Announcer arses

Why do some radio stations, and to a lesser extent TV channels, think that it’s a good thing to have announcers acting like arses?

NZ Herald reports that two announcers (Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells) have been ‘suitably reprimanded’ and will be off air today, but then said “they are flying to Las Vegas for a work-related project”. That doesn’t sound like much of a reprimand. It sounds more like ‘get stuffed, we’ll act like arses if we want to’.

Radio Hauraki hosts reprimanded for on-air stunt

Radio Hauraki hosts Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells have been reprimanded for an on-air stunt when they aired an interview with the mother of England cricketer Ben Stokes despite assuring her it was off air.

Deborah Stokes called Radio Hauraki to complain about comments made about Ben, who was hit for four consecutive sixes by West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite in the final over of the World T20 cricket final on Monday morning.

Stokes, who was born in New Zealand, became the brunt of some jibes because of comments he made ahead of the final in which he said he enjoyed “the big moments in games”.

Mrs Stokes asked to speak to someone off air at Radio Hauraki and, after being assured by Heath she was, said she was “brassed off” about the attacks on him.

NZME group progamme director Mike McClung said Heath and Wells had been rebuked.

“Matt and Jeremy are famous for identifying where the line is and then ignoring it, however putting Ben’s mum to air without her knowledge, albeit defending her son, was obviously well over that line,” McClung said in a statement.

“They’ve been suitably reprimanded, and are off-air tomorrow.”

Heath and Wells are flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for a work-related project.

That comes across as a very poor ‘rebuke’. The Herald and Radio Hauraki are both owned by NZME.

Media rival Stuff also reports on this, saying that Stokes has not received any apology.

Radio hosts Jeremy Wells and Matt Heath in trouble over call from Ben Stokes’ mum.

Deborah Stokes, the mother of English cricketer Ben Stokes, said she she has received no apology after controversial radio hosts Jeremy Wells and Matt Heath broadcast a conversation with her after telling her she was off air.

While Radio Hauraki said the pair had been “suitably reprimanded, and are off-air tomorrow,” sources close to the pair said they were never due to be on air on Thursday as they were headed to Las Vegas on a promotional jaunt. Deborah Stokes said she was unaware if Wells or Heath had been punished because no-one had contacted her.

On Wednesday evening Wells and Heath posted a photo on Hauraki Breakfast Facebook page of them at the airport with champagne and a message, “Feeling really remorseful for what we done. On route to Vegas for that important business trip.” report says Heath twice told Deborah Stokes she was off air – but continued the conversation despite discovering she was the mother of the English allrounder.

Stokes said on Wednesday night no-one from NZME had spoken her to say they were sorry for the prank.

“The first I knew about it (Wells and Heath not working on Thursday morning) was when a friend said it (the story) was online,” Stokes said. “It might have been nice to get one (an apology).”

Announcers bagging sports people seemingly for fun and for ratings looks bad enough.

But lying to someone ringing up with what sounded like reasonable concerns, saying they were not on air when they were speaking live, is a particularly arsy thing to do, and Radio Hauraki and NZME seem to be taking the piss with their report of a Clayton’s reprimand and no apology.

As well as being prats on Radio Hauraki  Heath and Wells are also contracted by NZ Cricket “on a season by season basis as part of radio’s Alternative Commentary Collective”.

I’ve never listened to the alternative commentary, and certainly have no interestbut with behaviour like this I think NZ Cricket should carefully consider what sort of arses they support.

The Herald also published this:


It’s not a surprise to see heath and Wells still acting like arses, but it’s a very bad look for the Herald to be acting like arses on this as well.

I think the Herald owes the stokes an apology as well – a proper one.


  1. Agree. Wells takes the piss out of Mike Hosking, getting at his arrogance and attitude of superiority. Here Wells has acted poorly, with doltish inferiority. “Arses” is well used.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  7th April 2016

    Heath writes a column for the Herald and it’s just smart arse crap as far as I can tell from reading two or three before I gave up on them.

