The New Zealand Radio Awards, held last night in the Auckland Town Hall, was a veritable who's who of the wireless world, but The Diary can report a few celebrity egos were left bruised.

RadioLive's Hilary Barry won best newsreader - an award she has also won for her work on TV3.

Murray Deaker pipped his Radio Sport colleague Tony Veitch for the best sports presenter title.

Friend of SkyCity Mike Hosking was once again crowned best talk/current affairs host - the third time in a row - scooping veteran female broadcasters Kathryn Ryan and Kim Hill, whose eponymous Saturday morning show won the gong for best spoken programme.


Big names Sean Plunket, Willie Jackson and John Tamihere were beaten in the talkback category by little-heard-of Mike Yardley from Christchurch.

The Rock's controversial "win a wife" contest, which offered the chance to fly to Ukraine to select a prospective wife from a bride agency, was named the best network radio promotion.

Early this year, it sparked big headlines and a deluge of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Critics said it devalued marriage and violated human dignity. But that wasn't enough to put off the radio awards' judges.

Marc Ellis did not make the cut of last night's finalists. That's despite adding 12,800 listeners to the More FM breakfast show since joining in October. He'll just have to take comfort in the whopping salary.


Insiders on The GC told The Diary that Australian networks are hotly contesting the rights to the Julie Christie reality show.

Sources say a deal for the controversial NZ on Air-funded show is close to being signed with one of the five main free-to-air networks.

"Normally you pitch a show to international networks to buy, but in this case they all came to us," one insider said.


Christie did not return calls, but it appears the Mozzie (Maori Aussie) show will be a global success.

That puts more heat on NZ on Air, which is facing a raft of questions about public funding going to The GC.

The show is made by Christie's production company Black Inc Media, which is 90 per cent owned by Eyeworks New Zealand, a subsidiary of Eyeworks Holding, a Netherlands-based TV conglomerate with an estimated $460 million revenue.

Eyeworks bought Christie's company Touchdown in 2006.

New Eyeworks reality show Being Lara Bingle, on Australia's Channel Ten, the same network Paul Henry is signed to, is creating its own controversial column inches across the Ditch.


Former Act Party leader Rodney Hide, 55, and his wife Louise, 34, are with child again. But when The Diary rang, Hide was playing it coy and scotched the story. He had a change of heart later and admitted he and Louise are expecting a baby.

The pair have 13-month-old daughter Liberty. Hide's son Zach, 22, is from his first marriage to Jiuan Jiuan.


The Herald's mid-term report card last week on the mayor and his councillors left a few noses out of joint at the Auckland Council.

Penny Hulse, who was given a "C" and was labelled "defensive", took to defending her council achievements on social media site Facebook.

Some of Hulse's many supporters in West Auckland wrote to the Herald supporting the Waitakere councillor.

The single pro-Penny Hulse letter to be published was also very scathing of Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer for getting an "A" and for his love of the media. Brewer reckons being attacked by the centre-left is good for his conservative ward.


Neither Kim Dotcom nor John Banks was at the non-austerity fireworks display (suggested cost: $250,000) fired from the Hilton Hotel on Wednesday night. The ANZ party held at Bellini bar celebrated the bank's commitment to the New Zealand Olympic team.

Councillors Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax were there, as was Sky TV star Laura McGoldrick. Phil Leishman - who showed visible battle wounds from recent brain-tumour surgery - worked the TV camera.

VIP bank customers Sir Colin Giltrap and wife Lady Jenny schmoozed with Robyn Hart and husband Graeme, who won our hearts by wearing a suit too large for his frame. We like that he's worth US$5.7 billion ($7.26 billion) on the Forbes rich list but frivolous fashion is not on his radar.

His daughter, Gretchen Hawkesby (pictured above and married to Duncan, son of the former TV newsreader), is a down-to-earth go-getter, too. Her Starship Foundation events bring in big cash for the hospital, but her vivacious personality is the real money-maker.

She'd be TV gold if a savvy producer could convince her and her extended family to star in their own Kardashian-style reality show - not that they need the dosh. Leishman, a close family friend, may be persuaded. There would be private jets, superyachts and sun-kissed holidays.

Sister-in-law Kate, estranged from the celebrity limelight, could feature prominently; so too her eccentric hubby Mike, and papa John, who transposes his grandchildren's faces on to labels of wine as gifts for family members.


PS: Word is, the pilot Sally and Jaime Ridge are shooting for TV3 is likely to see the green light for a fully fledged series, with network insiders suggesting a spin-off show may be on the cards, too. Sources say that would take more of a fly-on-the-wall angle, as in following the circus that surrounds the mother-daughter pair while they shoot the series. Art imitating life or social anthropology doco?