Heather du Plessis-Allan told to leave after newspaper interview

TV host Heather du Plessis-Allan didn't front Story last night after being ordered off air by TV3. Photo/Hagen Hopkins
TV host Heather du Plessis-Allan didn't front Story last night after being ordered off air by TV3. Photo/Hagen Hopkins

TV host Heather du Plessis-Allan has been ordered off air by MediaWorks after an interview in the Herald on Sunday.

In the interview du Plessis-Allan revealed her plans to leave the company.

She said she was exhausted juggling her job as host of the nightly Story programme with her role as Radio Live Sunday host.

The interview:
Story host Heather Du Plessis-Allan quits Mediaworks and TV

"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."

It is understood du Plessis-Allan was told to leave on Monday.

Monday's episode was hosted by Duncan Garner and reporter Amanda Gillies.

No mention was made of du Plessis-Allan's absence as the pair introduced themselves.

Du Plessis-Allan told the Herald she did not want to comment on Monday night.

Heather du Plessis-Allan. Photo / Supplied
Heather du Plessis-Allan. Photo / Supplied

Fairfax reported Mediaworks news chief Hal Crawford said in an email to staff that there were "inaccuracies" in the interview.

Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander stood by the story, and rejected suggestions it contained inaccuracies.

In the interview, the 32-year-old presenter said she hadn't yet broken the news to her co-host Garner.

"I'd better give him a call," she said, laughing.

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.

She said Barry Soper, her husband of seven years, backed her decision.

Heather du Plessis-Allan with husband Barry Soper at Parliament. Photo / Hagen Hopkins
Heather du Plessis-Allan with husband Barry Soper at Parliament. Photo / Hagen Hopkins

"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.

Read more: From John Campbell to Paul Henry: TV3's five biggest losses

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'."

Du Plessis-Allan said she was looking forward to watching Garner on his new The AM Show, due to go to air on TV3 early next year.

"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.

- NZ Herald

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