    • Lilly Franks

       /  7th April 2016

      Heath writes a column for the Herald because he’s forced to as an announcer under the NZME banner. It’s exactly the sort of writing you’d expect from someone who has their arm tied behind their back. At least he’s not the cub reporter who has to bash out 7 stories a week about the bachelor.
      To be fair, he was employed on the back of his work on ‘Back of the Y’ and ‘Randy Campbell’ – the bar is set reasonably low.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  7th April 2016

      Is he the one who writes about his children and about Colin the dog wearing a coat ? I stopped reading them ages ago, that sort of thing’s only interesting if you know the people. Megan Nicol Reed was worse (Sunday Star Times magazine) I’d have to say.

  3. Kevin

     /  7th April 2016


  4. Gezza

     /  7th April 2016

    Radio stations are deplorable in the sort of crap they get up to. Far too much arsin’ about. Fire Service says the same thing.

  5. Gezza

     /  7th April 2016

    I think your post is spot on Pete. I agree with every word you say about these two and the responses from NZME and The Herald. It’s blatant dishonesty behaviour and a more effective and real penalty, along with an abject apology direct to both the Stokes should be required from the announcers.

    • Gezza

       /  7th April 2016

      I’ve got an idea. Why doesn’t NZME ask the boys to get their mums to ring up another radio station on air and be given as much time as they gave Mrs Stokes to answer any questions another shock jock might want to ask about what they think of their sons and what their sons did? Wouldn’t that maybe be an appropriately relevant thing to do?

  6. Pickled Possum

     /  7th April 2016

    They … those boyz are Just Liars and they have a lot to hang their head in shame about!!
    “They’ve been suitably reprimanded, and are off-air tomorrow.”
    said Mr Cover His Arse NZME group progamme director Mike McClung

    Remoresful … pffffft is that why they are flying off to Vegas on business
    with show off pictures of them downing a glass of alcohol before their fly.

    Liars!!! Bad Sports!! never ever to be trusted again DHeads!!!
    Heheh I wish Ben’s Mother had a potty mouth moment and said to them
    Go have Sex with Yourselves!!! In true style On Air. 😉

    • Gezza

       /  7th April 2016

      Possum! 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th April 2016

      Unfortunately she didn’t know what they were doing in time or she probably would have. Sneaky dishonest creeps deserve the reputation they will get.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  7th April 2016

    It’s not in the same league as that disgraceful Australian one, of course, but it’s dishonest and childish. Nyeh, nyeh, we said were off air and we were-eren’t. Fooled you ! Nah nah ner nah nah !

  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  7th April 2016

    I do wonder about some presenters. I once heard someone on Campbell Live saying that if two minute noodles had X calories in the packet when they weighed whatever it is that they weigh, then when they’re cooked and then weigh much more-let’s say 5 times more for argument’s sake, I have no idea what it was-that they now had 5 times as many calories. I suspect not if the extra weight is made up of water !

    I’m not impressed by the grammar in the tweet-or the apology (sic)

    The alcohol looks like champagne. Yes, they look really sorry-I don’t think.

    That tweet is an insult to the person whose trust they betrayed, even if she should have realised that their word couldn’t be relied on. The next person they try to make a fool of won’t be so trusting.

  9. Kitty Catkin

     /  7th April 2016

    I see it’s Facebook, not Twitter, but that doesn’t alter the arrogance and insulting attitude.

  10. Missy

     /  8th April 2016

    What they did was out of line, to tell her she is not on air when she is, is disgraceful, but what gets me about this is the deliberate lying after by NZME, with the Herald (NZME paper) complicit. Why say they have been suspended when they haven’t, it doesn’t do much to instil any more trust in the media, and if anything it would make people wonder what other ‘facts’ in their stories are lies at worse, or misleading at best.

    This has been picked up by some media over here (I saw it in the Metro this morning, it is in the Evening Standard, plus BBC are reporting it), and the UK media are reporting the lies and misleading statement from NZME about the suspension.

    • Gezza

       /  8th April 2016

      I look forward to John Oliver covering it at some point as well.