The Diary: TV3 staff slam Anna Guy's 3rd Degree gig

Duncan Garner is unhappy with Anna Guy's rumoured role on 3rd Degree. Photo/Mark Mitchell
Duncan Garner is unhappy with Anna Guy's rumoured role on 3rd Degree. Photo/Mark Mitchell

Anna Guy is set to get her wish: a television role. In October, she told The Diary she planned to relocate to Auckland to start a new life for herself in the media.

Guy will star in three stories on TV3's new current affairs show 3rd Degree talking about losing her brother Scott, the imprisonment of her husband Ewen Macdonald, and how she is setting up a new life in Auckland.

"They will be similar to other stories in the past about her, but with a slight stylistic twist: they will be told through her eyes and in her own words," said the show's executive producer Terence Taylor.

However, when news broke on Wednesday about Guy's involvement, rumours quickly spread she would play a presenting role, which ruffled more than a few peacock feathers in the TV3 newsroom.

"Guyon [Espiner] and I think it's a joke that Anna could be involved. It's a current affairs show," Duncan Garner told The Diary.

Asked what Guy would be contributing, Garner, who is hosting the show with Espiner, said: "Making coffee? Don't know.

"What else could she do?"

He wasn't the only high-profile journalist who disapproved - the newsroom apparently bulged with rolling eyes and audible scoffs.

Later that day, Taylor sent an email to the 3rd Degree team, which includes Paula Penfold, Melanie Read, Natasha Utting and Sam Hayes. "Just to clarify: Anna will not be hosting 3rd Degree, nor does she have a position on the 3rd Degree reporting team," he said.

The 60 Minutes interview with Guy in September drew an audience of more than 400,000 and TV3 is keen to capitalise on that.

But will Guy continue to intrigue us next year? Or is the network just eager to find the next blonde reality TV star?

Marc Ellis to front Close Up 2?

TVNZ is in talks with Marc Ellis to front the network's new Close Up show.

Several discussions have been held and the state broadcaster has made repeated offers to Ellis.

TVNZ news boss Ross Dagan refused to discuss the Ellis negotiations, saying only: "We're speaking to lots of people ... We're not confirming who is on the show, either regular presenters or contributors, until we are ready."

The Diary has been told Ellis has been targeted to host the new current affairs programme alongside TVNZ star Ali Mau.

The former All Black did not want to comment, but well-informed insiders told The Diary he has been considering the proposal.

"Marc is really flattered and has been thinking long and hard about it. He likes the idea of having his own radio and TV show, like Paul Holmes did. But he also likes the life he has and he probably doesn't need the public scrutiny and grief that comes with hosting a primetime daily TV news show".

Ellis is a co-host of the More FM breakfast show, owned by MediaWorks, the parent company of TV3 and Four. He has developed a popular television persona, fronting a variety of entertainment programmes over the years. How The Other Half Lives, a documentary series run by his company Chico Productions, screened on TV One this year.

Last year, Ellis is said to have pocketed about $18 million in the sale of a juice company he co-founded to Japanese brewing giant Asahi for $129.3 million. Let's face it, he doesn't need the money TVNZ will be trying to lure him with.

The Diary has been told network executives have put forward several suggestions in a bid to demonstrate flexibility and sign him to the current affairs show. The network knows it would be a coup to secure him. Ellis at primetime equals ratings.

Boxing brings characters

A colourful crowd will attend the Fight For Life event tomorrow night in West Auckland, from former sporting legends Zinzan Brooke, Christian Cullen and Sir John Kirwan to TV news presenter Simon Dallow and actor Temuera Morrison.

But it will be the appearance of Melbourne underworld identity Mick Gatto which will undoubtedly raise eyebrows.

Gatto, a former top-line boxer, was acquitted by a Supreme Court jury of the 2004 murder of a Melbourne hitman.

Last month, he shrugged off a A$10 million ($12.5 million) tax bill to sit ringside with some of Melbourne gangland's biggest names at Shane Cameron's bout against Danny Green.

Fight For Life promoters plan to get Gatto in the ring next year with another high profile character on the authorities' radar.

"We can confirm Mick Gatto is interested in fighting next year and we're hoping to sign Kim Dotcom as his opponent," David Higgins told The Diary.

A boy called Bilbo

TV3 star and film buff Kate Rodger and her partner Tristan Alfred are playing doting parents to newborn son Max, who's affectionately nicknamed "Bilbo" by telly friends because of his imminent arrival in time for The Hobbit premiere.

"I'm sure Max will be more than happy with his nickname given the auspicious timing," Rodger told The Diary. "It's been quite a ride. He's entirely adorable."

- NZ Herald

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