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Kiwifruit's Kevin Alexander

Sat 8 Apr 2006 In: Hall of Fame View at NDHA

Kevin Alexander When he's not co-fronting the new season of Kiwifruit (TV2) Kevin's meditating, tucking into Mars bars and dreaming of Nepal. Who are you and what's your background? Kevin Alexander. French/Indian/English hybrid. Moved from London to Auckland in 1987. I was 10. Can't believe my luck, I love this country. Don't understand OEs. What's wrong with a holiday? What do you enjoy most about Kiwifruit? Its a relief to see we're now at a stage where we can laugh at ourselves a bit and not have to take ourselves so seriously all of the time. The groundwork has been laid well here by some strong visionary characters over the last few decades. We're now in the very fortunate position of being able to enjoy the safer more balanced world which has been created for us. Yes things can always be better, but it is vital that we know how to recognise and enjoy the successes we have made. What characterises the New Zealand GLBT community for you? Your website?! What is the worst thing for you about being GLBT? Being bisexy, gay, lesbian and transgendered I find it very hard choosing what to wear in the mornings. Sometimes I just cannot decide. The outfit I feel most relaxed in is a pair of enormous glittery pink stilettoed Doc Martens, very hairy legs, crotchless Union Jack hotpants, oversized Swandri tied in a knot at the front across a tight-white t-shirt which says "I'm Not Gay Actually" and a long mousey brown wig with a monstrous fringe and a hair-clip pushing up a discreet and feminine 'bump' effect. Accessories include an I.V. Trolley laden with hormones cleverly disguised as a life-size papier mache model of Waverly, an overly conspicuous belt buckle fashioned in the shape of a large questionmark, fake nails with tiny rainbow flags painted on each one, a purple Tui's bottle opener keyring and a 4 foot long string of vibrating love beads up my backside. What is the best thing? Being able to wear that. Yeaaaah. Relationship status? Versatile Favourite food and drink? Good red wine is a fixture in my pantry. Packed with anti-oxidants red wine cleanses the body and nourishes the soul. Because of strong influences from my mixed French and Indian background my tastes are quite broad, which is a good excuse to eat and drink too much. A well-made boeuf bourguignon is a complete treat, "Bouchon" in Kingsland Auckland makes a traditional version of this superb dish as an occasional special. The French waiters are just as beefy and delicious and almost too lovely. Curried everything is also at the top of my list, more suitable for everyday that the grand undertakings required to create my favourite french dishes. Indian kulfi, the creamy frozen powdered nut dessert gets a special mention. Bizarre texture, incredible flavour, every iced pistachio mouthful conjures hot steamy images of old Bombay where, under a scorching sun, children shelter for a moment at the side of the road beneath the giant leaf of a banana tree, eagerly slurping on a morsel of this ice cold confection. Worst habit? An important part of my life is the time I spend in daily meditation. It is enjoyable and keeps me connected. My worst habit is putting off my daily meditation in favour of an instant gratification (sex, food, killing etc) or even out of sheer laziness. I don't find it hard, but meditation requires a change of conciousness which frees me of my [Freudian] ego altogether. I have a clever and gluttonous ego which knows well how to feed itself, and right-meditation ideally is not condusive to maintaining a big fat ego! So this year I have re-prioritised my pursuits in meditation and mindfulness. Most noble feature? All I want in the whole world is for everyone to have a great time and laugh and be happy. I don't think that sounds trite, I think it is the smartest thing anyone could wish for. There is always plenty of crap going on somewhere in the world. Nothing lifts the spirit more than one who has cultivated a genuine a light heart. As Wendy, my friend/portable sexpot on legs says, I'm So Great I'm Jealous Of Myself. If that isn't a declaration of happiness, (albeit ridiculous) I don't know what is! Favourite TV programme? Besides Kiwifruit? Ruby Wax Meets... My favourite show is this interview show where the famous Ruby Wax meets and interviews big stars from Hollywood and Britain and she joins them for a day-in-the-life of that star. She is an American who moved to England and grew famous among the Brits with the French and Saunders entourage throughout the 80s, Americans don't knows who she is. Because of her time in England she understands the british humour better than most Americans, plus she also understands what it is that brits find absurd about the Americans, and so is able to send up the big american stars during the interviews without the stars noticing. Favourite episode was when Liza Minelli stood her up for an interview, cameras rolled, Ruby slagged off Liza to the cameras, then on the next re-scheduled meeting Liza turns up with her annonymous friend, both seemingly out of their heads on coke and whizz, speed-talking non-stop nonsense-codes with each other, not acknowledging Ruby or the crew, hand-dancing and flailing and gibbering and laughing, then eventualy leaving. All the while Ruby loudly makes disparaging remarks into the camera. TV History, bloody good stuff! Favourite movie? Tied between two. First is Angela Landsbury's enchanting live-animation underwater movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Beginning in Wartime London in a climate where neighbour turns against neighbour with NAZI paranoia. Some children are sent far away from their home out to the country until the war is over, and they have to live with a strange old woman (Landsbury) with her menacing cat in her old and creepy house. The children are not happy about