Energy, a witty sense of humour and fashion - Luke Bird, finalist for TV personality of the year

He brings energy, a witty sense of humour and fashion - Luke Bird has the perfect ingredients to make New Zealand’s top television personality.

Bird, from Ngāti Whātua and Ngāpuhi, presents the game show Lucky Dip on Whakaata Māori and is one of 10 finalists in this year’s TV Personality of the Year at the NZTV awards. As well as a presenter, he’s a trained comedic actor, opera singer, corporate emcee and musical theatre performer.

“Tino hīkaka ana te ngākau. I’m so excited, truly proud but also very humbled by it. It’s a huge honour and a privilege,” he told Te Ao Tapatahi presenter Neil Waka.

Bird is up against nine other television personalities including two who are Māori; Joe Daymond and Jenny-May Clarkson.

Bird stands out with the energy and humour he brings to his role as a presenter and it doesn’t take much effort.

This is no act by the way. A lot of people think on television you’re sat there because you’ve got to do a script - your personality is bound by a network. This is no act. I’ve always been this person, always eccentric as a kid, always very colourful as a child and always very much in a performing arts sort of atmosphere.”

Whether he’s presenting on television, hosting or attending special events, Bird turns heads wherever he goes, dressed in the brightest and most lavish outfits.

“I’ve always been into fashion as a kid. I remember wearing my grandfather’s ties, not doing them up, putting them around my neck, trying to be a little eccentric with the budget I have in terms of money.

Bird says the idea to put him into colourful outfits came about with the help of New Zealand designers.

All of my outfits, every one I wear for Whakataa Māori, and television shows, today for instance are by the amazing New Zealand designers World. They’ve been around since 1989, all made here in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland,” says Bird.

“Every single thing I wear by them is custom made by them and it’s purely because it’s all about individuality and that’s what I like to push out and let other people know, ‘You can too’.”

The TV Personality of the Year award is the only publicly voted category within the awards and will be announced on Tuesday, December 5. Voting closes next Monday, November 20.

The TV Personality of the Year finalists for 2023 are:

  • Guy Montgomery - Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee (Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ/ThreeNow & Three)
  • Michael Galvin - Shortland Street (TVNZ 2 & TVNZ+)
  • Jenny-May Clarkson - Breakfast (TVNZ 1 & TVNZ+)
  • Luke Bird - Lucky Dip on the Road (Whakaata Māori)
  • Dai Henwood - Lego Masters NZ (TVNZ 2 & TVNZ+)
  • Ryan Bridge - AM (Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ/ThreeNow & Three)
  • Dame Susan Devoy - Celebrity Treasure Island, Treasure Island: Fans V Faves (TVNZ 2 & TVNZ+)
  • Kim Crossman - Snackmasters, Homebound 3.0, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Creamerie, (ThreeNow & Three, TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2 & TVNZ+)
  • Joe Daymond - Bouncers (Sky (Comedy Central)/Neon)
  • Aesha Scott - Below Deck Down Under (Bravo New Zealand)