After nine years co-hosting Queer Nation, presenter and producer Andrew Whiteside decided to leave the programme as it nears what may well be it's final season. Whiteside is the only member of the team who has been with the programme from episode one, when it was called Express Report and aired on Horizon TV. "I think the programme has become more sophisticated, and has become more current affairs focussed over the years," he says. "We have tried a variety of styles but I think what works best are stories about real people and how they have lived their lives and overcome prejudice." Whiteside says he will miss airing the stories of "everyday New Zealanders coming to terms with their sexuality." "Over the nine years I have come into contact with a broad range of queer people who have told me their personal journeys about coming out," he says. "Many have followed a difficult but ultimately rewarding path. I will miss given those people a voice." However, there's plenty to look forward to, including finishing his book. "What I really want to do after nine years is have a really good holiday," he says. TV2, which airs the programme, the longest running gay TV show in the world, on Thursday nights has invited two independent programme makers to submit pilots for possible replacements for Queer Nation from next year. Whiteside's final day in the office has not yet been announced.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Friday, 24th September 2004 - 12:00pm
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