the situation and try to make things difficult for the old woman. Little do they know that she is a witch and they are about to plunge headfirst into a world more innocent than the one they leave behind. More innocent, or is it? Yes I love that movie. Must get it out again. Second is the all time classic Mary Poppins. I've always thought I had special powers. A house I lived in when I was young in England was a 4 storey Victorian semi. It had a large rectangular weaving staircase with shiny ornate mahogony bannisters which you could lean over and look down to the ground floor. When I was 6 years old I secretly took off all my clothes, opened my mum's black umbrella, climbed over the bannister on the second floor up and raised the umbrella above my head. Hanging on to the bannister I descended the stairs while leaning precariously into the void in the middle of the stairwell, singing "A Spoonful Of Sugar". Hearing my joyous yet distracted singing, my family came to see the fuss, and by then I was still flailing from the first floor up. To their horror I sang "In the most delightful..." and then gripping the umbrella I jumped off on the word "..WAY!" I lived. After adequate training and disciplined nutrition I plan on releasing a boxing workout video called "Muscle Mary Poppin' " Qualities you most appreciate in a GLBT person? Kindness, Integrity, Self-respect. Many people who have something different about them, in any culture, are often subjected to acts of unkindness. We all know that when a child experiences cruelty, they learn cruelty. When they experience Kindness, they learn Kindness. As adults who may have undergone more than their fair share of unkindness, it takes much character to be able to grow into a genuinely kind person. What are you reading at the moment? The Quantum Self - Human Nature and Conciousness Defined by the New Physics by Danah Zohar. This thesis is a more formal and less popularized look at Quantum Physics, openly stating a number of hypotheses and its aims to prove or disprove. Synchrodestiny - Deepak Chopra. One of his recent popularizations linking modern science into ancient eastern philosophies. Besides outlining the coolest parrallels between ancient hinduism and super-modern quantum physics, Chopra takes us deeper into the nature of Coincidence and explores Carl Jung's fascinating theory of Synchronicity. To complement this, Chopra discusses Jung's work on Archetypes which has led me to some particulary interesting research, most of which using the internet. This book is a good introduction-point to some concepts if you haven't heard of them already. Its also well written and focusses the mind. Who in the world including NZ would you most like to have a coffee and a chat with? Cilla Black because she is top of the pops. Su Pollard (Peggy from Hi-De-Hi), because she is amazing. How someone can sustain a career the way she has is an effing miracle. Steven Fry because I just want to be close to him and listen to his remarkable genius. Emma Thompson because she has a brilliant sense of humour and her and Steven Fry are hilarious together. And Courtney Love will be our waitress. Hopefully she'll be disorientated and messy with her tunic stuffed into the back of her tights, and lipstick smeared up her face and over her chin. And she'll yell at the most inappropriate moments. I'd also like to have the brilliant New Zealand thespians we have here, they are an admirable bunch. I have such respect for those who know how to follow their passions. People of the stage are very passionate people and it is invigorating being around them. Role models? I take my cues from nature. A flower can only bloom into perfect beauty only after the rain has fallen. The sea may sometimes be stormy and menacing, but it is the sea that pounds stone into the finest sand. Its about keeping your balance and remembering that your perception decides what is good and bad. If I notice that I'm worked up, I don't censure myself, I simply allow myself to segue naturally to the next positive state. Like nature. (By the way, for those of you who think I sound like a tosser, its ok, I know I do.) What is the most pressing issue currently facing the NZ GLBT population? In my opinion its the sinister advertising of expensive HIV drug-therapy products going on in gay and gay/friendly publications. I think it is disgusting. Advertising sexy muscular sporty men saying "I Choose HIV Drug X for my health", and assumptive lines like "When its time for drug therapy... choose...". What message does that send? I think it is complete insanity that they are allowed to do this, to frame a life of HIV and combination drug-therapy this way. Seen the infection stats recently? Makes you wonder with all the information available today how on Earth is the safe sex message not getting through? Cigarette sales are down. AIDS is booming. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? A fridge full of Mars bars. Not really. My one wish, besides for everyone to be happy and have a great time as I said earlier, would be that I could split into 3 people and enjoy 3 different careers. In one life I'll throw my energy into a career in the media, working the screens and radiowaves, ever thinking of ways to surprise and delight anyone who may be watching, and having the best time ever. In life number two I'll move to Nepal and become a buddhist monk and spend my days communing with the Universe and teaching the other monks anything I can while having the best time ever. And the third life will be used to spend loads of time and money on being great, looking like dynamite, having a beautiful family, constantly entertaining friends, getting away with everything and being the best bad influence anyone could ask for. This would also mean I'd be having the best time ever. - 8th April 2006


First published: Saturday, 8th April 2006 - 12:00pm

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