Remembering Billy T James 28 years on: Marae Witness News

Publish Date
Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 10:01AM

It's hard to believe, but today marks 28 years since Billy T James died in Greenlane Hospital at the age of 43, after suffering from heart failure.

So in honour of the comedian with the cheeky chuckle and the yellow towel around his neck, we're throwing it back to his most iconic clip: Marae Witness News.

Born in Cambridge in 1949, Billy T moved at age 11 with his family to Whangarei.

After school he studied at Elam art school in Auckland and served a five-year apprenticeship to become a commercial artist.

He returned to Whangarei to drive a truck until joining the Auckland band Radars and by the mid-1970s he had been asked to join the Volcanics.

The self-titled Billy T James Show hit television in 1981 and he was Entertainer of the Year within months.