Three years ago, comedian Mike King created the Nutters Club on talkback radio after a lack of calls into his show left him informing viewers that he would start talking to the voices in his head instead.
“The voices were going, you’re useless at this, no wonder no-one’s calling,” King told Simon Pound on Media7 (episode 27). “I was just saying it out loud, what the voices in my head were saying. Suddenly the boards lit up and for the rest of the week they stayed lit up.”
Listeners were calling in to talk about everything from drug addiction to alcohol abuse and depression. King was no stranger to “fast lollies and liquid lightning” but a stroke had changed his life.
“As I was lying in my coma dribbling down the front of my shirt, all I could think about was, if I get another shot at this, then I’m going to try to do something a bit different. And I didn’t know what that thing was until this came along.”
The Nutters Club has now grown from a talkback radio show to morph into 60 TV shows on Maori Television, a best-selling book by the same name and a Facebook page with more than 7,500 members.
The Club is changing the way people think, feel, talk and behave in relation to mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural issues, as well as sexual health and wellbeing.
Judges said the Nutters Club was a great initiative hitting the mark, “a really effective and novel community and unique media approach ... a clever piece of marketing and innovation”.