Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Rove McManus to take over TV3's 7 Days from Jeremy Corbett

Rove will replace Jeremy Corbett for the first time in 7 Days history - but the funny man has other plans while he's here.
Rove McManus, stepping into Jeremy Corbett's shoes on 7 Days.
Rove McManus, stepping into Jeremy Corbett's shoes on 7 Days.

He'll be in the country for less than 48 hours, but Rove McManus has a packed schedule here this month.

The Australian comedian's main priority is taking over Jeremy Corbett's host duties on 7 Days for a night, the first time TV3's Friday night panel show has had a different presenter in seven years.

Corbett is going on holiday, and McManus says he's been drafted in to play ringmaster to the show's "bunch of naughty school kids" for the episode airing on August 26.


"There is an element of 'Can you top this?' to the show, which is something I really like," says Rove, who appeared as a panellist during the show's early days.

"Just when you think you're getting too close to a line, someone will completely jump across it, then the floodgates open. I'm looking forward to this loudmouth Aussie getting into it."

The 42-year-old will also present his morning radio show, 2DayFM's Rove & Sam, from here, and he says he may try to sneak in a secret stand-up comedy show.

But there's one thing on McManus' to-do list that he's looking forward to more than all the others: continuing his bromance with John Campbell.

"If I fly to New Zealand and don't catch up with him there's something wrong with the world," says McManus, who has a long-standing relationship with Campbell after several amusing appearances on the now-defunct TV3 show Campbell Live.

He admits the last time he caught up with Campbell, who now works for Radio New Zealand, was under trying circumstances.

"[It] was his final week of Campbell Live. He flew to Sydney for lunch, and flew back in a day. You shouldn't have to take a passport to lunch, but he did, so I owe him a return. I'll pick up the tab," he says.

Jeremy Corbett is going on holiday, and Rove McManus says he's been drafted in to play ringmaster to the show's "bunch of naughty school kids".
Jeremy Corbett is going on holiday, and Rove McManus says he's been drafted in to play ringmaster to the show's "bunch of naughty school kids".

Campbell's 7pm show was cancelled at TV3 last year despite a ratings resurgence and petitions and protests from viewers. It has been replaced by Story, hosted by Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan.

It's been so long since McManus has been here, he admits he can't remember when it was, "sometime in 08 or 09".

"It's been far too long. I can probably count the trips to New Zealand on one hand but I have enjoyed them immensely ... I've always got a lot of love from the Kiwi fans, so it's nice to be coming back."

Since then, McManus moved to America to try his luck, only to return home and return to radio. He does regular stand-up tours, and admits he loves throwing in the occasional swear word to shock fans of his family-friendly comedy.

But he admits he's a little nervous about keeping six rampant Kiwi comedians under control - and living up to Corbett's high standards.

"The trick is going to be not just sitting back and enjoying it like an audience member. I'm very aware that I'll have to move things on. The beauty of the show is they let the fun happen and it keeps it nice and spontaneous and unpredictable, which I love," he says.

"It's kind of incredible to think I'm the first one to take over the reins - I just hope I don't crash the car."

Low down

Who: Rove McManus
Where and when: Hosting 7 Days on TV3, August 26

- TimeOut

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