David Farrier

Last updated

David Farrier
David Farrier.JPG
Farrier in 2016
Born (1982-12-25) 25 December 1982 (age 39)
Tauranga, New Zealand
Alma mater Auckland University of Technology
  • Journalist
  • actor
Notable credit(s)
Dark Tourist
3 News
Short Poppies

David Farrier (born 25 December 1982) [1] is a New Zealand journalist and actor. He has worked in news and documentary, including features on New Zealand television and co-directing the internationally distributed documentary film Tickled (2016). In 2018, he created the Netflix documentary series Dark Tourist , in which he visits obscure, peculiar, or dangerous tourist spots. He has also done some acting, most notably in the Rhys Darby mockumentary series Short Poppies .



Farrier started his journalism career at 3 News, and he was Nightline 's entertainment reporter from 2006 until the program's end in 2013. [2] In 2011, he made a 45-minute documentary for TV3 about the origins of "God Defend New Zealand", one of the two New Zealand national anthems. [3] In 2014, he played a fictionalised version of himself in Darby's 2014 mockumentary series Short Poppies . [4]

In 2015, he became co-host, with reporter Sam Hayes,of the TV3 show Newsworthy , which aired for one year. [5] [6] In a June 2015 episode of Newsworthy, Farrier interviewed the then-leader of the New Conservative Party, Colin Craig, in a sauna. Craig resigned as party leader the same month that the conversation aired, with some in the media saying the interview was one of the contributing factors to his leadership failing. [7] [8] This interview was also played during the 2017 defamation trial between Craig and Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogger Cameron Slater. [9] In 2022, Farrier expressed regret for the interview because of Craig's political views, saying that it drew parallels to "what Jimmy Fallon did to Donald Trump. Fallon, ruffling Trump's hair. Me, topless, joking around with Colin. It was an image that instantly excused all that bad shit." [10]

In November 2016, Farrier wrote an article for The Spinoff about individuals with various sexual fetishes issuing "challenges" or dares to children on YouTube, encouraging them to make seemingly innocent videos of themselves; this led to several YouTube accounts being banned. [11] [12] Farrier is a frequent guest contributor to The Spinoff, covering topics such as conspiracy theories, COVID-19, media, and culture. [13]

In 2018, he was an executive producer and served as presenter on the Netflix documentary series Dark Tourist , in which he travels to various locations around the world associated with death and tragedy. [14] [15] [16]


From 2013 to 2017, he co-hosted the cryptozoology-focused audio program The Cryptid Factor with comedian Rhys Darby and producer Leon 'Buttons' Kirkbeck. [17]

In September 2020, Farrier appeared on the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and thereafter has worked alongside the Armchair umbrella in releasing a podcast series dubbed Armchaired and Dangerous, which discusses popular conspiracy theories. [18]

In 2022, Farrier presented an eight-part podcast for Audible titled When a Good Man Kills, which covers the story of how the boxer Tim "Doc" Anderson murdered his manager, Rick "Elvis" Parker. [19]


In 2014, Farrier began production of the feature-length documentary Tickled , in collaboration with Dylan Reeve. [20] [21] The film centres on "competitive endurance tickling" and videos featuring it, as well as those producing the videos. The film explores the legal and ethical issues of making the videos and has itself been the subject of legal challenges.

The film premiered in January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival and was shown on HBO. [22] In 2017, Farrier did a short follow-up documentary, with previously unseen footage, entitled The Tickle King. [23] [24]


Farrier publishes the newsletter Webworm, which he started in 2020. [18] The newsletter covers a range of topics and in its early years had a specific focus on conspiracy theories, such as QAnon. [25] [26] It has since broadened its topics of coverage: for example, in 2022, Farrier broke a story about allegations of employment and sexual abuse at Arise Church. [27] [28] He has also covered stories on the toymaker Zuru's defamation lawsuit of former employees. [29] [30]

Personal life

Farrier was raised in Bethlehem, Tauranga, where he was home-schooled before attending the Christian Bethlehem College. [1] He has written about Bethlehem College's policies on sexuality and gender, which many have labelled as homophobic and transphobic, in Webworm. [31]

Farrier was raised by devout Baptists and describes his younger self as "a really good Christian". [32] He initially enrolled to study medicine but soon became disinterested in the discipline and instead entered the Auckland University of Technology, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies degree in 2005. [32]

In 2012, during the government sitting of New Zealand's Marriage Equality Bill, Farrier came out as bisexual, identifying his relationship with Grayson Coutts, the son of yachtsman Russell Coutts; the couple have since separated. [33]

