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Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen and author of The Diary.

The Diary: Big guns roll into town to call the shots at TV3

Speculation swirling over influence TV mogul's arrival will bring.

Robyn Malcolm's relationship with Top of the Lake co-star Peter Mullan 'is going strong', say friends. Photo / AP
Robyn Malcolm's relationship with Top of the Lake co-star Peter Mullan 'is going strong', say friends. Photo / AP

Television mogul Julie Christie, who's been named as a board member of the new company that plans to buy MediaWorks, alongside chair Rod McGeoch, will be joined by high-profile Australian director Martin Dalgleish, a former executive of James Packer's private company Consolidated Media Holdings.

Dalgleish, who was seen having dinner with Christie and McGeoch at SkyCity last month, will join the new board, alongside two others who are expected to be named soon.

He is highly connected in new media circles and brings a good technology pedigree to the table.

His LinkedIn profile says he is currently chairman of sports betting network Favourit.com, a director of online department store DealsDirect, and an adviser to a fund for private equity investments in technology and media companies.

Inside sources say Dalgleish will be warmly welcomed by the new owners. His experience in high-growth technology and media investments is likely to carry much sway over the way the company proceeds.

Much has been made of the influence Christie will be bringing to the table. The reality show producer has been the subject of intense speculation this week from industry competitors and media experts convinced she'll have a big part to play in the running of the company, especially TV3.

It follows news that TV3's head of drama and comedy, Rachel Jean, is departing for production company South Pacific Pictures. Other production companies worry their shows won't get a look in at TV3 now with Christie on the board.

Kim Palsenbarg from crisis management firm SenateSHJ, who has been brought in on the MediaWorks restructure, said she "can't speculate on the company's future operations and the only plan in place at the moment is for Newco to own the company".

Christie did not return calls. But a MediaWorks source told The Diary Christie "is fulfilling a board role and won't be involved in the actual day-to-day operations of the company".

Christie is an industry specialist and well-known as the format television queen. She has many other business interests, but her insights into primetime television and production will be invaluable.

Robyn's romance thriving

She flew to Scotland last year; now it's Hungary. Robyn Malcolm's long-distance relationship with Top of the Lake co-star Peter Mullan "is going strong", say friends. The actress flew business class to Budapest last week to see her Scottish boyfriend who started shooting the Bret Ratner-directed blockbuster Hercules. Mullan stars alongside Dwayne Johnson, Rufus Sewell, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes and Ian McShane.

The Diary broke news of the romance last year, and the British press followed suit. The pair were snapped cosying up at the Berlinale International Film Festival earlier this year where they were promoting Jane Campion's TV series.

Friends say the outspoken actors have much in common and the relationship, though long-distance, "is serious".

Malcolm could not be reached for comment. Her high-rating six-part television series Agent Anna is anticipated to return to TV One next year, if NZ on Air funding gets approved. Can we expect a cameo by Mullan?

He offered his services on his girlfriend's TV show Rake. "When Robyn [Malcolm] was working with us, her partner Peter Mullan turned up on set and said in his broad, beautiful brogue 'Is there anything I can do? - I'll play a hobo'. "Unfortunately our equity rules meant he wasn't allowed to," actor Richard Roxburgh told Fairfax.

TVNZ would be chomping at the bit if the lovers paired up in fictional Mt Albert.

Anna Guy returning to TV

Anna Guy, once billed as a ratings secret weapon for TV3's new current affairs show 3rd Degree, is currently shooting another report for the programme, but insiders worry how it will be received.

"Anna is filming something for us at the moment," executive producer Terence Taylor told The Diary. "It's not far away ... likely to be screening end of July, early August."

Quite what she has to say is another thing. Taylor is tight-lipped. And for good reason.

It's been three months since Guy's first autobiographical report (one of three planned) which earned scathing reviews. Viewers took to social media sites to question whether Guy was capitalising on a tragedy for a career opportunity; The Herald's Colin Hogg queried the "sanity of the producers".

Execs took heed. Chasing ratings was one thing, but not at a cost to the show's credibility.

Guy remained awkwardly in limbo with the network; her television reporting career stalled.

Insiders told The Diary they were worried there was "a lack of content" to warrant more autobiographical reports, and unless Guy had something interesting or newsworthy to tell, future stories would be on hold.

Guy writes a lifestyle blog on a parenting website about building a new life in Auckland. Last week it was about taking time out with boyfriend Brent Jameson. "I have an amazing man in my life who is my rock ... we try to find a balance in our lives by spending time not only with the kids, but also on our own," she blogged.

As far as good telly goes, that's hardly likely to raise eyebrows let alone ratings.

Sainso's six months up

Mark Sainsbury is looking for work and ready to make his comeback. He told The Diary he's been travelling abroad and doing home renovations, but he's ready to jump back on the proverbial horse.

"I've had six months off and it's time I started working again. You need to show your availability, you know. Despite what some of your colleagues may think, I'm not retired with riches."

Sainso, a vehicular enthusiast, said he's still keen to get a car show on the telly. "People love cars," he says - though evidently not everyone in the industry. "It's more likely for Prime, probably."

- NZ Herald

Rachel Glucina

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen and author of The Diary.

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen, notorious for breaking celebrity scoops and dishing dirt on the country’s best known personalities. She’s feared. She’s loathed. She’s courted by anyone with skeletons in their closet. Rachel knows where the bodies are buried. Mick Jagger wined and dined her. Mike McRoberts devoted a chapter to her in his memoirs. And John Key has her on speed dial.

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