Holmes retires from broadcasting

Phil Taylor at NZ Herald reports:

Paul Holmes 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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