Television work

2007–13 Nightline YesTelevision news program - entertainment presenter
2010 Campbell Live YesCurrent affairs television program - presenter
2011God Defend New ZealandYesDocumentary film - host
Coming & GoingYesFilm - Angry Dinner Guest in Wheelchair
2012 3 News YesTelevision news program - presenter
2014 Short Poppies YesMockumentary television series - Presenter
Manila: No LimitationsYesDocumentary film - Himself
2015 Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws YesFeature film - Himself
Newsworthy YesTelevision news program - presenter
2016 Tickled YesYesDocumentary film
Chelsea YesTelevision talk show - "Brexit's Aftermath & Competitive Tickling"
2017The Tickle KingYesYesDocumentary short
The Video StoreYesMiniseries - David (Customer)
2018 Dark Tourist YesYesYesDocumentary television series
2020 The Project YesCurrent affairs television series - 1 episode
The George Lucas Talk Show YesImprovised talk show - "Season III: Revenge of the Arli$$ith"

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  1. 1 2 "David Farrier: Telly's boy child". Now to Love. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  2. "David Farrier news". Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  3. NZ on Screen. "God Defend New Zealand | Television | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  4. Genzlinger, Neil (2 April 2014). "Where a Laugh Track Is Do-It-Yourself (Published 2014)". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  5. "Hayes and Farrier ready for return to late-night news". Stuff. 6 June 2015.
  6. "TV3's Newsworthy hosts pulling a sickie?". Stuff. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  7. "Craig to supporters: Can you forgive me?". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  8. Sowman-Lund, Stewart (9 November 2020). "Inside the doomed campaigns of Gareth Morgan, Colin Craig and Mike Lee". The Spinoff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  9. Christian, Harrison (11 May 2017). "Colin Craig defends infamous sauna interview". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  10. Chapman, Madeleine (15 July 2022). "What was Guy Williams trying to do?". The Spinoff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  11. Farrier, David (21 November 2016). "'Hello, my name is Ally' – how children are being exploited by YouTube predators". The Spinoff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  12. CRONIN, AIMIE (22 November 2016). "David Farrier talks about uncovering YouTube predators exploiting children". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  13. Farrier, David. "David Farrier". The Spinoff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  14. Croot, James (22 July 2018). "Dark Tourist: David Farrier's Netflix series gets mixed reviews from US critics". Stuff. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  15. "'Don't do any of it': David Farrier warns against visiting Dark Tourist hotspots". Newshub. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  16. Gilbert, Sophie (26 July 2018). "The Disaster Zone of Netflix's 'Dark Tourist'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  17. "The Cryptid Factor". Augusto. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  18. 1 2 Kilgallon, Steve (29 August 2021). "David Farrier's new life: An audience of 20 million, Hollywood mates and an obsession with conspiracy nuts". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  19. Smith, Ximena (9 July 2022). "Persona: The French Deception: Podcast reveals incredible tale of €38 million scammer". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  20. Hunt, Elle (18 August 2016). "Tickled: how David Farrier poked the underbelly of 'competitive tickling'". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  21. Barton, Monika (1 May 2020). "NZ filmmaker David Farrier uncovers 'tickling epidemic' in US military". Newshub. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  22. Marshall, Lee. "'Tickled': Sundance Review". Screen. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  23. Erbland, Kate (6 February 2017). "'Tickled': HBO Set to Debut Brand New Follow-Up Special Alongside Bizarre Documentary's Broadcast Premiere". IndieWire. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  24. "David Farrier talks The Tickle King and $40 million lawsuits". NZ Herald. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  25. "David Farrier's new life: An audience of 20 million, Hollywood mates and an obsession with conspiracy nuts". Stuff. 29 August 2021. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  26. "David Farrier: Kiwis sucked in by US conspiracy theories and alt-right". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  27. RNZ, Jonty Dine of (12 July 2022). "Temporary non-publication order placed on Arise Church review". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  28. Newsroom, Emile Donovan of (26 April 2022). "The Detail: David Farrier on Arise Church". Stuff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  29. "Kiwi toy giant Zuru speaks out after US court victory". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  30. Sowman-Lund, Stewart (22 July 2022). "So what's up with Zuru?". The Spinoff. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  31. Burke, Cait (29 June 2022). "This Pride Month, I'm tired of just surviving". Fashion Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  32. 1 2 "No guts, no glory". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  33. "David Farrier in same-sex relationship". 28 July 2012 via www.nzherald.co.nz.