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Henry's Aussie show axed; insider says TVNZ chasing him

It is a "no comment" from TVNZ on rumours Paul Henry is tipped to return for TV One's new 7pm current affairs show.

Fuel was added today after Channel Ten in Australia canned the controversial host’s Breakfast show.

It is no secret Mr Henry has always wanted the 7pm slot, publicising his views about outgoing host Mark Sainsbury, and his own time as the show’s fill-in, in his autobiography.

The Breakfast axing was announced by Ten network this morning in the following statement:

“It is proposed that Breakfast and Ten Morning News will cease production on November 30. Breakfast television still represents an opportunity for Ten and we will return to the breakfast TV market at some point next year.”

While rival breakfast shows on Nine and Seven generally rate an average of above 300,000 viewers, Breakfast never even came close to 100,000. On Thursday of last week, Sunrise rated 370,000, Today 345,000 and Breakfast just 47,000.

NBR understands from a well-placed source in TVNZ that the state broadcaster has been chasing Paul Henry for its new 7pm show, with Pippa Wetzel as a foil.

But as of late last week there was concern the controversial broadcaster continued to resist overtures, and little inhouse internal enthusiasm for fallback candidates Greg Boyed and Tim Wilson.

Now, the door is open.

In October 2010, Paul Henry resigned from TVNZ half way through a two-week suspension without pay.

The broadcaster said he was "astonished and dismayed" at the level of controversy generated by his quips about New Zealand's then governor general, and an Indian cabinent minister.

In June last year, the Broadcasting Standards Authority fined TVNZ $3000 over the Breakfast host's comments and ordered it to broadcast an apology.

Mr Henry said the BSA ruling was a "ridiculous decision made by ridiculous people".

The broadcaster has most recently been on New Zealand screens as a pitchman for Snickers.

Media commentator Brian Edwards was dubious if Mr Henry would look comfortable pushing confectionary, but had praise for his day job, saying "Paul is an interviewer by trade and a bloody good one".

Close Up's replacement will launch early in the new year, which should give Mr Henry and TVNZ plenty of time to negotiate.

One complication: MediaWorks has Paul Henry on contract. Mr Henry has hosted the panel show Would I lie to you? for the broadcaster. A MediaWorks spokeswoman refused to comment on the duration of the contract, or other details.

More by Chris Keall and Blair Cunningham

Comments and questions

Paul Henry would wake up otherwise dull TV. Let's hope he moves back!

His loud obnoxious style is well suited to the Australian culture, please may he just stay there?

Who wants him back he has been gone to long bring on some fresh faces. Let the old one died off

Lots of us want him back Do you know the difference between to, too, and two?

For someone insulting someone else over spelling look to your use of apostrophes or you yourself will seem stupid.

There's nothing wrong with Dainty's use or non-use of apostrophes. Care to tell us how you would punctuate the sentence?. .

Maybe not Dainty but their comment shows they know the difference between good taste and bad taste which you clearly seem to have trouble with

See, he is a complete loser on both sides of the Tasman – even the Aussie rednecks wouldn't watch him. However, watch all the NBR rednecks call for his return back here now... (snicker snicker)

Call me a red neck if you will but I'm not afraid to use the word sni gger.

Would Pippa come back as his sidekick on the show so CloseUp would morph into the "Evening Show" instead of the Morning show??

Paul has done his dash as a loud mouth tv host. Let's spend money on news gathering, and get away form all the trash presented as documentary.

Great news for the country if PH & Pippa make a come back ..... it's a real oppurtunity for TVNZ to re-vitalise either their breakfast or 7pm slot, both of which are now as boring as bat-shite!!

Hope he does come back to NZ, need somebody to tackle the lefty John Campbell.

Perhaps Henry is more suited to a political show such as Q+A or The Nation. He has a great ability when interviewing politicians.

Probably the best outcome as he has a flair for putting Politicians in the Hot seat.

It would be a major coup if TVNZ could entice Paul, back. Things are so dull at the 7pm slot.

It is a surprise the Aussie breakfast show lasted this long. Finally we will get to see some new faces here in the breakfast show.

trouble is that TVNZ is so sanitised and dull that people like paul Henry would never be given the chance to shine. do we need yet another current affairs show? Nope not really, no matter who fronts it

To put him back on air here would ensure that I stay watching TV3 and Rachael Smalley who has the intellect, insight and an incisive interview style. Plus the fact that she is polite and has a great sense of humour.
Paul should stay in Australia he has done his dash here and most don't want him back.

Speak for yourself about who wants Paul back.....although totally agree about Rachael Smalley, she certainly is the thinking man's crumpet......

Get him back on TVNZ for some real journalism with a slice of humour and a twist of non-politically correct truth that New Zealands' disabled maori lesbian unemployed tree huggers will learn to love.

you forgot purple jersey wearing with severe haircuts

TVNZ made a huge mistake losing him in the first place hope he does come back, we've been subjected to Sainsbury for far too long. All the haters will have a field day bear in mind also that he took over a near dead dog in Aussie.

He raised the IQ of both countries when he went to Australia, he will lower the IQ of both countries of he comes back!

He will lower the average IQ in NZ if he returns, but raise it in Australia.

Do we really need another redneck with Laws gone, who appeals to the white trash brigade, back intruding in our living rooms?

I feel nausea coming on, must get to the bathroom.

preferable to all your lefty mates that want to intrude in our bedrooms as well.....

TV3 generally has far better announcers than TVNZ .

Mark is one of the better presenters. At least he speaks without slang and a nasal twang.

If Paul came back it would be a major mistake and only confirms the old school running at TVNZ.

Bring on someone new if Mark has to go.

TVNZ with all of its re-runs is boring as hell.

A gushy gay weatherman and a bland business reviewer. Yep Breakfast has really evolved since PH left. At least button ears had some wit.

Right on time we had someone to speak out on TV1, at least someone who is not afraid to speak out against the lefty brigade and their politically correct rubbish.

Hey stop the gay bashing. Tamate does a great job and makes credible journalist

Point taken

A gushy weatherman and a bland business reviewer....etc etc

Credible journalist..... Now that is funny.

Who watches TV 1 these days?

Cannot stand the man and his arogance and lack of shame.
Will not be switching to TV one at 7pm most certainly if he gets the job.

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