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Tom Sainsbury talks to Sarah on The Breeze!  Play the interview, or read the transcript below (edited for readability). 

[Sarah]: I don’t really need to introduce this man too much because everyone knows the name Tom Sainsbury, and he joins me now! Hi, Tom, how’re you doing?

[Tom]: I’m so good! How are you?

Good, I’m good. Thanks for talking to me. I was just thinking back to when I first heard the name Tom Sainsbury – was it back in 2017 that you started doing funny videos?

You got it! All politicians, yes!

And look at you now!! You’ve been really busy lately. You had the comedy Gala, then the New Zealand International Film Festival – it’s all go.

Yes, exactly. Yeah, so I did the comedy festival earlier this year – just me and the mic, doing stand-up, and now I’m taking that show around the country. It’s nice! I’ve also got a film that I thought was a psychological thriller, but everyone’s walking out of it going ‘God, that was hilarious!’ I think I’ve missed the mark…

I just can’t imagine you doing anything that was like 100% serious.

Ah, well, look, I’ve tried, but I just remember one time getting a prize at school and walking onto the stage, and everyone laughed for doing nothing except for walking on. So I think I’m doomed to be the clown.

From that moment, that was your destiny. Now, this is really cool – you’ve teamed up with Able, in partnership with TVNZ, to launch audio description on the app, Earcatch – and you are actually doing the audio description for the first episode of Taskmaster New Zealand tonight!

Yeah, that’s right. So a couple of days ago, I went into the Able studios. And just so that was me up a script that I could kind of embellish and put my own touches on, and just read the kind of audio description. So that’s basically the important bits of action or kind of visual gags that you can get, you have to see to understand and the aim is to, for people who are blind or have low sight can enjoy the show, and there’s my little voice piping up telling them some of the things that they might miss! So yeah, it’s a really good incentive.

Yes. Now when you say that they’ve written you a script, did you stick to that script? Because I can’t imagine that.

Well, okay, this is what happened. The first time I started reading, I was very dramatic, and I threw myself into it, and they were like, ‘Tom, the tone’s more kind of neutral! It’s not so much about you! So after a bit of trial and error, I think I got the swing of that. Also, it was Taskmaster – so it’s got a lot of my friends in it, so at first, I was kind of watching it, and seriously laughing at the same time. So it probably took longer to record than it should have.

And in all seriousness, this is fantastic, isn’t it? For those who are, you know, low vision or blind in New Zealand? What a game changer having this free app is – just fantastic.

Yeah, it’s so good. So before their service, they had Able to stuff, but it was for live broadcast. So you had to kind of watch it as it was happening on television. But this new app means that it’s kind of like how we can watch things streamed on demand and things like that. And so they’ve got access to it whenever they want to now, which is great.

It’s so good. Yeah, so good. So you’re doing all this you’ve got your show on tour. What’s next for Tom Sainsbury?

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind a little bit of a holiday. Well, the thing is, the elections are coming up and so I’m just kind of like working out how to play my cards and get a whole lot of political satire videos out there again.

Oh, great, yes, because elections are so boring. Aren’t they so boring?

Particularly this one, I think.  I’ve been practicing my two Chris impressions and Judith Collins. Chris Hipkins is a little bit harder, but Chris Luxon – interestingly because I used to have the Simon Bridges which is really strong – if you dial it back 50%, it’s actually Chris Luxon is a bit the same with was there kind of the New Zealand accent – but not as hardcore.

Ah, man. I’m looking forward to seeing those, that’s great. And of course, Taskmaster New Zealand Season Four is on TVNZ+ from tonight and I am really looking forward to hearing your audio description, Tom. I think it’s awesome. Thanks.

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