Summer Diary: Ship jumping journo stirs waters

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High-profile Campbell Live reporter's move to join Paul Henry Show likely to inflame already-tense rivalry.

Rebecca Wright says moving to Paul Henry's new show from Campbell Live offers a challenge.
Rebecca Wright says moving to Paul Henry's new show from Campbell Live offers a challenge.

There is no love lost between TV3's biggest stars John Campbell and Paul Henry, and the rivalry has intensified now that high-profile Campbell Live reporter Rebecca Wright has jumped ship to The Paul Henry Show.

Wright says she is thrilled to be joining Henry on the new show, which starts on January 27.

"He is funny, smart and clever - all the things I want the new show to be. We will have a lot of fun."

She will be an Auckland reporter alongside Mike Wesley-Smith, previously with Sky News. Jesse Peach will report from Wellington.

It will be a challenge, Wright says, to find her feet with a smaller production team.

"But I'm interested in political and investigation stories and I've got the freedom to do it on a new show."

Asked what she'll miss about Campbell Live, Wright said executive producer Pip Keane.

"She's the best in the business and I'll be sad not to be working for her. She got me thinking about stories in a different way."

News boss Mark Jennings says the move is right.

"Rebecca will go really well on the show. She is a tenacious reporter and a great complement to Paul. The show will really suit her style of reporting."

But Wright's style has ruffled some peacock feathers. One insider said "there was a bit of jealousy towards Rebecca from other Campbell Live reporters because she has a knack of pulling off scoops".

Meanwhile, in other musical-chairs news at the network, Guyon Espiner's departure from TV3 for Radio New Zealand leaves a co-host vacancy on 3rd Degree in April and Jennings says he is looking at options.

"It could be either Duncan Garner hosting the show on his own, or giving him a new partner."

Sam Hayes or Paula Penfold are best-bet contenders.

Socialite back from doldrums

Former high-flying socialite and property developer Lynne Carter is making a comeback - on Facebook.

Four years ago, she hit the headlines for fraud charges and a charge of possession of methamphetamine, which was later dropped by police.

She was arrested in 2009 in bizarre circumstances when she arrived at Dunedin Airport on a ticket carrying a false name.

At that time, she'd lost her Ferrari, her high-living lifestyle - and her son Lance, who had become involved with P.

Carter's life was invaded by gang members linked to the Head Hunters and King Cobras who offered to provide protection to her son while he was in police cells. She lost everything.

But now she's turning 50 and tells friends on Facebook she is living in "a new home outside of Auckland in a secure compound".

"It has been a struggle to get back up but I have passed the hardest stage so am back rolling again," she says.

Carter remains estranged from her son and says she lost her "life's work for him".

She writes: "I am not going to go down for him again ... I put up with publicity and 42 days in the cells for him when the police upon due diligence withdrew the charges ... my bankers withdrew support, thus I lost $22 million net worth."

Diary questions this week

1 Is Simon Dallow engaged?

We couldn't help noticing his girlfriend, Louise Colenbrander, is brandishing a bauble on her ring finger. Let's hope it's a sign of commitment from the anchorman. The couple have been dating on and off for years. He was spotted outside her house on Sunday, loading her bags into the boot.

2 Why was David Cunliffe at Ascot Hospital last week?

Cunliffe tells The Diary he's fit as a fiddle. He kindly helped to escort a sick friend there.

3 Is Kim Dotcom a muso now?

The German was the unlikely drawcard at Gisborne's Rhythm and Vines Festival and hit the stage last night in front of the 25,000-strong audience. He also paid for the massive pyrotechnics display. What a co-coincidence that he has an album out soon.

4 Who cares that American actor John Stamos is in Auckland this week?

Apparently a bevy of media babes who all took to Twitter to gush about "Uncle Jesse".

5 Want to spot an All Black on holiday?

Head to Waiheke Island for Israel Dagg and Victor Vito. Jarrod Hoeata is vacationing in Mt Maunganui. Ma'a Nonu is at Parua Bay. And Dan Carter is learning how to spear fish in the Marlborough Sounds.

6 Which MP's toy dog Waffles turned 2 on Sunday?

Friend-of-gay-rainbows Maurice Williamson. He likes to dress the pooch in a Santa outfit.

7 Which worry-wart media man is calling for the end of celebrity boxing?

That'll be Keith Quinn, who took to Twitter on Sunday to vent about the danger of the Brett Lee-Piers Morgan cricket stunt and celebs getting into the ring. Sky presenter Stephen McIvor, who was hospitalised last month with a brain bleed after Fight For Life, is now back to match fitness and reported courtside from Venus Williams' match on Monday night.

8 Which former it-girl and prominent ex-wife is trying to sell a painting of her own vagina?

9 How did Jack Tame reveal he has an American girlfriend called Jennifer from Tuscaloosa, Alabama?

The information was prised out of him on-air by Tony Veitch.

A relaxed Venus Williams.
A relaxed Venus Williams.

10 Why is Venus Williams looking so smug?

She took to Twitter yesterday to congratulate herself on winning her tennis match, figuring out the time difference to Florida and ignoring the chips from the hotel mini bar. Go girl!

- NZ Herald

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