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Maud Basham "Aunt Daisy", MBE
Maud Basham's long radio career began in 1928 during the first decade of the medium in New Zealand when she started singing on Auckland stations. She then moved to presenting a children's session, under the name "Aunt Daisy" which was to stick for the rest of her career. In the 1930s she joined the Commercial Broadcasting Service and moved to Wellington – presenting a nationwide programme every weekday morning which she did for the next 30 years.
In her characteristic rapid-fire patter, Aunt Daisy would chat informally to her audience, sprinkling 'infomercial-style' endorsements for her sponsors' products with recipes, home hints and letters from listeners.
For over three decades 'Aunt Daisy' was the Queen of Radio in New Zealand and was regarded as the most influential woman in the country when it came to advertising. It was said if she endorsed a product on her morning programme, it would be sold out by lunchtime. Her influence was extended by best-selling cookbooks as well as books of household hints which were compiled from content of her programmes.
In this excerpt from an interview about her career she explains how she only ever promoted products she believed in – which meant her audience trusted her recommendations.
Find out more about Aunt Daisy:
Watch Aunt Daisy in, Cookery Nook , a humourous promotional film for Edmonds baking products.
Listen to one of Aunt Daisy's weekday radio programmes from 1950.
Image: RNZ Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
Catalogue Reference 32957
Radio New Zealand