Will Paul Henry return?

October 2nd, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Close Up’s replacement will be a magazine show with two presenters – and Pippa Wetzell and are understood to be the hot favourites.

A confidential brief circulating at says the focus will be on the “talking point of the day” and a mixture of news and entertainment.

But a journalism commentator said it would be “Breakfast at dinner-time” and showed the broadcaster’s lack of commitment to strong current affairs.

It is no secret within TVNZ that the network has been courting Wetzell and that it wants to give her a prominent role next year.

It is understood she has had meetings with TVNZ executives.

I think Paul Henry could do well in the role, so long as he doesn’t do any brain farts. Sure, on Breakfast he is the rogue, but it is worth considering that he can actually do decent interviews. Also he is majorly interested in politics, so if he is the host the focus might be more on “hard news” than “light news”.

The new format is understood to be much like The Project, which airs on Australia’s Channel 10 and is hosted by comedians presenting news stories.

Dagan was behind the show before he moved to TVNZ.

“It’s the news – but not as you know it,” Channel 10 says in a description of the show on its website.

“Guaranteeing no miracle diets, no stories that ‘no parent can afford to miss’, and virtually no dodgy plumbers, The Project is a TV show joining in the conversations going on in living rooms around the country.”

The Project is on each weekday at 6pm and its three hosts “dissect, digest and reconstitute each day’s news” in a style “not afraid to be serious, but not a satirical newscast,” Channel 10 says.

I actually predicted on radio that the new format would be a panel, dissecting the day’s news. The key would be who is on the panel.

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30 Responses to “Will Paul Henry return?”

  1. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “…The new format is understood to be much like The Project, which airs on Australia’s Channel 10 and is hosted by comedians presenting news stories…”

    The flaw in that plan is Paul Henry is a deeply unfunny bully who gets his kicks from using his control of the microphone to humiliate people. A certain segment of the TV audience loves this. If they want a comedian driven show to push ratings, try using comedians. If they want a controversial shock jock being a prick to try and drive up ratings, then try Paul Henry. Otherwise stop insulting comedians everywhere by pretending that nasty bastard Henry is one.

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  2. Mobile Michael (446 comments) says:

    Sounds like the Crowd Goes Wild, but news instead of sport.

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  3. grumpy (256 comments) says:

    The idea that Labour TV would reemploy Henry is a joke.

    Labour has TVNZ, Greens have TV3. Just give TV1 to FOX.

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  4. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Further, I would suggest Paul Henry’s moment in the sun has come and gone. His style of bullying mockery sank like a stone with Aussie audiences. As part of the “get rid of Helen Clark” meme he rode a misogynistic wave of right wing agitprop here in New Zealand for a couple of years. But the public are tiring of the “laid back and insouciant” (read lazy and out of touch) John Key and plenty are now thinking nostalgically of having a prime minister who everyone knows would have been far more on top of this Kim Dotcom GCSB debacle. I kinda think Henry’s style is now a bit yesterday. I imagine he’d drum a decent enough radio audience – lord knows, the Gauleiter of ZB mornings Leighton Smith must be spending his weekends checking out Garth George’s retirement home, maybe he’d be suited to that audience?

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  5. CJPhoto (219 comments) says:

    Did we try a copy of “the project” over the summer break last year (or year before)? 5 comedians making a hash of the news. not funny at all.

    Paul would be good. The 30 min timeslot would stop his brain farts as he only did them as he adlibed to fill in time and was told to be deliberately controversial.

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  6. Peter (1,700 comments) says:

    I don’t think the political chattering classes – those who frequent this blog, for starters – are the TVNZ “news” target audience.

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  7. tvb (4,366 comments) says:

    There is a small matter of Henry’s contract. Surely TVNZ are not going to buy him out of that should it be required. But then anything is possible in TVNZ. It certainly looks like they have run up the white flag against Campbell. I predict no major changes just a breakfast type show in the early evening with a shock jock. Henry will be perfect for the role.

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  8. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    I thought Paul Henry and Pippa were great on Breakfast.

    That show on TV3 where “comedians” like Jeremy Corbett talk news was/is terrible.

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  9. my 2 cents (1,091 comments) says:

    Pippa and Paul, Eye candy and motor mouth.
    retro…..

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  10. duggledog (1,528 comments) says:

    It’ll be Paul & Pippa. It’s time they re-vamped Close Up anyway, it’s been a while. You can only maintain falling audience numbers for a certain period of time

    Fish boy your ‘certain segment’ is the vast majority of New Zealanders who, like it or not, like Paul for the way he is, and Pippa because she is a hottie.

    Paul doesn’t say anything worse than your idol John Hadfield

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  11. hmmokrightitis (1,586 comments) says:

    fish:”But the public are tiring of the “laid back and insouciant” (read lazy and out of touch) John Key”

    LOL, dreams as fact again huh fish? Is that why JK has sunk so low in the popularity ratings? Oh, hang on…

    And as for lazy? You obviously have no idea. And saying it doesnt make it true. I know a couple of people who do actually know, and his work rate, as well as his holding people to account capability are both huge. And I also think (not fact, cant prove it) that the silent majority see that and respect it, as they equally see the snipping away from the sidelines at non-issues as tiresome. Maybe thats why he is still so popular.

    Contrary to your wet dreams.

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  12. Elaycee (4,378 comments) says:

    It certainly looks like they have run up the white flag against Campbell.

    Not sure how you work that one out – even the walrus managed to maintain ratings well above the dork on TeeVeeThree. By dragging CloseUp kicking and screaming into the 21st century, TVNZ is hardly surrendering – they’re simply protecting the 7pm slot they have always dominated.

