TV One’s “The Bugman” available for After Dinner Entertainment of a unique offering.
Natural history has always been Ruud’s passion. From an early age he possessed binoculars and chased birds in a wide range of habitats. After high school, Ruud enrolled at Wageningen University, where he gained an MSc honours degree in silviculture, animal ecology and conservation, while managing to travel extensively around Europe and further a field. During his university studies, entomology became an important hobby, although he never actually took a paper in the subject – a hobby is much better than a job!
In 1978 Ruud migrated to New Zealand, where he was appointed Scientific Advisor for the Nature Conservation Council (Wellington), before moving to DSIR Entomology Division (Mt Albert Research Centre) and, later, joining the New Zealand Forest Service on an 18 month contract to study the ecology of the brown kiwi in Waitangi State Forest.
From 1982 to 1996 Ruud was employed as entomologist with MAF in Auckland, working on a huge number of subjects, ranging from aircraft disinsection research, pest identification and control, to biosecurity issues. At that time, MAF was a medium-secure Institution, allowing entomo-hobbyist to be integrated into the community under supervision.
But it became apparent that the plight of creepy crawlies needed an advocate. In 1987 ‘The Bugman’ was born in the shape of a talkback show (Ruud’s Awakening) on Newstalk ZB, a number one-rating program that has continued in various formats ever since.
Regular columns and articles in newspapers and magazines (Auckland Star, NZ Listener, Your Home & Garden, Growing Today, etc) have been keeping New Zealanders up-to-date with all those small invertebrate animals we share our planet with.
Ruud’s first book Scratching for a Living was published in 1997, and because it is out of print, it can now only be stolen from a reputable library. His second book, Backyard Battlefield, appeared in March 2005.
For many years, Ruud Kleinpastehas been lecturing Plant Protection at UNITEC, in an attempt to encourage common-sense growing practices amongst the future horticulturists of New Zealand.
The sub-title of the course is ‘How to murder your plants more slowly’…
He’s a trustee of Project Crimson, the Little Barrier Island Supporters Trust, Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust and patron of Keep New Zealand Beautiful. He also served on Auckland’s Zoo Enterprise Board from 1989 to 1998 as a co-opted member. It all helps to publicise the importance of our Natural Heritage in New Zealand and on the globe.
Television has been part of the Bugman’s life since 1990. He worked on TV3’s ‘Early Bird Show’, presented many items for the kid’s show ‘What Now?’ and the ‘New Zealand Today Show’, and narrated a four part docu-drama (‘The Enduring Land’) on the history of farming in New Zealand, broadcast on TVNZ.
From 1992 till the end of the program in December 2003, Ruud Klienpaste was a part of the presenters’ team of ‘Maggie’s Garden Show’, a job that took him right around the country, Australia and the Pacific, and even back to his home country, the Netherlands. More recently he has been appearing as entomologist on Animal Planet/Discovery programs (Twisted Tales and Most Extreme) and has regularly contributed segments for ‘Good Morning’ (TVNZ).
His documentary ‘The Bughouse’ screened on TV ONE in August 2001, and in 2003/2004 activities started to centre around international television programs ‘The World’s Biggest and Baddest Bugs’, was filmed in High Definition format for Discovery Channel and Animal Planet and became quite a hit in the USA.
This resulted in a brand new project: fronting a series of shows for Animal Planet (and High Definition Discovery Channel) called ‘Buggin’ with Ruud’. From late November 2004 to late November 2005, Ruud travelled the world, filming ‘Buggin” in the most exotic and weird locations – from Alaska and the Okefenokee swamp, to Papua New Guinea, Namibia and the Venezuelan Amazon. About 40 weeks were spent filming 13 one-hour episodes which included some strange stunts.
The profile of ‘Buggin’ with Ruud’ led to a number of appearances on some of the American networks’ popular shows, such as the ‘Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno. The best aspect of it all is that the Americans are slowly starting to grasp the crucial importance of insects and other invertebrates!
Ruud is available for: