Fam­ily se­crets:

Richard O’Brien of The Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show fame is once again host­ing lo­cal ge­neal­ogy show The DNA De­tec­tives. He tells Sarah Nealon about his af­fec­tion for the show.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

The re­turn of the lo­cal se­ries The DNA De­tec­tives.

Delv­ing into your an­ces­tral roots can be a time-con­sum­ing and costly ex­er­cise.

But if you’re lucky enough to ap­pear on The DNA De­tec­tives, there is a team of ex­perts who will re­search your ge­neal­ogy for you.

This time around the show’s sub­jects in­clude 800 Words ac­tors Erik Thom­son and Jonny Brugh rugby great John Kir­wan, mu­si­cians Stan Walker and Anika Moa, and Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern.

As in sea­son one, the charm­ing and de­light­fully the­atri­cal Richard O’Brien, who de­scribes him­self as an “unashamed, un­apolo­getic Dar­win­ist”, is the show’s host.

O’Brien, whose big­gest claim to fame was co-writ­ing and star­ring in The Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show, is re­luc­tant to re­veal too much about the new sea­son but he clearly en­joys be­ing part of it.

“The show doesn’t shout at you or try to play teacher or pre­tend ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­asm where there is none,” he says. “I think it’s a just a nice gen­tle jour­ney with some nice peo­ple.”

Born 75 years ago in Eng­land, O’Brien moved to Tau­ranga with his fam­ily when he was 10 years old.

At age 22, he de­parted our shores for the UK where he be­came in­volved in mu­si­cal theatre.

He fi­nally re­turned in 2013 and mar­ried his third wife, Sab­rina Graf.

The couple live in the Bay of Plenty.

“I in­tended to move back to New Zealand the year I left in ’64,” says O’Brien. “There was no doubt that I would be re­turn­ing. But you know John Len­non said life’s what hap­pens while you’re mak­ing other plans. The only thing pre­vent­ing me from re­turn­ing slightly ear­lier than I did was the fact that my lit­tle daugh­ter, who is now in her mid-20s, was too young.

“I said, ‘I do in­tend to go back to New Zealand but I’m not go­ing to go un­til you’re ab­so­lutely safe and se­cure and you’re happy with that de­ci­sion’.

“So when she met her hus­band and she was happy and got a lit­tle place of her own and she was se­cure, then I de­cided to come back.”

O’Brien, who has three chil­dren, has had a long ca­reer in the arts but is picky with the projects he does th­ese days.

“I won’t do any­thing un­less I re­ally want to do it,” he says. “What­ever rea­son that makes me want to do it is my own per­sonal jour­ney.

“I don’t take jobs sim­ply to be in work. I’m a very lazy per­son. I won’t get out of bed for just any­thing.”

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