Former Lotto presenter on to a winner with TV series profiling successful expats

Former Lotto presenter Hilary Timmins says there is a large number of Kiwis living overseas whose successes are flying under the radar.

It’s something she plans to change through a new television series, Dream Catchers, profiling a number of successful New Zealanders.

Timmins, who hosted the weekly national lottery draw from 1992 to 2007, said the series would initially focus on Kiwis living in the UK.

She said the idea first came to her after travelling between London and New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquake in 2010, before moving there in September 2011.

“The idea for Dream Catchers began [four years ago]when I was coming over from Christchurch and I got involved in quite a lot of fundraising events at the time and started to meet all of these Kiwis living in the UK,” Timmins said.

“It was an emotional time being away from New Zealand with the earthquake so Kiwis came together and it struck me that a lot of them were pretty amazing and doing amazing things but we don’t hear about them back home. So the idea floated around from there.”

Timmins has been in New Zealand meeting broadcasters and sponsorship organisations, and said she hoped pre-production for the series would begin in the first quarter of this year, with the first series scheduled to air around September.

A promotional trailer for the series was released in October, and the response so far had been extremely positive, something Timmins said signalled a change in New Zealand attitudes.

“Everybody that we’ve spoken to back in New Zealand is really excited about the project and I think New Zealanders are ready to celebrate themselves a lot more,” Timmins said. “I think the people that we’ve featured in the trailer and been speaking to for the series, they’re not the sort of people that go around blowing their own trumpet, they’re very humble, very focused on what they do and very interested in the aspirational side of the programme for young people.”

Timmins said the aim was to show young people in New Zealand that they could do anything they wanted to.

The series would feature people from a variety of roles including creative, IT and executive people – “we have barristers and baristas, entrepreneurs and executives, designers and dancers”, and all aimed at inspiring young Kiwis.

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