Campbell answers seven sharp questions

Our two main networks go head-to-head at 7pm on weeknights as TV3's Campbell Live faces Seven Sharp's new line-up on TV One. We put John Campbell in the chair for seven, er, sharp questions.

John Campbell is a fan of Twitter.
John Campbell is a fan of Twitter.

What kind of stories can viewers expect this year? Stories that matter, about things that truly impact on our lives. We're asking people to watch us in the most competitive timeslot in New Zealand television, and you don't do that by insulting them with dross.

What is the biggest strength of your 7pm competitors? Weakness? They'll be raring to go, full of energy and ideas. Every programme on TV One enjoys the riches of their incumbent audience. So many people, particularly older viewers, still have TV One as a kind of default channel.

It's shaping as a fascinating election year. Will Dotcom's party make it to Parliament? Will Colin Craig's? I'm notoriously poor at predicting this stuff. But its treatment matters and is often strangely remote from many of the people it actually matters most to. We're planning to change that.

Twitter or Facebook? And why? Twitter. I've never personally done Facebook, although it is great watching the activity on the Campbell Live Facebook page.

I like the immediacy of Twitter and the nuttiness of its chatter. I'm a pretty private person, my family aren't part of my professional persona, and Twitter requires less in the way of photos and personal details.

What's your favourite website? Why? Lots. Campbell Live! All the New Zealand news websites: 3 News, the Herald, Stuff. The Guardian, which is brilliant. Salon. Pitchfork, because I love music now even more than I did when I was a kid. My sister's company, Somesuch & Co (because I'm a very proud big bro'). And the Virtual Rugby competition website - I would really appreciate it if the Hurricanes could actually win every game by 13+ (sigh).

Name seven dream dinner party companions, living or dead. Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare, because who wouldn't want to meet them? Hone Heke and William Hobson, because it would be great to hear what kind of country they dreamed of when they signed the Treaty. Martin Luther King and Harry Belafonte, because I once interviewed the latter about the former and my skin still tingles as I recall it. And Joan Didion, because I have never read an essayist I love more, and she could write about it.

Here's your free hit. Give viewers one reason to switch their TVs to your show this year. Because we give a damn. Because we're about to begin our 10th year on air and, in that time, we've become a force for good. Because we understand what we do is a privilege and we don't squander that opportunity with trivia and bunkum. And because we all have really neat hair.

• The Herald on Sunday asked TVNZ if one of its Seven Sharp hosts would answer the same questions. It declined.

Read also: Editorial: We need a contest for serious TV

- Herald on Sunday

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