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Colin Mathura-Jeffree comes clean

Colin Mathura-Jeffree tells NZWW what happened when he met Paul Henry on set.

It’s the moment New Zealand TV has been waiting for. Two of the country’s most colourful personalities finally meet in an arena filled with fabrications, half-truths and the odd genuine story, in what was guaranteed to be an eventful and exciting occasion.

According to Colin Mathura- Jeffree, his guest spot on TV3’s Would I Lie to You? with controversial host Paul Henry was action-packed, but not in the way you might be thinking. “I did pull my pants down in front of him… in front of everyone, actually!” Colin giggles. Why? “You’ll see,” he says cryptically.

Despite his loud and forthright personality, Colin says while the experience of being on the show was amazing, it’s hard to try and tell a convincing lie. “I was never brought up to lie, I’m really not good at it. I give things away in my face, I get all confused and trip myself up. It’s not something that comes naturally to me and with this show you need to be on your toes all the time!”

Unfortunately for Colin, having been to an engagement party the night before, the show’s 7.30am call time meant he wasn’t quite as alert as he would have liked. “When I arrived, the assistant asked me if I wanted coffee. I was still all perky, so I turned around and said, ‘No, I want Champagne!’ So she zipped off and came back with a bottle.

Then Paul walked in and said, ‘Who’s drinking Champagne? I want some!’ So we all had a glass. I got a little bit tiddly and I think I got Paul a little tiddly too!” Despite Paul’s previous controversial comments about Indian petrol station attendants and the nationality of New Zealand’s former governor-general, Colin, a New Zealand born Indian, says he and Paul got along famously.

“He’s a really funny, intelligent man. I believe in freedom of expression, love it or hate it. I know he said some things that were kind of interesting, but he’s a lot more than that situation. “People often throw that at me, like, ‘You’re meeting Paul Henry, but you’re Indian?’ A couple of jokes don’t destabilise my heritage in any capacity,” he explains.

Known for his frankness and honesty, Colin says he was hopeless at the game of lies at first. “I was so embarrassed! You can blame the Champagne, the party the night before, the ego… but it was just the game! “But I finally got it and what I realised I should have done was find the truth in the lie and bring that out.” But with his track record, he didn’t have much experience to draw on.

“Right from the start I was a terrible liar!” he exclaims. “My father was a classic car collector and one day, when I was four, I played with one of his car’s steering wheels so hard that it broke. So I told Dad a big dog came through the window and broke it.” With a colourful career that’s spanned more than 20 years, Colin’s modelling has seen him appear on the covers of many international fashion magazines and he has graced the catwalk for Versace.

He also snared starring roles in Bollywood film Love Has No Language and Xena: Warrior Princess. But he says some people have trouble believing the stories of his fabulous overseas adventures. “I’ve modelled around the world and I was picked up by princesses and taken to royal palaces – amazing things like that.

“When I got back to little old New Zealand, people who didn’t even know me would say, ‘You’re lying!’ And I’d say, ‘Who the hell are you to tell me my life isn’t true!’ “I’m the wrong person to start riling up about that, I’m like a bull in a china shop! “I’m quirky and I’ve had an unusual life. So I’m a great person to find out those weird, amazing truths!”

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