Mark Sainsbury is back on TV - and so is that iconic moustache of his. We look at how Sainso's 'tache has changed over the years.

The lip slug begins

Here's how Mark Sainsbury's 'mo began all the way back in 1984. It's unformed, unkempt and slightly out of place, like he's slapped one of those crappy Christmas cracker gifts on to his face and is pretending to be a detective for the lols.

The beginnings of an icon: How Mark Sainsbury's moustache looked back in 1984. Photo/TVNZ
The beginnings of an icon: How Mark Sainsbury's moustache looked back in 1984. Photo/TVNZ

Give it a little twist

It wasn't long until this 'tache got a little twist in its tail - an evolutionary event that has lasted to this very day. Look at the way the tail contours to Sainsbury's face. That must have been trouble for makeup and wardrobe - and a nightmare on windy days.

Mark the mucky farmer

On location reporting in 1991, Sainsbury found a purpose for his moustache: keeping his face warm. Note the colour scheme of his fleece jumper and his 'tache. Call in the Rug Doctor, because this is the point Mark started colour co-ordinating his outfits to match his facial fuzz.

Sainso gets serious

This is the moment, the exact time, a turning-point if you will, that Sainsbury's moustache changed from a water cooler sideshow to a serious concern. This is a serious moustache attached to the face of a serious newsreader. Folks, get this guy some beard oil, because things just got wickedly serious.

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Which one's the Muppet?

Mark Sainsbury got his very own puppet during a 2011 episode of Close Up, making it official: this 'tache now gets its own green room. Groupies, follow the corridor and take the door to the left, please.

Hello, ladies

Taking a chill pill

After Sainsbury packed up his moustache and left Close Up forever, they found they had plenty of spare time to spend together, bonding by cruising the streets in Sainsbury's selection of convertibles. The top down, wind whistling through his 'tache, life was good. Until ...

Together forever

After a break from TV, Sainsbury returned to our screens as a guest host on Paul Henry this week. Having that 'tache back on TV is a revelation: it's regal, majestic and fully formed, a living, breathing entity that could exist entirely separately from Sainsbury's face. But what a lame existence that would be - for them, and for us. Long live Sainsbury; long live the 'tache.