The lack of chemistry between new Breakfast hosts Corin and Petra disappoints. Deborah Hill Cone.
There is nothing wrong with TV One's new Breakfast hosts Corin Dann and Petra Bagust. There is a lot that is right. Bagust is so gorgeous that even when she pulls expressive aghast-type faces - the sort that would make most women look mildly deranged - it just cuts her exquisite beauty with a bit of character and looks even more adorable. Only very beautiful women should be allowed to grimace.
Dann, meanwhile, exudes the vibe of the honourable Kiwi bloke who wears loud shirts to a barbie. You know the type: there is a suggestion of eccentricity beneath his patina of normality but he's too much of a pantywaist to own it. They are both very nice.
Unfortunately, there should be a mysterious alchemy between TV presenters and this pair so far don't seem to have it. Whatever "it" is.
First off, they don't flirt. This is important. While you don't have to look like you're about to get a room (Mike Hosking and Kate Hawkesby) you do have to show a little bit of a frisson, a bit of emotion, even irritation (Hosking and Susan Wood).
With Dann and Bagust there's nothing there. They might only have been on air for a week but they seem like one of those depressing old married couples who don't have anything to say to each other. It's interesting to note how they both look more comfortable making chit-chat to newsreader Peter Williams or Tamati the weather guy or talking to Alison Pugh about her warrant of fitness - or even the producer off-camera - than talking to each other.
When they do engage it's on the most banal topics so they sound like two old biddies at a tea dance. Dann: "The rain is a nice little reprieve for the garden." Bagust: "Sunshine is good for tomatoes." Dann: "I've got plenty of green ones hanging on the vines but none of them have gone red yet." Bagust: "Oh, I knoooow." Dann: "But I'm just an amateur." Bagust: "Well, it's just good that you're getting involved." More tea, vicar?
When they do actually talk about something of substance then, deadliest of all, they simply agree. "John Key is very friendly and affable." "He is, isn't he?" "Yes, he is." "He's very good at the popular stuff." Oh, bite me.
If you have ever been on a blind date you will know you can't fake heat. But there is something simple that Dann and Bagust, both competent interviewers, could do to improve the show. They need something to say. Before they go on air they could script an editorial or opinion piece where they actually research the day's hot topic and then take a position on it.
It might mean getting up a bit earlier but, on the other hand, if either of them actually had something meaningful to say, it might help the viewers not to agree with Bagust when she says: "I have already yawned four times so far this morning, I think I need a yawn jar."
Breakfast airs Monday to Friday on TV One, 6.30am-9am.
- Herald On Sunday / View