Comedy with John Clark as the quintessential kiwi bloke circa 1975...

ImageA documentary The Dagg Sea Scrolls was screened on the early career of John Clarke, including a rummage through the TVNZ archives for his work as Fred Dagg.  Review, interview, interview .

Remarkable Event Occurs - Kiwi Show On Television

Thursday, 2 March 2006, 5:17 pm
Press Release: Southern Public Relations Remarkable Event Occurs - Kiwi Show To Appear On Television.

A New Zealand show, made for New Zealanders, playing on New Zealand television?

They said it couldn’t be done. But if all goes well, at 9.35 on Monday night a small miracle will be witnessed across the nation when a tasteful, high-end Kiwi documentary featuring well-known rural identity Mr Frederick Dagg, will be broadcast on TVNZ. There will be much rejoicing in The Plough and Chequebook; not just because the patrons share a love of quality televison. But because they did it. They took on the system, they ran hard and they‘ve had a win. 

Here’s how it happened.

Some time ago, dismayed at the standard of broadcast television and buoyed by the recent development of the digital shearing handpiece by Bruce Bayliss, a group of citizens wrote to TVNZ to express their concern. They laid out their grievances and suggested a solution. As time went by and they received greater support from others in the district, they sensed victory and through persistence and good judgement, they appear to have prevailed.

Now the story can be told.

The sequence of letters appears below. The originals have been sent to Te Papa and will appear in a public display entitled “How Many Times Do We Have To Tell You?“.

Letter 1

We, the undersigned, are fed up to the back teeth with the low-grade crap served up by TVNZ. How long do we have to endure this endless stream of drivel punctuated only by adverts for rubbish we don’t want? We demand (and this country has a right to expect) a better deal. Unless a Fred Dagg retrospective is broadcast on Monday March 6th at about 9.30pm, we will come down there and give you all a bloody good seeing to. 

Yours very sincerely,

T Dagg, OBE, NZM
Sir Trevor Dagg,
Lord Dagg of Up Near Raetehi,
T Dagg QC and bar
Professor T Dagg, University of Taihape
Lt Col T Dagg (rtd),
The Rt Hon T Dagg MP
Wng Cmmdr T Dagg
Dame O S Dagg
and Bruce Bayliss (very prominent bloke)

Letter 2

We, the undersigned, have not heard from you. Where are you? We have made it very clear in previous correspondence that if TVNZ don’t run some sort of Fred Dagg retrospective (a few clips from the old days, the great man explaining how it all happened etc…how hard can it be, for goodness sake?) we will come down there and jab you on the beezer.

The date we have chosen for the broadcast is Monday March 6th at about 9.30pm. It is Bruce’s birthday and we’ve already hired the hall.
Get on with it. 

Yours very sincerely,

T Dagg, OBE, NZM
Sir Trevor Dagg,
Lord Dagg of Up Near Raetehi,
T Dagg QC and bar<

Lt Col T Dagg (rtd),
The Rt Hon T Dagg MP
Wng Cmmdr T Dagg,
Dame O S Dagg
and Bruce Bayliss (very prominent bloke. Used to have something to do with Rotary. So shut up) 

Letter 3

We, the undersigned, notice that you have not acted on our clear instructions relating to the improvement of broadcasting services. We imagine you take the view that our campaign represents little more than an attempt by a group of disaffected citizens to influence the policy of the national broadcaster. Spot on. High time too.

We read in the paper there is a Broadcasting Minister. He sounds interesting. What time is he on?

The 6th of March approaches. Make the announcement as soon as you like.

Yours very sincerely,

T Dagg, OBE, NZM
Sir Trevor Dagg,
Lord Dagg of Up Near Raetehi,
T Dagg QC and bar

Lt Col T Dagg (rtd),
The Rt Hon T Dagg MP
Wng Cmmdr T Dagg,
Dame O S Dagg

and Bruce Bayliss (who will need someone to hold his coat) 

Letter 4

We, the undersigned have fixed your website. There was a problem. It said you were running American Celebrity Bloopers Part 4 on Monday 6th March. You are not.

If you go there now you will see that at 9.35 on March 6th, TVNZ will broadcast ‘The Dagg Sea Scrolls’ a retrospective of the Fred Dagg years. Don’t worry about the programme, we’ll bring that. Your job is to pump out some promotion so people know it is on . Don’t muck about. Go hard. No time to waste.

If you wish to discuss this further, we will be in your area on Thursday.

Yours very sincerely,

T Dagg, OBE, NZM
Sir Trevor Dagg,
Lord Dagg of Up Near Raetehi,
T Dagg QC and bar

Lt Col T Dagg (rtd),
The Rt Hon T Dagg MP
Wng Cmmdr T Dagg,
Dame O S Dagg

and Bruce Bayliss (who will need two carparks) 

Letter 5

Bruce has worked out how to broadcast stuff from his shed. We the undersigned will therefore broadcast ‘The Dagg Sea Scrolls’ at 9.35 pm on Monday March 6, as previously announced. Whatever is in the TVNZ schedule will be replaced. Bruce assures us this is a no-brainer. He has mounted a large disk on the back of a powerful computer and says he has been testing the system all week. He says he has so far beamed three completely ridiculous stories into the national news and has over-ridden the weather for the Chathams all week. We have every confidence that the standard of broadcasting will improve out of sight on Monday. Hope to see you there.

Yours very sincerely,

T Dagg, OBE, NZM
Sir Trevor Dagg,
Lord Dagg of Up Near Raetehi,
T Dagg QC and bar

Lt Col T Dagg (rtd),
The Rt Hon T Dagg MP
Wng Cmmdr T Dagg,
Dame O S Dagg

and Bruce Bayliss (who’d like a cup of tea)

The Minister for Broadcasting has issued a statement saying he has “no idea what’s going on.“

Sources close to Bruce Bayliss said late today “Yes, we can confirm that.“


This Authorised Daggography, the most important document ever discovered in New Zealand, celebrates a golden age in the nation’s history, beginning with Mr Dagg’s emergence in the early 1970’s. The story also deals with important matters such as agriculture in its many aspects, market economics (all stand), farnarkeling and the work of the well-known firm of gentlemen’s outfitters, Clarke and Dawe.You are advised to pay attention. No giggling. This will all be in the exams.

Contents include

  • The Dagg Sea Scrolls, a documentary describing aspects of the history of Mr Dagg and those around him.
  • The complete Country Calendar programme (1974) in which the Dagg agricultural enterprise is described and celebrated, the family is formally introduced and a great many matters clarified.
  • Selections from the broader Fred Dagg television archive covering the period1973-76.
  • The language of real estate explained.
  • Reports of vital significance on Farnarkeling, the fastest growing sport on earth.
  • An interview recorded with John Clarke in 2006.
  • Selections from John Clarke and Bryan Dawe interviews which have been broadcast on Australian television and radio since 1987.
  • Photographs and music.
  • A complimentary CD celebrating the best of the recorded Dagg material.

www.mrjohnclarke.com

book coverbook coverbook cover

book cover

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