Holmes retires from broadcasting

December 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Phil Taylor at NZ Herald reports:

is retiring from broadcasting because of poor health, bringing to a close an acclaimed career that spanned five decades.

This year, he anchored TVNZ’s Sunday current affairs programme¬†Q&A, but says he will not return as he makes his health his priority.

Last week, he announced he was also giving up his Saturday morning radio show on Newstalk ZB.

I’ve been doing political panels on Paul’s show for several years now, and will miss his presence greatly. He had a great knowledge and interest in politics both domestically and internationally – and also a great sense of humour.

As a broadcaster, his legacy is huge. He pioneered the 7 pm slot and made it his own.

Holmes has had “not a boring life” and maybe a charmed one considering his scrapes. He survived a car accident, aged 23, in which he fractured his neck and lost the sight in his right eye, and later, a fatal helicopter accident, and a light aircraft crash. “That’s why I’ve been keen to champion the Paralympics, because I know that I have got a bill to pay.”

By being open about his and his family’s battles, he helped to promote men’s health and the fight against the methamphetamine trade, a drug his daughter Millie became addicted to. Holmes stood and spoke in court on his daughter’s behalf.

“He is New Zealand’s best-known broadcaster. Today he was just a Dad,” said TVNZ reporter Haydn Jones. Said Holmes this week: “Oh, I love that line.”

Millie survived and father and daughter reconciled. Holmes fetches a leather-bound book of photos and messages from a surprise party last month at the SkyCity Grand Hotel to applaud him for his charity work. Millie wrote: “To the most amazing Dad on the planet. You have always been in my corner.”

And I suspect that means more to him that all the broadcasting honours.

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25 Responses to “Holmes retires from broadcasting”

  1. Paulus (2,658 comments) says:

    Sorry to see him leave – has been great fun.
    Wish him the best of luck and happiness.

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  2. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    Holmes could have done so much, and changed so much, but he was seduced by the poisonous brew of progressivism and liberalism and so did nothing but contribute to this country’s decline.

    I don’t like Bill O’Reilly much, but Holmes could have learned a thing or two from Bill about having your own mind and not being led down the proverbial garden path by trendy feel good progressives.

    Andrew Bolt and such are the eventual successors to the the likes of the long past his use by date Holmes and his painful liberal attitudes, and it can’t come soon enough.

    The left wing Holmes was done twenty years ago and he should have retired then.

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  3. David Garrett (7,523 comments) says:

    Churlish as ever Russell…Christmas must be a bloody bleak event at your house…

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  4. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    I’m no fan of Holmes old dear, but it’s pertinent to enquire precisely what the fuck you have ever done – other than in your own imagination of course. A rancid old loser whose greatest achievement is to hold up traffic for miles because he didn’t want to pay a bridge toll.

    Whatever you think of Homes, one thing for certain is that people can see he isn’t well and are prepared to acknowledge his contribution and departure. It’s hard to conceive that anyone will even notice when you sign off old thing or, if they do, that they would actually give a fuck.

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  5. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Stopped watching Holmes years ago when it became apparent that he was a useless interviewer, seemingly hell bent on scoring points against his targets rather than directing intelligent dialog.

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  6. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    Garrett

    Xmas has been taken over by progressive knuckle dragging homo pinko apologists. Accordingly, there will be no Xmas at Bleak House.

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  7. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    Holmes .No loss.

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  8. Tautaioleua (309 comments) says:

    Holmes who? I thought he retired long ago now.

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  9. David Garrett (7,523 comments) says:

    davinci: As far as I know, russell still holds the record for open hole in Australasia…set on some broken arse land rig in PNG about 1988….That’s an achievement…not sure it’s up there with Holmes, but Russell obviously thinks so…

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  10. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    Garret, the idea of the comments section is to provide an opinion on the OP.

    Just following other commenters around and making snide and witless attacks on them is childish and worthless.

    So you don’t like me?

    DILLIGAF?

    Get over it loser. There’s already far too many silly little obsessives like you cluttering Kiwiblog. (as the pudding puncher commenting after you demonstrates so well.)

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  11. thedavincimode (6,869 comments) says:

    Wot’s the problem Russell. Didn’t that courier arrive yesterday?

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  12. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    50% of the comments here off topic thanks to the obsessives.

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  13. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Never really watched him on TV and got bored with his stuttering burble on ZB over the years BUT he was a world class DJ early on, just brilliant, in the days before computers and pre programmed playlists he was was enetertainment personified

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  14. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    The article sounds like an pre-death obituary to me.

    I’ve enjoyed listening to Holmes — there are no current radio hosts anywhere near as good.

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  15. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    Mark Levin makes Holmes look like a complete amateur.

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  16. Scott (1,817 comments) says:

    Read the column myself this morning and initially I thought he was dying. Hence felt sorry for him for a minute there. But like others I just was never a fan. I agree he has become more and more left wing and progressive. But my main concern about him was his way of berating people for sometimes the entire interview. His hatchet job on Dennis Connor was the beginning of a new tradition. Interviewers who don’t ask questions to gain information or insight. They ask only to harrass and harangue. At the end of the interview the viewer is none the wiser. The title of the show ‘Holmes’ was perfect. It was all about me, Paul Holmes, it was never about the person being interviewed. They were just a prop for a giant ego, allowed to run amok. Thanks to Holmes there are no interviewers on NZ television who actually ask questions and let the interviewee actually answer them. John Campbell on ‘Campbell live’ is the perfect disciple of Paul Holmes. It’s all about him and his opinions. Who cares about the interviewee?

