Broadcasting legend Paul Henry is frothing for a Kiwi summer at sea and buzzing to get back in front of the cameras to host the second season of popular Three show The Traitors NZ.
Henry, 63, has advice for wannabe contestants and boat owners and suggests the perfect Christmas gift.
“Our New Zealand version of The Traitors was way better than the Aussie and US versions, the atmosphere more resembling the UK version on a fraction of the budget,” Henry tells Spy.
The local iteration of one of the hottest new reality formats in the world is said to be making waves internationally too.
“I am so proud that we pulled off the show, which had a huge production crew with no room for errors, filming in real time from when the players woke up from their secluded rooms until they went to bed.
Henry says he loves being the custodian of a show where competitors must bring their A-game in manipulation and deception. “For me, it’s magnificent fun.”
In season two, Henry says the challenges will be on a grander scale and he intends to step it up a notch too. He will add to the dramatics, playing a character that guides the contestants with his cane while at the same time stirring the pot.
“The show at its heart is theatric; I have grown into the role where I play a heightened version of myself.”
Henry thinks that after local audiences got a taste for the series earlier this year — not to mention the large sum of money to be won — fans will be queueing to compete when the ThreeNow fan page opens for applications next week.
“There are 20 spots and the more diverse the better, people of all ages and all walks of life make it a more interesting game.”
He says that there is no place to hide from the viewer, very quickly players have to decide whether they want to befriend or banish people.
“Do you murder an older person?
“The players are in a very stressful situation, have no opportunity to second guess themselves and think how they might look on TV.”
He thinks hairdresser Robbie Bell was one the best contestants of the first season, with her upfront personality making very entertaining viewing. However, he says media personality Brodie Kane was too skilled for her own good and became a danger to others, which saw her go home.
Before he films the show, Henry is hoping for a hot, dry summer, during which he plans to spend as much time on the water around Waiheke and Great Barrier Island as possible.
After a great season cruising in Fiji, Henry realised he wanted a bigger boat and this one would be his last.
The 90-tonne, 22.8m Van Der Heijden Explorer Motor Yacht has been put on TradeMe for $3.75 million and Henry says the interest is steadily growing.
“I am starting to get a bit more fearful that Olive will indeed sell — my lovely mother will be so proud — I do hope the new owner doesn’t change the name, it is very much part of the boat’s legacy,” he says.
“My advice to boat owners is you must never hold on to them too long, sell them in their prime, don’t fall in love with them too much or you will lose financially.”
One thing isn’t up for sale; a glass dome of Olive’s ashes that he will keep, placing his mother’s memory on his new vessel.
Another focus right now is Henry’s other passion, a self-named range of spirits, and he insists his wild cherry gin is the perfect festive tipple.
“It is the perfect Christmas gift, the finest gin with Christmas Cherries — picked at perfection in the valleys of Central Otago. Drinking it makes you feel festive and happy,” he says with his wry smile.