Gary McCormick (b. 1951)
Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):
1. Old Blue Feet
2. Harry’s Gone
3. The Ballad of the Maniototo
4. For The Engine Will Be Coming…
5. If You're About To Destroy Yourself Over A Lady…
7. Tears That Thicken
8. The Desert
9. The Criminal Mind
10. The Difference
11. Mowhanua Beach
12. Woman In Black
15. Broken Conversation
Bio / Bibliography:
Radio presenter and commentator, television star, corporate speaker, comic, published poet. Renowned for his long-running documentary series on life in the New Zealand hinterland, Heartland, and on-the-road talk show McCormick, Gary is one of the country’s most popular celebrities. He is also one of the most sought after speakers on the corporate circuit, providing his own topical brand of humour as an after-dinner speaker and conference MC.
To be fair, Gary has done the hard yards! A former gardener, surfboard manufacturer and merry-go-round operator in a working class, gangland suburb near Wellington, Gary was whisked from hospital gardens to the life of a touring performer, when his first book of poems Naked and Nameless won a Pen Poetry Award. This was the second of seven books of poems published, the last being Lost at Sea (Hodder Moa Beckett 1995).
Years of touring with rock bands followed, as well as comedy tours and a growing number of corporate speeches. He also promoted and appeared in a series of Celebrity Comedy Debates that filled town halls throughout New Zealand.
Invited to front One Television documentary Raglan by the Sea, his offbeat, amusing style won his first television outing the ‘Documentary of the Year Award’. In 1997 he was named New Zealand Entertainer of the Year.
A delight in language and the cut and thrust of debate, make Gary one of the finest and most amusing speakers in the English language. His interest in writing has spawned six books of poetry to date; a book about life on the road, The Roaring Forties, and the documentary series Heartland. He has followed up with another on the McCormick series and the children’s book series, Albert – The Anxious Parrot.
In 2002, as a result of a speech to international airline companies, Gary was approached by Auckland International Airport Company’s then CEO, John Goulter and invited to become a Roving Ambassador for the organisation. In that capacity he makes speeches and appears at functions on their behalf. He has also had a ride in the fire engine!
At the beginning of 2003 Mr McCormick took on the ‘serious’ job of co-host with Simon Barnett on More FM, Christchurch’s number one breakfast show. ‘I have never had a full time job commitment and have had so much fun touring with the Rt Hon. David Lange, Mayor Tim Shadbolt, Sam Hunt, Kim Hill, Ginette McDonald, Tom Scott, Buck Shelford, among others, that I was a little worried about how I’d handle the lack of adrenalin-rush. But Simon is fantastic and we’re having a lot of laughs.’
Gary is fifty something years of age, ‘sartorially-challenged’ by his own admission, the owner of a single thin tie (circa 1963) and has ambitions are to write more and spend his spare time in the surf.