Spy: Where are they now? Ben Lummis and other stars who disappeared

Abandonment Issues, a “where are they now?” show featuring TV stars from the 2000s promises to make some jaws drop.

Comic James Mustapic, a self-confessed TV addict of his youth, has bought together names of old such as Drew Neemia, Suzanne Paul, Brooke Howard-Smith, Kim Crossman, Jason Fa’afoi, Petra Bagust, Shannon Ryan, and NZ Idol winner Ben Lummis and runner-up Michael Murphy.

“Ben and Michael are both living very different lives. One is in a new band, and the other is a manager of two gyms in Hamilton,” says Mustapic.

He didn’t want to elaborate more and spoil his show but Spy has discovered Lummis became a studio manager for F45 in Cambridge last year after recently relocating with his wife and four children to the Waikato from Wellington, where he also managed gyms. He has also managed Jetts Fitness in Te Awamutu.

F45 announced his new role last February, saying he was, “A real hype man in the studio – bringing all his energy to classes. And some singing . . . “

The Herald also reported in 2019 that Murphy was in a band, Written by Wolves.

In the new TVNZ OnDemand show, Mustapic tracks down the former stars from his favourite shows for meet and greets.

“It was so interesting to me that these people just completely disappeared, and we never heard from most of them ever again.

“One episode is based on my relationship with psychic medium Sue Nicholson of Sensing Murder fame, who didn’t like me in the past, due to how much I’d made fun of her in previous videos.

“I am obsessed with Sue and the episode is super fun. I won’t say too much more but we do meet in the episode, which was scary but exciting.”

Mustapic might perhaps go too far in his episode with Howard-Smith, who hosted Three’s consumer watchdog show, Target, which was infamous for having hidden cameras in homes catching out tradespeople. One sting netted an underwear-sniffer and, you guessed it, Mustapic sets out to find out where he is now.

With such intrepid skills, would Mustapic like to reboot Target for a new generation?

“I would absolutely take on the challenge of rebooting Target, it’s such an iconic show.”

Another on his hit list is former What Now host Fa’afoi.

“Jason was so fun to work with and super on-board with me making fun of him, which a lot of celebrities were not as okay with! He was an absolute delight and the mission of that episode is very fun and silly.”

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