Big budget ceremonies acknowledging New Zealand radio's finest remain off the menu during these recessionary times. Like last year, the 2013 Radio Awards winners were announced via a webcast presentation. The Edge's Dominic Harvey and Matt Heath from Hauraki read the list of winners.
Last night, Radio New Zealand's Kim Hill was crowned queen of the airwaves. She knocked Mike Hosking off his perch to win Best Talk or Current Affairs Host, a category he'd won the last three years.
Hill's eponymous weekend show, Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, won Best Spoken Programme (over one hour), and she was also named joint winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Radio Award, with Norm Collison, for setting the standard in the industry.
Last night's accolades wrap up a successful year for Hill, who was named Radio Personality of the Year in the International Media Excellence Awards in November.
NZ Radio Awards chairman Bill Francis told The Diary that Hill's body of work was outstanding. "She is an exceptional interviewer and a great researcher, and her show has real depth and substance."
MediaWorks station The Rock took out one of the most sought-after awards - Best Music Breakfast Show Metropolitan - while The Edge's Carl Fletcher and Vaughan Smith won Best Music Non-Breakfast Hosts.
Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith, a reluctant entrant, was named Best Talk Back Host - the first time in 20 years, Francis said. TRN colleague Tony Veitch won Best Sports Presenter; Radio New Zealand's Hewitt Humphrey was crowned Best Newsreader; and Jordan Brannigan from Nelson's Classic Hits took home the Best New Broadcaster gong.
But newcomer The Sound (formerly Solid Gold) had the surprise win of the night, named Station of The Year, beating Newstalk ZB, The Edge and The Rock. "They've made a remarkable impact in [a] short space of time," Francis said.
Four awards for services to broadcasting went to Glenn Smith, Jim Sutton, Mike West and Lyndsay Rackley.
Kylie's Bax home
Former supermodel Kylie Bax, 38, has ditched the bright lights of Sydney to relocate her family to Waikato. The mother of three and her husband, Spiros Poros, will operate a thoroughbred stud farm in Cambridge.
Bax, who grew up in Thames, sold her shares in Matamata's Blandford Lodge to Sir Owen Glenn, who runs the stud farm with her parents, Graham and Helen-Gaye Bax.
Last week, the dashing blonde donated dinner with herself as an auction item at an Auckland charity event. It went for $2500. She is understood to have negotiated a deal with a women's magazine about her return.
Social media slip-up
The announcement that Fletcher Mills was voted to the X Factor NZ top 13 as a wildcard was scheduled to be made on Sunday's live show, but British judge Melanie Blatt accidentally let the cat out of the bag five days too early.
"Gutted TYP didn't get through but well done Fletcher!!", Blatt tweeted on Tuesday. X Factor producers went into meltdown and Blatt quickly deleted her tweet, but it was too late. They were forced to unceremoniously announce Fletcher's inclusion later that night at their sponsored party.
Blatt arrived with her teenage daughter Lilly, who's enrolled at Western Springs College.
Like her fellow judges and the contestants, home for the duration of the competition is SkyCity Grand Hotel.
Paul Henry proved bizarrely popular with the young contestants, all eager to get their piccie taken with him, not TV3 hipsters Sam Hayes and David Farrier, who stood nearby.
The 52-year-old curmudgeon posed with each of them at the party. "They all wanted photos of me for their mum," Henry laughed.
Sean Plunket, it seemed, wasn't quite so willing to embrace youth. He said his teenage son wanted him to talk to boy band Moorhouse, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Pity. TV3 stars Hilary Barry, Carolyn Robinson and Simon Shepherd weren't fazed. Like fans, they took their own photos with the aspiring stars.
Daniel Bedingfield, who insists on wearing mismatched shoes and channelling Crunchie the Clown, believes 14-year-old Cassie Henderson will be crowned winner. Paul Henry agrees. In fact, Henderson - the daughter of rugby coach Murray Henderson, who has coached in Portugal and Japan - is the hot favourite among TV3 execs. Make of that what you will.
Producers are concerned Bedingfield's potty mouth may prove a problem in the live shows. There's no delay period for editing. Host Dominic Bowden is worried, too. "Daniel said to me, 'I know I can't say f*** on air but I can say sh**, right?' Bloody hell."
Expect Kiwi music hits to be performed on the show during New Zealand Music Month. Producers are hoping to secure Neil Finn for a live performance. Judging by his incessant tweeting about the show, it would be hard for Finn to decline on the grounds that the reality show is beneath him.
Aussie pop star Guy Sebastian is also expected to sing, at some point. So too, Bedingfield, who explained to The Diary: "Well, I have got an album coming out."
Weinstein picks Kiwi directors
Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has singled out Kiwi filmmakers Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali for his new project, the Lexus Short Film Series, which will premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival this weekend.
Hooper and Kefali, who run Auckland studio Special Problems, were hand-picked with their short film Echoes. It will screen with four others from the United States, Spain, Hong Kong and Japan.
This week, Weinstein told the Hollywood Reporter he was pleased to bring the films to the world stage. "We nurture upcoming talent from all over the world and see great value in creating opportunities for their work to be recognised."
It's huge kudos for the pair, who have made TV commercials and music videos for The Mint Chicks, Zowie, Wolfmother, David Dallas and The Naked and The Famous (they bagged a Best Music Video award for the latter at the Tuis in 2011).
Their 43,000 Feet premiered last year at the Tribeca festival and won best short film at Michigan's Traverse City Film Festival.