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School CP - January 2016

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The New Zealand Herald, Auckland, 7 January 2016

Twelve Questions: Leigh Hart

Comedian Leigh Hart rose to TV fame as That Guy on the programme Sports Cafe. The Radio Hauraki DJ co-hosts cult comedy series Late Night Big Breakfast, now available on-demand on NZME's WatchMe.

Leigh Hart
Comedian Leigh Hart says his funny but unusual take on the world began as a boarder at high school. Photo / Greg Bowker


1. As a child, did you want to be on TV?

We didn't have a TV. I grew up in Peru in a village at the top of the Andes, higher than Mt Cook.


I remember thinking when I was sent to board at Christ's College I'd be fitter than the other kids. Turns out I wasn't.

3. Was Christchurch a culture shock after Peru?

It felt like when you start late and you've missed the first few classes. There were experiences you hadn't shared. I saw things in a more international way. In those days, Christ's College was pretty full-on. They still had caning and the fagging system. There was a lot of bullying, psychological and physical. I kind of embraced the ridiculousness of it, the adversity of those stupid rules. There was a prisoner of war mentality, like you're all in it together trying to beat the system. I ended up with the caning record of 40 strokes in one term.

Press cutting

4. Where were you caned?

On the backside, with your pants on. The maximum was six strokes at one time, which was fairly extreme. Your bum would be corrugated, black and blue and bleeding. I never did really bad things, just sneaking out of chapel and stuff. There was every chance you'd get caught. It would've been easier just to go to chapel but it was the principle of the thing. Funnily enough I got on well with all the teachers. Joe Bennett, who I now work with, was my English teacher. He wasn't a caner. I was in Flower's House, as was Charles Upham VC. He was our hero. He wasn't particularly academic or good at sports and got into a bit of trouble for sneaking out but we all know what he went on to do.


© Copyright 2016, NZME Publishing Limited

blob Note by C.F.: Leigh Hart was born in 1970, so he would have been at Christ's College in the middle 1980s.

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