Petra looks forward to life without Breakfast

By Kieran Campbell

Petra Bagust can now 'sleep in past 3.50am and spend more time with her young family', says RVNZ's Ross Dagan.
Petra Bagust can now 'sleep in past 3.50am and spend more time with her young family', says RVNZ's Ross Dagan.

The seat is still warm under Petra Bagust, but candidates are already lining up to replace the departing Breakfast co-host.

TVNZ's Ross Dagan fielded calls from potential replacements within hours of Bagust's on-air announcement yesterday that she would leave the show on December 21.

"I would imagine we would be inundated with people expressing interest ... I've had a few this morning already," said Dagan, head of news and current affairs.

"But today's about Petra's announcement and her decision and we need to allow that to unfold."

On air yesterday Bagust thanked the Breakfast team for their efforts during two years which she said had been "bloody hard work".

She mentioned the Christchurch earthquake, Japan's quake and tsunami, the royal wedding, the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics as highlights.

"It's been a rollercoaster ride. Bring on summer and 2013."

Dagan was unwilling to speculate on who might step into Bagust's shoes next year.

But media commentator Martin Gillman said it would not matter - the popular programme survived Paul Henry's exit and wouldn't lose viewers with Bagust's exit.

"There will be someone good who will replace her, I have absolutely no doubt at all. (But) the presenter doesn't make the audience," said Gillman, a partner at Mitchener Gillman Communications.

Dagan said the day had been "quite emotional" for Bagust.

"She did a really great job to hold it together on air. I think behind the scenes she's been certainly emotional leading up to telling the team this morning."

Dagan said Bagust was "keen to sleep in past 3.50am and spend more time with her young family".


Breakfast settings

Some possible options:

- Breakfast reporter Toni Street may take a promotion on her return from maternity leave.

- TVNZ business reporter Nadine Chalmers-Ross is no stranger to Breakfast.

- Rachel Smalley could consider the jump from TV3's Firstline.

- TV3 reporter Samantha Hayes may be interested in a fulltime presenting job.

- Paul Henry's former co-host Pippa Wetzell was a show favourite.

- NZ Herald

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