Barry Soper is a very experienced political commentator
He's been in Parliament longer than all of them so he's earned the right to be irreverent! Barry has been a journalist for nearly 50 years, with over 30 of them spent in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, making him the longest serving member of the gallery and the country’s most experienced political broadcast journalist.
Barry came to the gallery as political editor for private radio but during his time has made frequent appearances on television commenting on politics.
He has fronted Counterpoint for TVNZ, Right of Reply and Absolutely Soper, a light hearted weekly feature on TV2’s late night news. He’s also been a radio talkback host and has served an unprecedented three terms as chairman of the press gallery. For many years he has written a daily satirical column that he voices for radio and which is published daily on various internet sites.
Through his work he has known and travelled abroad with seven Prime Ministers, the first of whom was Rob Muldoon. He has also met and interviewed some of the most celebrated world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, most of the Australian Prime Ministers, among them Paul Keating who once called him ‘a blow fly’, and Bill Clinton who called him ‘a gentleman’.
His colleagues honoured Barry with a life membership of the gallery and was named radio journalist of the year.
Barry works out daily at the gym and is passionate about golf, although plays too infrequently to maintain a healthy handicap. He is married to Heather du Plessis-Allen and has five children.
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