Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Hilary Barry can't wait to lead TVNZ's new Breakfast team

Morning show’s new presenters can’t wait to start.
The new  Breakfast  line-up: Brodie Kane, Jack Tame, Hilary Barry, Sam Wallace and Daniel Faitaua.
The new Breakfast line-up: Brodie Kane, Jack Tame, Hilary Barry, Sam Wallace and Daniel Faitaua.

Hilary Barry is counting down the hours until her debut leading TVNZ's new Breakfast team on Monday.

The veteran anchorwoman has been on an extended break since signing off from MediaWorks in May, ending a 23-year association with TV3, where she worked on Paul Henry's morning current affairs show and co-hosted the network's 6pm news bulletin.

Last month Barry and co-host Jack Tame were announced as replacements for axed Breakfast presenters Rawdon Christie and Nadine Chalmers-Ross on the revamped show - and they can't wait to get started.

"I needed a clear head to focus on this new project," Barry told the Herald on Sunday. "My batteries are now recharged, I'm re-energised and I'm ready for a new adventure."

Barry declined to answer questions about her departure from MediaWorks, or about taking on her old colleague Henry in the battle for morning viewers.

Instead, she was more interested in bonding with her new team at their first get-together at an Auckland waterfront restaurant on Wednesday.

Barry and Tame will be joined on the TV One Breakfast sofa by Fair Go reporter Brodie Kane, weatherman Sam Wallace and news presenter Daniel Faitaua.

"Viewers will see a new and very modern set," Barry said. "There will be no extravaganzas or fireworks though and we are aiming to make the show representative of the whole country while being pretty collaborative.

"You want the viewers to learn and feel something from what they are watching, then take this to their colleagues when they get to work and get them talking."

Tame will co-host Breakfast for the next few weeks before breaking to cover the US elections in November before returning to the show.

He revealed he and Faitaua recently got a taste of working together when the pair shared a hotel room during the Olympics in Rio.

"I got the bedroom and Daniel was on the couch because he is the father of three kids and I figured he was used to not getting much sleep," Tame joked. "You could switch on the light and make as much noise as you like and he would never wake up.

"We are all very excited about getting started and it feels like the first day back from the school holidays.

"We gelled immediately as a team and we will be locked away all weekend rehearsing and tweaking things to make sure it all goes well on Monday," he added.

- Herald on Sunday

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