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Lawyer, columnist and comedian


James Elliot is currently a practising lawyer. He is a legal consultant at where he also writes a weekly satirical review of the news, Yesterdaze. James appears regularly on the Week That Was segment of RNZ's Nine to Noon show and is also a guest panelist on Wallace Chapman's Panel, as well as a highly sought-after MC for conferences and events.


James started performing stand-up comedy in 2000 and quickly became a regular on the comedy circuit performing at The Classic and appearing on several series of TV's Pulp Comedy. He organized entertainment tours for UN Troops in Timor, has written for the 7 Days TV programme, and hosted on Radiosport. He has written humour columns under his own name and a pseudonym for The NZ Herald, Herald On Sunday and The Listener.

In the corporate space, in addition to being a sought-after MC, James has been a hoax expert speaker in various guises, an after-dinner speaker, and a celebrity debater. He's also written and produced corporate training videos.

As an MC, James' philosophy is to take the audience on a journey together whether just for the evening or for the duration of a conference over several days. He has MC'd events as diverse as the NZ Spelling Bee, the Plain English Awards, and the Inter-Pacific Bar Association Conference in Manila.

Talking Points

The ILANZ Conference wouldn't be the same without James as MC. He is absolutely fabulous. Please keep him on! ILANZ

James was very supportive of me as the organiser of the conference and contributed willingly when asked. He added value to the preparation and throughout the 2-day event. James was very well prepared, he did his homework, and used material that was relevant, up to date, engaging and made people laugh. He bought a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm to the MC role but above all he successfully led the delegates through the 2-day conference journey' which we had discussed as a crucial element at the outset. I received a tremendous amount of feedback about James, both during and after the conference, and it was all very positive saying he was great and very funny. I would recommend James to anybody who wants to let someone take control of what you have organised and run it seamlessly in an engaging and professional manner. I will certainly be asking him to run our conference again.


We recommend James as an MC. He does a fantastic job “ witty, clever, articulate and polished. He takes the scripts we give him and transforms them into fabulous entertainment. The audience loves him.

WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust

This was James' 4th year performing the MC role for our Conference and we felt he was even better than last year when he was superb. He puts considerable time and thought into his role and his intellect, insight and humour combine to make him an ideal MC.

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