Broadcasters Willie Jackson and John Tamihere, who were stood down and taken off air last month following their controversial Roast Busters comments, will not be reuniting on RadioLive next year, The Diary understands. Jackson will return to the station in January, but Tamihere will not.
A RadioLive rep would only officially say "there is no update" on the employment status of the pair who fronted the midday talkback show. But reliable inside sources say Jackson, the former trade union organiser and affable broadcaster, will return to the airwaves on his own.
Calls to Jackson and Tamihere were not returned.
Last month, Jackson told The Diary he planned a comeback to the station in January, but wouldn't confirm if Tamihere would join him. A friend of the pair said: "Willie will be back, he loves broadcasting. But JT has had a gutsful of talkback. It's no secret the show has been on the wane for some time."
The pair came under fire for their interview with "Amy", a young woman close to a victim of the Roast Busters group. They asked inappropriate questions, including how old she was when she first had sex and how free and easy young people are. The interview was posted online, but later pulled.
Listeners lambasted Jackson and Tamihere for victim-blaming and advertisers boycotted their show. They apologised on air and RadioLive was forced to make their show commercial-free. But they were later taken off air for the remainder of the year.
Julie Christie feted at pollie party
The parliamentary press gallery's annual Christmas knees-up on Wednesday night was blessed with the surprise appearance of TV mogul Julie Christie, who arrived on the arm of good chum Gerry Brownlee.
"Old Gerry was looking after her. They obviously like each other. He was using his considerable mana about the place to impress Jules," gushed one prominent insider.
However, not to be outdone in the powerbroker status, Judith Collins also held court with Christie, with another observer labelling them "the great power couple".
Collins was quite the star attraction, even appearing as the cut-out Christmas angel atop the Chrissie tree, which apparently drew much admiration from the lady herself.
Also at the party was longtime Wellington operator and John Key's chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, who let his hair down and partied. Who could blame him? The boss was in South Africa.
So, too, was Newstalk political editor Barry Soper, which prompted one tart to taunt: "Without Bazza there we got away with one more crate of wine to drink".
Star-of-the-year Bill English made a quiet appearance, as did Winston Peters and Sir Bob Jones. However, young father Russel Norman was one of the last to leave the booze-up. As was a very relaxed David Shearer, who looked untroubled without the albatross of the Labour leadership around his neck.
12 Questions, Diary-style
1. Did Tamati Coffey burn his bridges and resign from Seven Sharp in a huff, as rumoured? Coffey says no, he's still renegotiating his contract and rubbishes rumours of drama antics.
2. Is Ali Mau upping and leaving? Reports from TVNZ insist she's moving on from Seven Sharp, but Mau says she's "a permanent staff member and returning to the show on January 20". Too many tittle-tattlers at TVNZ?
3. Were the naked selfies of All Black Aaron Smith that were posted on Facebook (but since removed) artfully Photoshopped? Let's just say, er, the lad's very well-endowed. We'd show you but we're a family paper.
4. Where did Dan Carter take Honor Dillon on Sunday to celebrate a romantic second anniversary?
5. It's day seven of the Marcus Lush Baby Watch and, frankly, who's tired of waiting? We're pleased for Lushy and expectant mama Vanessa. Rubik's cube rattle is in the post.
6. Did you, too, find the political unification couplings at Mandela's memorial overly flippant? Obama and Castro. Blair and Brown. Bono and Bush. Key and Cunliffe. Though the Kiwi bromance was predictably fleeting. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, meanwhile, found himself the meat in a celebrity sandwich sitting between Naomi Campbell and Bono on the VIP bus.
7. Which broadcaster is currently juggling not one, but two mistresses - and a long-suffering wife? And which one of the women hired the pushy private investigator?
8. When's the court judgment on Ridge v Parore? The former cricketer shrugged his shoulders when bailed up outside a wine shop this week and quizzed. And Sally is still tweeting nauseating product plug pics, appearing seemingly breezy and unbothered by the whole legal palaver.
9. Which puerile TVNZ presenter spread a false story about herself saying rivals at Flower St were secretly poaching her? They weren't. But she wangled a hefty salary increase of $40,000 from the state broadcaster.
10. Who pulled rank on the barbie at the parliamentary press gallery Christmas party on Wednesday? Two political editors from rival TV networks wielding tongs and pinnies ... our money's on Paddy.
11. How much pressure is Kevin Kenrick under? The TVNZ boss looked rattled at the NZ on Air function on Wednesday night.
12. A numptie (to borrow a phrase from Collins) on the picture desk at New York Daily News plainly didn't do their job properly, so isn't it wrong to mock John Key for that?