, he made the first series of Moon TV and pretending to be its own station, the show parodied a range of TV shows, from reality TV to soap operas. Later seasons saw a move to TVNZ and in 2005 and 2007 Moon TV was nominated for Best Comedy Programme at the NZ Screen Awards.

Leigh’s cult TV classic Late Night Big Breakfast returned for a fourth season last month. With co-host Jason Hoyte, they feature live music, health tips, interviews, infomercials and plenty of indoor-outdoor flow.

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