Paul Henry went missing from his morning news show in TV3 this morning, leading viewers to ask where he was.
Alison Mau, who hosted Paul Henry this morning, told viewers Henry's mother was unwell and he'd spent the night with her in hospital.
Bit of a surprse to find me here. I'm here because Paul's darling mum Olive is quite unwell and he spent the night in hospital with her last night," Mau said.
"A lot of us feel we know her ... (we're) sending our very best thoughts and love to Paul and his family this morning."
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A TV3 spokesperson said Mau would also fill on tomorrow's show, and the presenter had been "inundated" with messages of support for his mum from viewers.
Henry is known for his close relationship with his mother, who is in her mid-80s, calling her his "best friend" in a 2013 interview with Woman's Weekly.
In it, Olive admitted she couldn't handle seeing her son criticised.
"I hate it when people say bad things about Paul - it makes me want to scream," she said.
"He is very loving, very caring, and I knew he felt terrible about what happened. As a mum, I'm still very protective of him."