    CloseUp was tired – it started to go downhill when Paul Holmes left and the ratings have been declining ever since. At least Paul Henry is hated by the left – so he has that in his favour. :D

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  13. duggledog (1,528 comments) says:

    Yes absolutely correct Elaycee. TVNZ still hold all the cards with free to air broadcasting, it’s just a very big ship to turn around sometimes being replete with Labour sympathisers.

    Paul can entertain and grill any minister you like, but more importantly on occasion he crosses the line like Holmes used to; Sainsbury didn’t. People like a presenter who’s not afraid to do the former

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  14. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Paul Henry, Michael Laws, Muriel Newman, Lindsay Mitchell….the dream team. Perhaps we need a token leftie…now whose a fair minded, popular blooger with a good profile…..

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  15. Paulus (2,608 comments) says:

    Pippa and Paul would make a great team, but would only watch for Pippa – gorgeous, yes Pippa.

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  16. dime (9,869 comments) says:

    Paul Henry is the guy that you hear is “funny”. The media tell you hes funny. People say things like “isnt paul henry funny”. so you watch him, wanting him to be funny. but hes not.

    you realise hes a balding, buck tooth nerd.

    a panel could be an interesting idea. but chances are they will stack it with over expressive kiwi douche bags who think they are funny. a serious panel would be interesting.

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  17. ChardonnayGuy (1,199 comments) says:

    Be extremely careful. He could end up standing for New Zealand First. He certainly has the behavioural eccentricities and oddities mandatory for membership in the Great Winston Worshipper Cult. Henry should have stayed in Australia where his sort of racist or sexist outburst is considered normal in the squawkback field.

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  18. kowtow (8,326 comments) says:

    my2cents 835

    Bingo.

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  19. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Dime:

    you realise hes a balding, buck tooth nerd.

    a panel could be an interesting idea. but chances are they will stack it with over expressive kiwi douche bags who think they are funny. a serious panel would be interesting.

    Perfectly said.

    I wonder if they’ll stick Rhys Darby there for half an hour of robot impressions – and he’s one of our successful guys.

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  20. calendar girl (1,216 comments) says:

    fish @ 7:46 – It’s a bit of a stretch to use this specific-topic thread for ad hominem criticism of John Key and a reference to Kim Dotcom. Read your classic comment again ……

    “But the public are tiring of the “laid back and insouciant” (read lazy and out of touch) John Key and plenty are now thinking nostalgically of having a prime minister who everyone knows would have been far more on top of this Kim Dotcom GCSB debacle.”

    That’s a great contribution to the discussion on a replacement programme for “Close-Up”. You must be proud.

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  21. Lindsay Addie (1,473 comments) says:

    It astounds me that anyone actually watches TVNZ. I watch a few minutes of the 6pm news about once every couple of weeks and absolutely none of the other trashy crap they have on any of their channels.

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  22. MH (713 comments) says:

    Alan Jones Dikshit and Satonhishand could make guest appearances. Pippa doesn’t ask questions,merely a white bored reader doesn’t seem to have an opinion-we could always get a sneer from Ms kim dote Hill,but she didn’t seem to do well under the camera.Russell Brown,doesn’t shave in the mornings…Linda Clark,Chris Laidlaw or even Catriona McLead or Michele Hewitson.

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  23. Mark (1,481 comments) says:

    Why the fuck do we want Paul Henry back. I used to switch the box off when he came on last time he was on air. But what the hell, the idiot box is becoming true to its name. Reading is a far more enjoyable pastime.

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  24. RRM (9,841 comments) says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen Paul Henry do a “straight guy” role anchoring some doco or news programme once – I thought he did it well enough.

    I live in hope that one of these days, P.H. will offend someone who punches him for it, and after that he might ponder his actions and grow up a little bit. Until something like that happens I would struggle to see him as anything but a jester. Would the temptation to open his big mouth and act the fool be too great, on a new evening show that sounds like it would be basically a Breakfast Redux?

    In the meantime he should stick to doing talkback shows on Radio Asshole, egging on Katherine Rich (and similar right wing bitches) as they sneer about how stoopid and envious poor people are. That role fits him like a glove…

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  25. RRM (9,841 comments) says:

    [PS: And here is the iconic "Jesus will soon return" rock up by Mamaku on the way north out of Rotorua. Not for any good reason, just I've started drinking already...]

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=9&with_photo_id=28553191&order=date_desc&user=520523

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  26. Nookin (3,284 comments) says:

    Henry used to fill in on Close-Up quite some time ago. He took it really seriously because I think he was pitching to get the job ahead of Sainsbury. He was not the clown that he is on breakfast and I think that he would be much more discerning than any other so-called journalists. He is perceived as conservative but I have seen him give some of the National politicians a right royal stir up. I am hoping that he will make a comeback.

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  27. TM (99 comments) says:

    The problem with Henry on Breakfast is TVNZ egged him on to say controversial stuff to get publicity and ratings. And he often overstepped the mark and became plain offensive, like Alan Jones has done in aussie.

    He is a dick, but if he could restrain his ego and attempt at humour, he could do ok at interviewing. Especially as most interviewers in this country only seem to be able to read off a script, and don’t actually understand what the interviewee is saying.

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  28. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    Well, it’s official.
    They want something that competes with Shorty St – if that means lowest common denominator then Pippa and Paul should be perfect.
    In the mean time I’ve discovered Choice TV.

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  29. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Has Paul Henry been declared a failure in Australia? I missed that although it was predictable. But hey, with Alan Jones finally self-immolating, perhaps Henry could stay and replace him?

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  30. V (702 comments) says:

    There is no way a Project style show will work with TVONEs fossilizing and braindead audience.

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