Jesse Mulligan hosts Radio NZ National from 1 to 4pm, weekdays. He became a household name thanks to his appearances on 7 Days, Seven Sharp and Best Bits. But you might not know much about what he does when he’s not on TV or radio.

Jesse grew up in Hamilton and trained as a lawyer, before a surprise win in a first-timers’ stand up comedy competition led his career in a different path. He spent several years working as a comedian and breakfast radio DJ in Wellington before heading to London, where he worked in food and drink at a busy Covent Garden PR agency. He also took up writing, and when he returned to New Zealand turned his love of food into a job reviewing restaurants for Metro magazine and on his Auckland Food Blog. he’s currently the eating out editor for Viva magazine in the NZ Herald.

His stand up comedy background led him to a job as head writer and then regular panelist for hit TV3 show 7 Days. He was TV3’s go-to man for comedy writing for a couple of years, before TVNZ hired him as host of the new 7pm show Seven Sharp. Jesse left that show in April 2014, to become host of hit Thursday night comedy Best Bits. He’s also an occasional New Zealand correspondent for Australia’s “The Project”.

Off screen, he works as an event MC and as a writer, helping brands “find the funny” in their TV ads, websites and communications with customers. He continues to freelance for publications such as The SpinoffNZ Herald and The Economist, and lives in Grey Lynn with his wife Victoria and their three children.