Originally trained as a journalist in 1979 and with a degree from Victoria University in English Literature & Drama, Michèle has been part of New Zealand’s entertainment industry since she first appeared on television in 1987 as a children’s TV presenter.
In the years since she has worked in radio, theatre and television, and was an original member of the team of comedians who brought the hit TV show, “7 Days” to our screens. She performs live in pubs and clubs everywhere from the Laugh Factory in Las Vegas to the Mangawhai Tavern in Northland. Michèle won “NZ Female Comedian of the Decade” in 2010.
Michèle co-hosted the legendary feminist podcast and webseries ‘On The Rag’ for several years with Alex Casey and Leonie Hayden. The trio were nominated for ‘Best Presenter Entertainment’ at the NZ TV Awards in 2020.
Michèle has written two bestselling books: “Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter” (2015) and “How We Met” (2018), both published by Harper Collins. She has been writing a weekly column on social issues since 2008, most recently in the NZ Woman’s Weekly. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared on the Spinoff and RNZ, in Metro, Next, the Listener, Your Weekend, the Sunday Star Times, In-Business, Good, Bride & Groom and Pet Magazine.
As an after-dinner speaker, event host and conference MC, Michèle’s hundreds of corporate clients over the past 25 years include nurses, social workers, financial advisors, classical musicians, IT specialists, plumbers, insurance specialists, bankers, builders, lawyers, electrical workers, travel industry professionals and scientists.
Michèle first came to NZ’s attention as the award-winning host of What Now, the children’s TV show which aired live for two hours each week, and The Video Dispatch, a current affairs programme aimed at youth but, according to legend, was the “must-see TV show” for NZ’s politicians who were looking for a weekly, easy-to-understand explanation of the big news stories.
Her television drama credits include ‘Shortland St’ (Head of the DHB Helen Carson, a recurring character in 2008 & 2009), ‘Go Girls’ (Miriam Hirsch, mother of core cast characters, 2013) and ‘A Night At the Classic’ (playing Michele, a stand-up comedian, 2011) (that was a stretch).
For more detail and some clips, follow this link to NZOnScreen.
Her theatre credits include ‘Mike & Virginia’ (Herald Theatre, 2011), ‘The Vagina Monologues’ (Hawkes Bay Opera House, 2008) and ‘Mum’s The Word’ (national tour, 2003).
Michele has a raft of awards from various comedy festivals. She is a member of Actors’ Equity and a Life Member of the NZ Comedy Guild.
Michèle is the Patron of the Moving & Handling Association of NZ (MHANZ) which cares for carers in the health sector, and an Ambassador for Breast Cancer Cure.
“Michele’s comedy comes from both the head and the heart… We get to laugh, and think, and laugh some more… She is one of the best… A true comedy diva.” – Theatreview
“Effortless style…” – Dominion Post
“One of NZ’s premier comedians… Her gag about Queen Victoria is outstanding” – The Ruminator
“A’Court brings her A-game… She delivers with energy, insight and great timing. Funny and smart. A brilliant host.” – The Press
“Tight, taut, and very, very funny.” – Bay of Plenty Times
“A’Court is a genius at creating the seesaw that bounces us from laugh to laugh and is so in tune with her audience that it’s as though she knows each of us personally and is reaching out to touch us.” – Theatreview
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) – in the New Year Honours 2023
VAC Reilly Comedy Award for Excellence 2015 – Variety Artists Club of NZ
Funniest Blog/Column 2015 – NZ Comedy Guild
Female Comedian of the Decade 2010 – NZ Comedy Guild
Spirit of the Festival 2008 – NZ International Comedy Festival
Best Female Comedian 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007 – NZ Comedy Guild Awards
Best Show Concept 2005 – for “Heritage 101”, NZ International Comedy Festival
Best Industry Friend 2003 – NZ Comedy Guild Awards
Best Laugh! Festival Show 2002 – “If You Want Me I’ll Be In The Bar”, NZ Comedy Guild Awards
Best Female Comedian 1997 – Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards
Travel Writing Highly Commended Award 1995 – Cathay Pacific Media Travel Awards
Special Recognition Award 1991 – for Excellence in Presentation from the ITVA (NZ) “Choice Not Chance” video on contraception produced for secondary schools (and still in use).
Best Children’s Programme Award 1989 – LIFTA for “What Now?”
Miss Junior Hawkes Bay – 1970