As the Herald reported on Saturday, Paul Henry has been rated among the "10 worst presenters on Australian television," making their Hall of Shame.
Aussie paper The Herald Sun ripped into Henry who came in at No. 6 on their list, saying "no one was sorry to see him pack his bags and return to New Zealand".
Well, excuse me! I don't think Henry would even make the list in New Zealand. We love him here, what with his inappropriate uncle antics. If a lady has a moustache or a funny name who else would you turn to?
Exactly. Henry wouldn't even make our list of infamy, but who would?
After much research, I present to you our very own Hall of Shame: The 10 Worst Presenters on New Zealand TV.
1. John Campbell. Sure he's smart and friendly and he gets behind great causes, like the people of earthquake-ridden Christchurch, or kids who go to school without lunches. Sure he gets the big "gets" like Kim Dotcom and Owen Glenn but poor old Campbell is woefully out of step with what TV consultants and marketing departments are looking for. It's all very well "telling our stories" but he forgets he's in the business of helping happy people buy products from advertisers. What eye-watering arrogance.
2. Jim Hickey. Okay, so no one else can deliver the weather like good old fashioned Kiwi joker Jim, but often times he says it's going to rain and it doesn't. "You may as well just look out the window", said one old bloke I met in a gas station once near Naseby. Mind you, after ascertaining that I was from Auckland he enquired if we still had "all that trouble up there with the Islanders?"
3. Hillary Barry. Non-pretentious, serious when she needs to be, but always up for a laugh. She may be a delight to be around and one of the best autocue readers in the land but have you ever wondered what she's like in person? Well, a friend of mine who's sister works in a major retail chain reckons she seemed - and this is a direct quote - "a bit snotty" when she came into the shop to buy some cold and flu medicine. And you thought she was nice. Feel betrayed? Me too.
4. Alison Mau. For God's sake who doesn't' like Alison Mau? She's like a ray of glamorous sunshine on everything she does, right back to Newsnight in the 1990s when she showed her ring to Marcus Lush live on air. (Not that kind of ring, jeepers, come on, you're better than that.) But have you noticed that on Seven Sharp she often sits next to Greg Boyed? That's no accident; she's doing it to make herself look better. It's an old showbiz trick, but it's cheating plain and simple.
5. Stan Walker. He's charming, natural, a great singer and probably the most loved judge to ever sit in judgement in a shiny-floor-show since the late, great Phil Warren. However, he sometimes wears those pointy little metal things on his collars with a chain that connects them like a little shiny bridge.
6. Jacquie Brown. For God's sake, if she's not being funny she's pregnant. And while there's nothing wrong with being funny or pregnant per se, she has also been sitting next to Greg Boyed when she appears on Seven Sharp in order to make herself look better. Not only is it cheating but she copied it from Mau.
7. Sasha McNeil. She reads the news so well on Nightline she's incredibly hard to fault. No affectation. No BS. Refreshingly, it's never about her, and she seems to treat the audience as if we are grownups without resorting to emotive facials or lame attempts at stupid banter. If only she wasn't married. One stupid mistake can ruin a career just like that.
8. Pippa Wetzell. She's lovely, no doubt about that, and pretty much perfect on Fair Go where she sits next to Gordon Harcourt who's also incredibly good, so she's not up to Mau or Brown's tricks. The problem with Pippa is still to be discovered, but it will be there, don't you worry. Probably a Scientologist.
9. Guyon Espiner. Smart as a tack and seemingly compassionate. But have you noticed his posture when he stands there with Duncan Garner on 3rd Degree?
10. Duncan Garner. More a brawler than 3rd Degree co-host Espiner, and particularly good on the adversarial monthly The Vote sessions, but again, posture lets him down. Maybe it's time for everyone to sit down again. This standing-around-on-TV lark was worth a try, but it doesn't work. You'd have to say that for all his faults - his self-saucing smugness, his terrible manners, his appalling book - at least Paul Henry had the good sense to park his arse in a bloody chair.