Wallace Chapman is a New Zealand radio host and TV broadcaster. Wallace is well-known for being the host of the unique ‘pub politics’ TV show Back Benches on PRIME - debating with MP’s every Wednesday night across the road from Parliament at The Backbencher pub, before a crowded live pub of punters. Back Benches aired in April 2008 and ran for 10 years.
Wallace is currently the host of long running show The Panel at Radio New Zealand which features a range of panellists from across the opinion spectrum, together with expert phone guests. In 2019, Wallace was awarded silver in the 'Best Talk Show Host' section at the New York Festival Radio Awards 2019.
Wallace has a degree from the University of Otago in English and Education but got side-tracked into advertising/media with a 5-year stint as Creative Director for Radio One 91FM Dunedin, before being headhunted for the Creative Director position at 95bFM Auckland, which he held for 5 years. The move into on-air broadcasting came with the Breakfast Host position on 95bFM for a year, before time as breakfast host on Kiwi FM, before joining Radio Live for several years doing talkback radio.
Wallace was host of Sunday Mornings on RNZ National - the country’s largest weekend radio show from 2014 - 2018 before becoming host of The Panel in 2019.
In television, Wallace hosted Back Benches for 10 years - somewhat of a record in the media industry these days. He has presented a series for TVNZ called The New Old, about old trends that have come into vogue again, as well as a panellist for 8 years on ‘The Men’s Panel’ on (the now defunct) Good Morning TVNZ.
His first book came out in 2013 - all about how to reclaim back your life, by slowing down, and being more ‘mindful’ in life. Out on Penguin, it is called ‘Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: A Manifesto for the Slow Living Life.’
Wallace was born and raised in Manurewa South Auckland in a mixed heritage family. His father, Wallace Snr is from Levuka Fiji, Mum, New Zealand European.
Perhaps being the classic Aquarian, Wallace’s interest span is large. He has a deep interest in fine arts (with a burgeoning art collection), politics, is well on top of current issues affecting NZ society, adores music, international relations, and population health issues - and let’s not forget food!
“I absolutely love the public speaking component of what I do. The importance of engaging an audience, but also informing as well as having a laugh, sits at the heart of what I do.”