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  17. Viking2 (11,557 comments) says:

    Correct Scott.
    Best Tv interviewer was that pomme fellow Parkinson. Asked about 3 or 4 questions in half an hour and had his guests yabbering away non stop.

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  18. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I like Michael Parkinson but I think he’d be the first to admit his shows were never current affairs interviews, designed to challenge the guest, force them to justify their position and, as that old defnition of news goes, get them to tell you something they don’t want to tell you. The rest is just hagiography. Entertaining and delightful maybe, but hagiography nonetheless.

    Doing a three or four hour stint on breakfast radio every day, dealing with news as it breaks often with little or no time to prep is damned hard. It was there that Holmes shone as an interviewer and host. Though his best on TV is as good as anything we’ve seen, the tabloidisation of TV current affairs demanded an increasingly argumentative approach be taken and sometimes led to a missed opportunity for a better interview.

    A 30 minute multi-topic TV format doesn’t allow for time to draw out a guest but that’s what some need, so those are the interviews that produced more heat than light. But for those who are decrying his supposed “harrass and harangue” style, would you prefer the dullness of “Close Up”, where we almost never hear someone part with some information they didn’t want us to know? Sometimes angering your guest is the only way to break through their defences – defences that are increasingly taught by poachers-turned-gamekeepers such as myself and, more notably, Brian Edwards.

    No one producing as much broadcasting as Paul Holmes once did can expect every interview to be superlative. But his ratio of hits to misses was, I’d argue, far higher than anyone else – it’s because of the sheer volume he produced, working from before dawn till after dusk, that the number of misses might seem high. As with most people, we take the successes for granted while remembering the failures.

    He also managed to introduce an element of entertainment to curent affairs without completely diluting its purpose, and for the first time showed us a host who wasn’t either straightjacketed by the medium as they used to have to be, or a confected media persona, as many are now – the Paul Holmes he revealed to his audience is in fact Paul Holmes.

    To be who you really are in front of a nation of people invites at least a portion of them not to like you. People in the media tend to have more fragile egos than most, so that showed a degree of courage rarely seen before and certainly not since. At his best he was capable of provoking laughter, conveying pathos, eliciting sympathy for someone in trouble, surprising his audience… all of which doesn’t sound that difficult, till you sit behind a microphone or in front of a camera and try doing it, in which case you’ll find it damned hard.

    For better or worse, Paul gave of himself that we should be informed and entertained, and IMO achieved those objectives far more often than might have been expected. We couldn’t really have asked any more.

    He was an inspiration to me to step outside what I’d been taught at Radio New Zealand Announcer Training School (yes, they had one in those days) and try being a genuine human being on air, and whatever I success I had as a broadcaster I attribute much of it to him.

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  19. Longknives (4,864 comments) says:

    An odd little man, some of the stuff he came up with was just laughable…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10576973

    Any smidgen of respect went out the window when I read that garbage…

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  20. Griff (8,159 comments) says:

    Never thought the trumped-up muppet added any thing except his own excessive opinion of him self.

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  21. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    Scott is spot on….so too is redbaiter.

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  22. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    Rex @ 6.42pm
    Hear, hear. You said it perfectly.
    Redbaiter is his bitter and twisted self as usual, but there seems to be a few others on kiwiblog today that need to take a happy pill.

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  23. Nostalgia-NZ (5,275 comments) says:

    Rex @6.42 Agree.

    It would be reassuring for him to know that the ones that so disliked him apparently watched his shows very often.

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  24. tvb (4,497 comments) says:

    I was saddened by the news. I suspect the prognosis is not very good but it is hard to put on time on things. At times Holmes did conduct some very insiteful interviews but also they sometimes became all about me me me. But I did like him, there was a humanity and warmth about him which drew me to him.

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  25. UrbanNeocolonialist (309 comments) says:

    As someone interested in news Holmes was absolutely unwatchable. Focus on emotion over story, information or newsworthiness. Just an endless parade of voyeuristic shite with story decisions seemingly based entirely on if they could get an interviewee to cry. That was Holmes tonight and that was tabloid journalism at its worst. I remember it being so bad that we had to turn off the TV in that time slot – only other option at the time being garbage soaps and game shows.

    Holmes led a massive drop in the quality of news programming in this country that in the wake of Events like Aramoana meant that news became unwatchable for weeks at a time as they found every conceivable means to extract more on-screen melt-downs of the bereaved as they mugged along with faux sorrow to feed their lowest-common-denominator slavering audience.

    I have also met one person at university who, as a school-age teenager was blackmailed by Holmes (appear on our show or we will hammer your family and friends) in order to provide content for one of their prurient stories that in this case had no purpose other than to titilate the viewers.

    Holmes and his ilk (Ralston, Cambell) destroyed quality TV news in this country – as anyone with brains (like Lindsay Perigo) walked away in their wake. They turned TV News from a high brow public information service into a disease. They should not be congratulated or thanked for what they have wrought, and I am personally happy that Holmes is now gone from the airways.

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