Stand-ins make a nice change from loudmouth Henry

By Lin Ferguson

3 comments
Television presenter Alison Mau filled in on the breakfast slot in Paul Henry's absence.
Television presenter Alison Mau filled in on the breakfast slot in Paul Henry's absence.

Breakfast television offering The Paul Henry Show on TV3 will have had many ardent viewers weeping over their porridge for the past two weeks.

The great man was away on holiday and, while that hardly bothered many of us, for others their mornings became somewhat depleted.

No doubt about it, Henry is a popular loudmouth and self-promoter always eager to discredit and make personal judgments on everyone from politicians to celebrities to whoever he can get in a disparaging or mordant quip about.

But his breakfast show survived with the sit-in hosts - first Mark Sainsbury, then Alison Mau.

Even though the format remained the same and with huge graphics of Henry plastered over the walls, they were dedicated hosts and did Henry proud.

Sainsbury with his benevolent manner, twinkling eyes and trademark walrus moustache maintained a steady flow and was a genuinely nice presence.

This is a man who is vastly experienced and likes people. Snide remarks are not a Sainsbury trait and, I have to say, it was refreshing.

And if this were an audition to find the next host, my pick - without a doubt - would be experienced talkback host Alison Mau who filled for the second week.

She has a natural ease with her interview subjects and never encroaches on their views or opinions. She listens calmly and gives people the space to tell their story.

She is the antithesis of Henry's often bumptious, hyper-critical manner, and her style is chic, smart and intelligent with no hidden agenda.

If Henry decided to quit, Mau would the perfect choice to replace him.

For those who are missing the outspoken, self-involved Paul Henry, don't sweat - he'll be returning on Monday and so it'll be back to "it's-all-about-me'' Henry.

Well, that's entertainment, folks.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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