Few figures have spent as much time on New Zealand airwaves than Jason Gunn. The Cantabrian entertainer has been staple of the domestic entertainment scene for the better part of three decades, excelling in a myriad of television and radio roles. Now, four years on from battling a serious health scare, he’s found a renewed energy and a purpose beyond keeping us on the couch entertained.
Gunn’s impressive credentials go all the back to the late 80’s, where as a teenager he got his start as a children’s entertainer, first gracing our screens on the weekday afternoon children’s show After School. It was here, with his career in its infancy, where Gunn would forge a partnership that his career would soon become synonymous with; a little buggy eyed, grey puppet named Thingee. Together, Gunn and Thingee would spin off their early success on After School and create their own show, The Son of a Gunn Show, which ran for three years in the mid 90’s and helped establish Gunn as a household name and one of the brightest young stars in New Zealand television. Gunn and Thingee would eventually part ways as an on-screen partnership, but he would remain an influential figure in the New Zealand children’s television scene and has worked as a producer and director on TVNZ’s iconic after-school show What Now from the early 2000’s onward.
Gunn’s on-screen persona went down a different path however, as in the 2000’s, Gunn would go on to establish himself as one of the country’s most reliable reality television and game show hosts. Arguably best known as the charming face of TVNZ’s Dancing With The Stars from 2005-2009, Gunn became one of most recognisable names in the domestic entertainment industry, also shining in hosting roles on Wheel of Fortune and The Rich List. His TV credits receded in the 2010’s as Gunn focused more of his time in the radio industry, hosting nationwide afternoon drive shows on The Hits from 2012-13 and then More FM from 2013-2019.
However, after a serious health scare in 2017 which saw the then 48-year-old Gunn suffer a heart attack, the media darling decided to take a bit of a step back from entertaining the masses and instead focus his attention in a different direction; using his decades of experience in front of camera and microphone to help others improve their communication skills. He left More FM in 2019 to fully devote himself to his new venture, Easily Said, a ‘storytelling academy’, where through workshops (both in groups, one-on-one and online learning) Gunn teaches participants how to better formulate and articulate their story to others. The unique course has received a significant amount of positive buzz and feedback from a number of prominent names in New Zealand business, including Yellow CEO Tracey Taylor and real estate mogul Mike Pero. Gunn has found himself back on the air in 2021, appearing on TVNZ new comedy game-show Give Us A Clue and its satirical scripted comedy Talkback, but now in his fifties, Gunn has begun to find his voice behind the curtain, focusing on giving others the tools to perform at their best.
We at M2 are delighted to have the pleasure of including Jason Gunn as one of the nine speakers at our upcoming M2 Summit. Grab your tickets to M2 Summit by visiting the website.
Top image courtesy of easilysaid.co.nz
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