Chil­dren’s show must go on

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

Ron­nie Mackie is a ra­dio rock star to many young kids.

The Mt Al­bert res­i­dent has been writ­ing and pro­duc­ing a ra­dio pro­gramme for chil­dren called That’s The Story out of the shed in his back­yard for the last 10 years.

Kids all across the coun­try would wake up bright and early on a Sun­day morn­ing to hear his voice boom across the air­waves on Coast FM.

But that all came to an end when the show was dropped and the last pro­gramme went to air on Oc­to­ber 26.

‘‘We al­ways had to do this lit­tle tag at the end of the show that said: ‘This show was made with fund­ing from New Zealand On Air’,’’ the 48-year-old says.

‘‘‘My mum died about 14 months ago and I had got her to do one where she said: ‘This pro­gramme was made by my very clever wee boy Ron­ald Alexan­der Mackie, oh, and with a lit­tle bit of help from New Zealand On Air’.’’

He got emo­tional hear­ing his mother’s strong Scot­tish voice ut­ter the last words of the very last show.

‘‘It was very tricky for me,’’ Mackie says.

‘‘You do the same thing for 10 years and it be­comes in­deli­bly etched in your psy­che.

‘‘It is just what you do, it is right up there with brush­ing your teeth.

‘‘The show thing.’’

Mackie give the


ev­ery- is de­ter­mined to orig­i­nal songs, sto­ries and pro­grammes another lease on life and has started a PledgeMe ac­count to get a sub­scrip­tion based web­site up and run­ning.

‘‘With 1820 sto­ries and songs that have only ever been told once, it would almost be a crime not to do some­thing about it and have them told again,’’ Mackie says.

Thou­sands of chil­dren sent in their sto­ries to be read by well known New Zealan­ders dur­ing the ra­dio show’s long run, he says.

Par­tic­i­pants have in­cluded a gov­er­nor-gen­eral; He­len Clark when she was prime min­is­ter; John Key and for­mer news­reader Judy Bai­ley.

‘‘Not one

sin­gle per­son ever, not once, Mackie says.

‘‘John Camp­bell works for the op­po­si­tion and he even said: ‘Oh mar­vel­lous’.’’

Mackie says more than $2600 has al­ready been do­nated.




Right sound: Ron­nie Mackie has been pro­duc­ing a chil­dren’s ra­dio pro­gramme out of the shed in his back­yard for the last 10 years, now he wants get it all on­line. Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour and click Lat­est Edi­tion to watch a video of Ron­nie Mackie talk­ing about the fu­ture of his ra­dio show.

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