Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

'Rugby guy' tackles tough issues live on air

Graham Henry - 'the guy who who was involved in a little bit of rugby' - hosts his own Radio Live show. Photo / Duncan Wilson
Graham Henry - 'the guy who who was involved in a little bit of rugby' - hosts his own Radio Live show. Photo / Duncan Wilson

Richie McCaw is single, Sir Graham Henry votes National and finds his Marmite ad embarrassing ... a radio show hosted by the former All Black coach has thrown up a number of revelations.

The 65-year-old stepped into Prime Minister John Key's shoes and hosted a one-off hour-long show on RadioLive yesterday with Richie McCaw.

After he read the weather forecast - "in Jimmy Cowan country, they're crying a bit down there so it's cloudy periods with a few showers" - the show opened with a Rod Stewart song.

"I'm your host for the next hour. You may ask, who is that? I'm the guy who was involved in a little bit of rugby last year," Henry quipped.

McCaw phoned in and listeners were promised the chance to "learn a little bit about the man, because we know about the All Black captain, but we don't know a lot about the man".

Unfortunately, the next question was about his foot (healing well).

But Henry soon delivered - putting McCaw on the spot by asking about his relationship status.

"I didn't expect you to ask me this, Ted, crikey," McCaw deflected, only to be pressed by his former coach, "is there several, or is there just the one?"

"No, no, no. There's actually none at the moment ... I'm still on the lookout," McCaw said.

"I'll put an advert out after you come off the air, and I'll let you know ... I think we might have one or two [applicants]," Henry promised.

While Henry was relaxed on air, McCaw's answers were characteristically careful not to give too much away.

Both plugged their various sponsors and involvement in a rugby coaching website - although Henry revealed embarrassment over his recent Marmite advert.

"I've been trying to put an ad together for Marmite and am getting a bit of flak for it. Have you any advice for me?" he asked McCaw.

"Nah, mate, what you've done is you have taken the heat off any of the ads I've done, people are talking about your one ... you've got a few things to work on," McCaw said. Awkwardly, the same Marmite advert later played in the programme's ad break.

RadioLive was criticised for arranging a similar programme to be hosted by Mr Key last September, before the November election.

The Electoral Commission ruled the show was an election programme and therefore a prohibited broadcast.

But yesterday Mr Key received another boost from the network after Henry and McCaw both apparently endorsed the Prime Minister.

Henry suggested McCaw could make a future Prime Minister.

"John Key would probably be retired by then, we'd probably be looking for a Prime Minister ... he's bloody good at it," he said. "He's not bad at it, is he?" McCaw said.

Henry took calls for the last half hour, and sounded tired after slogging through several statements-posed-as-questions.

But he sparked back to life when handing over to drive-time host and TV3 reporter Samantha Hayes.

"You've got a face for television, girl," he said.

"I don't know why you've been wasted on radio."

HENRY ON:
* Richie McCaw's single relationship status: "I'll put an advert out after you come off the air, and I'll let you know ... I think we might have one or two [applicants]"
* Racist abuse directed at Pat Lam: "It comes from the faceless minority. I coached the All Blacks for eight years, and only one person ever criticised me to my face."
* His Marmite advert: "I've been trying to put an ad together for Marmite and am getting a bit of flak for it."
* Samantha Hayes: "You've got a face for television, girl. I don't know why you've been wasted on radio."

- NZ Herald

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