Story host Heather Du Plessis-Allan quits Mediaworks and TV

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Heather du Plessis-Allan is looking forward to a change of place and pace. Photo / Hagen Hopkins
Heather du Plessis-Allan is looking forward to a change of place and pace. Photo / Hagen Hopkins

Heather du Plessis-Allan has revealed she is quitting Mediaworks and leaving TV - for now.

But the 32-year-old presenter has yet to break the news to her co-host, Duncan Garner.

"I'd better give him a call," she said, laughing, in an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday.

Du Plessis-Allan said the pair knew in July their show was being axed. "I didn't know it would last more than six months to be honest," she said from her Ponsonby home.

The TV presenter and Radio Live Sunday host admitted she was exhausted juggling two jobs and commuting to Wellington every fortnight.

"I was working six days a week, which is really seven. If a radio interview fell over on Saturday you'd have to find something else, so your brain just doesn't turn itself off."

She said Barry Soper, her husband of seven years, backed her decision. "When Barry said, 'It will be really nice to have you back', that stuck with me."

Du Plessis-Allan has been a broadcast journalist for 10 years, mostly with TVNZ. She began as a newsroom reporter, spent two years on Seven Sharp, then did a stint as a political reporter before she was headhunted to present Story at 7pm, competing head-to-head with Seven Sharp last August.

She never regretted leaving TVNZ but missed her time as a political journalist in the gallery. "It was a wrench and really hard to walk away from that and I still miss it."

She talked about her time on Story with fondness. "I gave it a go and had a fantastic time. It's one of those things you can look back when you are an old lady and say: I did that."

Her contract at Mediaworks included hosting a radio show on Sundays, which she really took to.

"There's something very constraining about TV, you have to find pictures to illustrate what you are talking about.

"Radio is about having a conversation, it's immediate. If you say something stupid you get a text from someone telling you off. I love that."

Du Plessis-Allan is looking forward to watching Garner on the new AM Show. "He has high energy, if anyone can pull it off it's him."

She was sorry breakfast host Paul Henry was leaving the Mediaworks stable at the end of the year.

"Paul Henry is the best, without a doubt. He is so smart. He's not perfect, but gosh, he gets pretty close when he is broadcasting.

"He just nails it."

When the show ends in three weeks, du Plessis-Allan says she plans to do nothing. The contract she had negotiated means she can afford to do just that.

"I want to read books in the sun, surf and spend time with friends and family, the people that matter, for as long as I like," she said.

Are babies on the horizon?

"I am staying in Auckland so you can't have babies when you are commuting. It's definitely going to happen at some point, just not yet."

- Herald on Sunday

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