Jude, the presenter

Jude was in many ways was the girl next door when she first started on TV in 1989 (in her early 20s) on NZ’s first ever strip programmed (every week night) quiz show Sale of the Century.  With only two channels and on TV every week night at 7pm on one of them, it was a recipe for instant recognition for years, indeed decades to come.

She got engaged, married, announced (3) pregnancies and proudly showed newborns to the camera over the years as the NZ public shared her journey from straight shooting tomboy in a dress (the byproduct of being the youngest with three older brothers), to newlywed, then new mum. 

She moved from co - host, to anchor of a slew of TVNZ prime time lifestyle shows like Paradise Picture Show, Body and Soul, Open Home, Town and Country, NZ Living…, and then to hosting her own eponymously named lifestyle show for five years, running into the 6pm news. She’s the sort that loves to chat with both the chief exec and the cleaner, seeing great value in both conversations…a useful thing when interviewing the famous or the fallen, the prickly and the precious sorts. 

She’s also presented Family Health Diary for many years, as well as other commercial and charitable projects along the way, and hosted and MC’ed many events.

When she started Homegrown in 2002, she took a break from presenting to concentrate on production and running a business (as well as producing a third child!), but still often narrated and sometimes presented her commissioned factual content aimed at parents. “Presenting/ narrating in many ways I find to be the easy bit, having done it for years – running the production is the more complex job”.  

Jude dusted off the on camera hat to present ‘The Liberation of Le Quesnoy’, documentary series, for the NZ Herald in November 2018. She also researched, wrote and produced the content. It compromises six different stories relating to this northern French town and their Kiwi liberators. The episode is about the battle itself (seen here as the first story in a ‘linked up’ version of the doco series). The second discusses the future NZ Museum in Le Quesnoy; the third is about 2nd Lieutenant Leslie Averill; the fourth about Sergeant Reginald Hird; the fifth looks at the challenging role of war chaplains with Rev Clive Mortimer Jones; and the last at a school that honours their fallen, including two men who died in this battle.

NZ on Screen has a page about Jude and an interview clip shot June 2016 and here’s a few snippets from various shows over the years.

BROADCAST Shows jude has presented

1989 - 1992 | Grundy Entertainment

Sale of the Century - TV One / TV2

  • Co-host with Steve Parr

  • New Zealand’s first strip programmed (Mon - Fri) quiz show

  • 7 pm on TV One and TV 2

  • Over 1000 episodes


1991 - 1992 | Touchdown Productions

Paradise Picture Show - TV2

  • Co-host with Mark Leishman on producer Julie Christie’s first show

  • Weeknight prime time lifestyle show

  • Conducted interviews in studio with well-known people

  • Field stories on all sorts - be it car racing, gold panning, or SAS confidence courses


1992 | Avalon Studios, TVNZ                

Alive and Kicking - TV2

  • Co-host with singer Ricki Morris

  • Weekend health and lifestyle show aimed at teenagers

  • Links and interviews on set


1993 | Beyond Group

Dilemmas - TV One   

  • Regular panelist

  • Advice show

  • 5.30pm running into news


1993 - 1994 | Beyond Group

Body and Soul - TV One

  • Sole presenter

  • Prime time week night health and lifestyle show

  • Links plus field story where a celebrity put through a fitness test


1994 - 1995 | TVNZ

Open Home - TV One

  • Co-host with Dave Cull

  • Prime time Friday night magazine show about homes

  • Studio links plus field stories - house of the week and interior designer profiles


1995 | TVNZ

Town and Country - TV One

  • One of four rotating hosts with Jim Hickey, Ngaire Cole and Dave Cull

  • Prime time Friday night broad - based magazine show

  • Links (field based) plus field stories – houses, collectors, events


1996 | TVNZ

NZ Living - TV One

  • Sole host / Anchor

  • Prime time evolution of Town and Country with field stories filed by same team of presenters (including Jude as a field reporter as well as anchor) but broadened to include cooking with Peta Mathias


1997 - 1999 | Screentime  

5.30 with Jude - TV One

  • Sole host / Anchor

  • Broad based appeal magazine show

  • Strip programmed five days a week running into news

  • Links plus field stories and interviews on set


2000 - 2001 | Screentime / Communicado

5 o’clock with Jude Dobson - TV One

  • Sole host. 989 eps between 1997 and 2001

  • Broad based appeal magazine show

  • Strip programmed five days a week

  • Links plus field stories and interviews on set


2002 - 2016 | Brandworld

Family Health Diary - TVNZ

  • Presenter

  • Health advertising


2002 - 2003 | Greenstone

How’s Life? - TV One

  • Regular panellist

  • Agony aunt advice show hosted by Charlotte Dawson

  • Strip programmed 5.30pm five days a week


2002 - 2004 | Homegrown Television

Homegrown x 3 series - TV One / TV2

  • Presenter and narrator

  • Magazine show about parenting from birth to teens

  • 30 x half hours over three years (9.30am and 5pm)


2003 | Homegrown Television

Need for Speed - Prime

  • Presenter and narrator

  • One hour documentary on the Targa Rally (Jude as co-driver)


2005 | Homegrown Television

A Cot Death Inquiry - TV One

  • Narrator

  • One hour documentary about the cause of cot death/SUDI following a coroner’s case. Uncovered new possibilities for cause of death, through international medical interviews

  • Prime time slot (8.30pm) in Documentary New Zealand strand


2006 / 2007 | Homegrown Television

Nought to Five x 2 series - TV One / TV2

  • Narrator

  • Factual child development series, chronologically from birth to school gate. Families helped by a parenting guide to grapple with the everyday issues of the age, as well as an activity guide for the age/ stage

  • 20 x half hours - 9.30am and 2.30pm


2008 / 2009 | Homegrown Television

Gemstones – Educational Resource

  • Narrator

  • Audio-visual resource for students in transition periods of their schooling – usually year 7 and 9, based on internationally recognised work of therapist and author Ron Philips called TSI – Therapeutic Story telling intervention

  • Funded by The Young New Zealanders’ Foundation, and distributed to schools


Active Movement for under-fives – Educational Resource

  • Narrator

  • An audio-visual resource spin off from Nought to Five series for Sport NZ

  • 150,000 DVDs distributed nationwide over 2 years


2010 - 2018 | Raising Children Media

Raising Children – TVNZ Heartland /TVNZ on Demand / Website and app

  • Presenter and narrator

  • 20 x half hours and 100 + short form clips

  • Free DVD given to every new parent by Plunket / Well Child Tamariki Ora network

  • Build of accompanying Raising Children website and app

2018 | Homegrown Television

The Liberation of Le Quesnoy – The New Zealand Herald

  • Presenter, interviewer and narrator