|Jeremy "Ridgey" Wells|
|Birth name||Jeremy Wells|
|Born||19 January 1977
Auckland, New Zealand
Jeremy "Ridgey" Wells (born 7 June 1977) is a New Zealand television personality, most famous as the host of TVNZ's satirical news show Eating Media Lunch. He currently hosts the Radio Hauraki breakfast show with Matt Heath. Wells also appears beside Hilary Barry on Seven Sharp, where he has taken over from Mike Hosking.
Wells first appeared on television in 1997 on MTV. He later appeared with Mikey Havoc, as Newsboy, on Havoc's television show. After the conclusion of Havoc, Wells and Havoc went their separate ways - Havoc fronting his own show on TV3 and Wells his for TVNZ, Eating Media Lunch. He also presented the satirical The Unauthorised History Of New Zealand in 2005 and an episode of Intrepid Journeys in 2007. Wells' impassive, deadpan style has been called "newsnight-of-the-living-dead" by the New Zealand Listener, though the same article claimed "Wells would be compelling viewing reading the phone book."
He became notorious in November 2003 when an episode of Eating Media Lunch featured a spoof of the current affairs programme Target, who often would use hidden cameras to catch less than reliable tradepersons or workers. In it, the spoof depicted two actors as Target camera technicians in someone else's home caught on hidden camera in various degrading acts such as masturbation, defecation (on a kitchen stove), injecting and smoking drugs and phone sex. Also, one technician stripped naked and covered himself with cling wrap, and later urinated on the other technician. The spoof attracted several complaints from viewers, however in March 2004 the BSA (Broadcasting Standards Authority) of New Zealand found the episode had not breached any guidelines.
Wells and Havoc satirically labelled Gore the gay capital of New Zealand in 1999, during Havoc and Newsboy's Sell-out Tour. Returning to the town to cover the 2008 election, Wells was confronted by a group of fifteen men angry over the comments. The group started harassing him at a petrol station, and followed him back to his hotel room. They harassed him for ninety minutes and he was trapped in his hotel room until the police were called.
Wells spent 23 days travelling with the 108 members of the NZSO in October 2010 and produced a documentary The Grand Tour, a product of his own interest in classical music. The programme contains several interviews with the musicians and support crew, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Wells co-hosted The Saturday Special with Steve Simpson on bFM; the show continued when both hosts moved to Radio Hauraki. In 2014, Wells changed shows to become a co-host of the Radio Hauraki breakfast show, alongside Matt Heath and Laura McGoldrick.
Wells was born in Auckland, New Zealand, the son of sports administrator Sir John Wells. He was expelled from the exclusive Wanganui Collegiate School in his sixth-form year, and later attended St Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton. In 2005, Wells was awarded a Bravo award by the New Zealand Skeptics for his "scathing look at the psychic and medium business, on Eating Media Lunch."
- Monk, Felicity (6 December 2003). "Jeremy Wells". New Zealand Listener. 191 (3317). Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Breakfast - Radio Hauraki". Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
- Wichtel, Diana (18–24 November 2006). "Positively shocking". New Zealand Listener. 206 (3471): 71. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Lewis, Rebecca (16 November 2008). "Southern discomfort for Wells". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
- Tapaleao, Vaimoana (2 April 2009). "Certainly you can call me Sir - but it's all in the name of sport". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Monk, Felicity (6 December 2003). "Jeremy Wells". Noted. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "Bravo Awards". New Zealand Skeptics. Retrieved 7 November 2016.