Billy T & Me with Peter Rowley

Peter Rowley
Peter Rowley with Billy T James
'Billy T & Me' is a personal tribute by comic actor Peter Rowley who spent five years working with one of New Zealand’s biggest icons, Billy T James.


Billy T & Me is a personal tribute by comic actor Peter Rowley who spent five years working with one of New Zealand’s biggest icons, Billy T James.

Peter will share some stories and clips in a 'trip down a hilarious memory lane' at the NZ International Comedy Festival.


'Name: Peter Rowley

During what hours of the day do you feel most inspired?

Early morning or on my walk early evening.

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic or style?

Young for my age but a little bullish.

What aspect of your creative practice gives you the biggest thrill?

Good audience response to material that has to be delivered right!

How does your environment affect your work?

The right “room” helps a lot in comedy.

Do you like to look at the big picture or focus on the details?

I am fast becoming a detail person.

What's your number one business tip for surviving (and thriving) in the creative industries?

Believe in yourself and don’t drop the ball!!!!

Which of your projects to date has given you the most satisfaction?

Working with Billy T James.

Who or what has inspired you recently?

Watching the Gala Comedy Show on TV3 recently!

Tell us a bit about your background.

All my life I have been involved in entertainment. Even when I was a boy I was into showmanship of some sort. I left it for a while but totally happy now I am back!

Tell us a bit about the show (inception to conception)

In 2008 I decided to put together a show called  Billy T & Me. A show to celebrate my time with such an iconic Kiwi. I wrote a script and got Ian Mune to assist in direction, shot a DVD as well as create a live show. The Comedy Festival people invited me to put show on at the Auckland Town Hall which just blew me away!

If you could go back and choose a completely different career path to the one you've chosen, what would it be?

I would most definitely have been a pilot.

What place is always with you, wherever you go?

Hampshire in England, I went there in the autumn.  The golden hues and the fantasia architecture it blew me away and realised why Tolkien and JK Rowling would set their stories there. It was magic, it totally blew me away and the sun was shining which is unusual for that part of the world!

What's the best way to listen to music, and why?

I love listening to music in the car – cancels stress road rage and your a captive listener

You are given a piece of string, a stick and some fabric. What do you make?

A Kite

What's the best stress relief advice you've ever been given?

Count to 10 and Buddha has a few tips.

What's great about today?

I’m alive!

What’s your big idea for 2011?

To get as many New Zealanders as possible to experience what a privilege and an honour it was to work with our iconic entertainer, through my show Billy T & Me.

Further information:

Notorious Proudly Presents

Billy T & Me with Peter Rowley

 During the 80’s Peter co-wrote and co-starred with Billy in his home-grown sketch show, The Billy T James Show and this is his chance to impart some knowledge and share the stories of that time. Many of us remember Peter with the same fondness as Billy, he was instrumental in the show and helped to shape our sense of humour as Kiwis.
Billy T & Me is made up from a delightful mix of Peter telling stories as only someone of his calibre can, and clips from the TV series. You’ll recognise the Lands For Bags rip off, the painted Porsche and Turangi Vice, some of the most seminal moments in New Zealand comedy.

The show is also available on DVD through Sony, signed copies will be available after the live performances.

"I haven't really said anything for 25 years about what it was like to work with him," says Rowley. "But I just wanted to focus on the comedic associations, what the public saw but also the humour that went on behind the scenes, and just the fun and laughter that we had in those four years. We were close because we were together for four years and we became good mates and when we wrote I actually lived at his house." – To Scott Kara, Nov 2010

Peter himself has appeared in over 40 New Zealand productions including legendary shows such as Pete & Pio, McPhail and Gadsby, Letter to Blanchy and Footrot Flats: A Dogs Tale.

NZ International Comedy Festival
Dates:   17 – 21 May, 7.00pm
Venue:   Comedy Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE, AUCKLAND
Tickets:  Adults $32.50, Conc. $28
Bookings:  0800 BUY TICKETS or

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

12 May 2011

The Big Idea Editor

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