Monday, September 19, 2011

New Zealand TV Star Apologizes for Airport Skit

WANNA-BEn's Ben Boyce
 3News: It was all in the name of comedy, but today no one was laughing.

WANNA-BEn star Ben Boyce admits that he crossed the line when he suggested radio DJ Bryce Casey play a pilot and attempt to enter a restricted area in Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal.

“He doesn’t look like a pilot, he’s unshaven, he’s got tattoos, we didn’t have any ID, he just went up and said ‘I’m flying the next plane out of here’ and they pick holes through the story because he had no ID and he had no idea what gate or what flight he was on,” says Boyce.

“I think when it comes down to it, I can only point the blame at me really, I should have listened to my teachers all the way through school,” he says.

Also in on the gag was TV producer Andrew Robinson. The three appeared in Manukau District Court today charged with breaching the Civil Aviation Act. They're appearing next month but until then are not allowed to go near the airport.

“What started as something we thought was a mildly amusing skit for the show escalated into a police hunt which was never the intention, and when we heard about it, we were pretty quick to call them up and tell them it was us,” he says.

The penalty if found guilty is 12 months in prison or a $10,000 fine.

“It's irresponsible for a bunch of clowns who should know better. Quite frankly we're in the middle of hosting a Rugby World Cup and if these are people playing games, they need to grow up,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Grow up is exactly what Boyce plans to do. He says he'll be more cautious of the next skit he plans. “We're sorry that we caused alarm and we hope that people don’t get full cavity searched when they travel all thanks to us,” he says.

Mediaworks, which runs the WANNA-BEn series says despite the charges it will run the show as planned this week. But it's still unknown whether the skit in question will make it on television.

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