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de Wit & David Downs

An inspiring and hilarious fireside chat duo


Willy de Wit shares his inspiring and hilariously funny journey in a fireside chat style address facilitated by David Downs - sure to be a memorable highlight of any event!

Born William McGechie, Willy de Wit soon found his niche in comedy and found a new career (and new name). Pioneering NZ's stand-up comedy scene in the 1980s, Willy moved into TV, working with giants like Billy T James, and McPhail & Gadbsy. He was part of the iconic and hugely successful TV group Funny Business, which led de Wit into a career in radio. Willy spent 11 years as the morning host of Radio Hauraki and was also part of the kiwi supergroup The Wide Lapels. Tragically, in 2016 Willy suffered a life-threatening stroke which still impacts him to this day.

Genetically Modified Optimist, David Downs has had a successful career in the private and public sector and is now CEO of The New Zealand Story. He also acts as a consultant and is a director on several boards, including as Chair of The Icehouse. David is an ex-comedian, TV and radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, cancer survivor and a published author of the books No.8 Re-wired, No.8 Recharged, A Mild Touch of the Cancer, and Silver Linings. David founded SOS Business, a hugely successful not-for-profit initiative to help cafes and other small businesses during covid-19.

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