I’m getting really tired of the clichéd reporting that has Paul Henry referred to as the ‘controversial TV3 broadcaster…’ But given the brutish amateurism that passes for journalism in New Zealand, I won’t wait in hope for the day when media outlets do more than just copy and paste their worn platitudes into stories they wrote in five minutes and forgot to proofread.
So the chief ego of late night NZ television is ending his show after barely a year to return to the timeslot that catapulted him into everlasting youtube fame. It should not be forgotten (but so often is) that breakfast television in Australia brought him to his biggest career failure since he unsuccessfully stood as an MP.
I cannot deny that I am disappointed. I have not at any point been a regular watcher of The Paul Henry Show, but enjoyed it when I caught it, and thought the timeslot suited Henry’s iffy personality. In contrast with Mike Hosking on 7 Sharp, Paul Henry’s demeanour really worked after 10pm. Hosking’s misogyny and wretched sermonising to the public over whatever Toni Street had been trying to say, is hackneyed, inauthentic, and on far too early. I theorise that it would work late at night when it is more likely that viewers have drinks in their hands (and bellies).
Henry hasn’t been controversial on late night precisely because his behaviour fits the timeslot. The Paul Henry Show hasn’t been wildly successful but has attracted the same proportion of viewers as it’s predecessor Nightline. I would have liked to see it stick around at least a few years and see if a core fan base emerged, alas it is not to be.
The silver lining would be if Hosking takes his chance to fill the slot. It would mean I get to test my theory earlier postulated, and any chance for vindication is not to be squandered. I attended a one night show with William Shatner some years ago in Auckland in which Hosking was the interviewer. I saw a very different Hosking then, one that recognised that his ego could not compete with the planetary dimensions of Captain Kirk/Denny Crane, and who shrank his accordingly. I think the Mike Hosking Show would be a hit, and possibly better than The Paul Henry Show. Or perhaps Jeremy Wells could have another crack at TV. ‘Sigh’, let’s see what happens.