The Diary: New taste for Breakfast

Original Saturday morning team plans to shake up the weekday format.

Popular host Toni Street will return from maternity leave in the new year. Photo / Supplied
Popular host Toni Street will return from maternity leave in the new year. Photo / Supplied

Toni Street has been named the new co-host of TV One's Breakfast programme alongside Rawdon Christie starting in the new year, and she says to "expect some changes" to the popular morning show.

"Rawdon and I have been on the phone together discussing new ideas and what we can do to make the show different and improve it," Street told The Diary.

"We're keen to be out in the field more, travelling around and talking to the community. Of course, it does depend on whether we're constrained by budgets".

Street and Christie launched Saturday Breakfast together before Rawdon was transferred to the daily morning programme to replace Corin Dann, who moved to the press gallery at Parliament.

He had little rapport with co-host Petra Bagust, who departs the show next month.

TVNZ news boss Ross Dagan is quick to praise Street's bond with colleagues and viewers.

"Toni has proven herself to be an incredibly warm, engaging and intelligent presenter," he told The Diary.

"While she is no stranger to our viewers, we are pleased to welcome her permanently to the weekday Breakfast family."

Street, mum to 2-month-old Juliette Ellen, is keen to "get back on the couch" with Christie, but says returning from maternity leave is daunting. "It is scary coming back, but I feel really comfortable with Rawdon by my side."


MediaWorks' big talent pool

MediaWorks Radio has much to celebrate this week with All Black legend Jeff Wilson purportedly set to join the talent pool. A rep tells The Diary contract negotiations are expected to be finalised soon. Wilson, who has also appeared in commentary roles on TVNZ, will replace ex-league star Dean Lonergan who left the LiveSport breakfast show last month.

Hayley Holt will be next door at More FM sooner than expected. Holt will join Marc Ellis on Tuesday - a month ahead of schedule. She replaces Amber Peebles who leaves the breakfast show on Monday.

Ex-Wellingtonian Duncan Garner, who relocated to Auckland this week, was the toast of a company soiree on Wednesday for advertisers and corporate clients. Garner takes the reins of RadioLive's drive show on Monday with the support of Bayleys Real Estate who have partnered with his programme. "I'm thrilled. It's a big deal," Garner said.


Hobnobbing at The Hobbit

It has been six years and $500 million in the making but The Hobbit finally arrived - despite a series of setbacks, including a change of directors, a union feud, a government labour law change, a fire that destroyed vital miniatures and crippling time delays by Hollywood studio and co-funder MGM, which is on the verge of bankruptcy.

It's no wonder Wellington was party central on Wednesday with hometown boy Sir Peter Jackson leading the conga-line of celebrations down a 600m red carpet.

The Prime Minister was there, sporting a mint-coloured bow-tie better suited to a barbershop quartet. "The atmosphere was amazing," Key told The Diary. "It was like the first night of the Rugby World Cup."

Hollywood heavyweight James Cameron hobnobbed with Key on the red carpet, and the PM was quick to tweet about it. Their wives, Suzy Amis and Bronagh Key, chatted about living in the Wairarapa, where Cameron and his family have taken up residency on their new farm.

The Titanic director hopes the solitude will help him write the scripts for Avatar 2 and 3, but apparently there's too many welcome distractions. Like film premieres.

The stars turned out - well, most of them. Martin Freeman, James Nesbitt, Andy Serkis, Aidan Turner, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Barry Humphries and Evangeline Lily, who sported a pink sequin micro-mini and new multi-coloured cropped locks resembling burnt hokey pokey.

A-listers Benedict Cumberbatch and Orlando Bloom, however, were no-shows - much to the disappointment of the paparazzi pack who didn't bother attending. Unsolicited pics of Bloom would generate big bucks in the British tabloids - Serkis, not so much.

Local television coverage of the premiere was more saturated than bystanders at a Gerry Brownlee pool bombing. It was a telly drenching with both free-to-air networks making full use of time (and advertising dollars) each side of the coveted news hour.

TV3 pulled out their big guns and produced a polished but lengthy account, whereas Television New Zealand's coverage appeared, at times, a shambles.

Wendy Petrie looked awkward and flustered away from the studio autocue, and her odd pairing with little-known Connor Nestor (from TVNZ's youth music show U Live) was, sources say, a last resort due to accreditation issues.

Joanna Hunkin, however, proved the network's trump card. Her vivacious and compelling interviews live from the red carpet were no match for rivals.

Veteran anchors Carolyn Robinson and Hilary Barry caught the first flight home, still in their party best, but Sam Hayes evidently whooped it up at TV3's after-party at Establishment bar.


All Blacks and Blues

Days out from their all-important match at Twickenham, the All Blacks enjoyed some downtime as special guests of British football team Chelsea FC as they took on Fulham at Stamford Bridge - but if they were hoping to pick up some scoring tips, they were mistaken. The 0-0 stalemate saw the Blues booed off at full time for their poor performance.

Not that Victor Vito, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Liam Messam and Ma'a Nonu appeared to mind. They posed in puffer jackets emblazoned with the Chelsea emblem - and the all familiar adidas stripes. Both teams are sponsored by the multinational apparel giant in multimillion-dollar deals, which explains the ABs' special guest status and Chelsea boasting on Twitter that the "rugby world champions" were welcome at their HQ.

Jane showed his colours, too, declaring Roman Abramovich's boys his new team. "Now when people ask if I support a football team I can say Chelsea FC," he tweeted, covered in their garb.

For Chelsea, it was a cross-code branding coup.

- NZ Herald

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen, notorious for breaking celebrity scoops and dishing dirt on the country’s best known personalities. She’s feared. She’s loathed. She’s courted by anyone with skeletons in their closet. Rachel knows where the bodies are buried. Mick Jagger wined and dined her. Mike McRoberts devoted a chapter to her in his memoirs. And John Key has her on speed dial.

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