Holmes on mend, sport KOs easy listening, MP feels the love and Naked now famous in US

Paul Holmes' wife, Deborah, says the outlook is very bright for the veteran broadcaster, who came out of an induced coma yesterday following open-heart surgery last week. But she told The Diary no one realised just how ill he was before the operation.

"We're very relieved to see him awake. He had us worried there for a while. We believe his heart operation all went to plan, but it took some time for the rest of his body to recover. Everyone reacts differently, but Paul was quite ill going into the operation and I don't think we'd quite realised that," she said.

Holmes was put on life support and in an induced coma on Friday to quicken the recovery process after four hours of surgery on Wednesday to remove a blockage and carry out remedial work on his heart.


The 62-year-old was expected to move out of the intensive care unit yesterday. He was unable to talk when The Diary called. "He's still very groggy from the meds," his wife said.

Holmes was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick and blocks blood flow.

His wife acknowledged the staff who were looking after him, and admitted recovery wouldn't be quick. "He's still got a little way to go in terms of recovery, but he'll get there in time. He just needs complete rest.

"I'm looking forward to getting him home to the [Hastings] farm and life returning to normal. But I imagine he'll be hard to keep down for long."

It was their night off, but Lady Gaga's dancers weren't staying in on Saturday. They made a surprise visit to watch Michael Hurst in Tribes at the Maidment Theatre.

It's all thanks to ex-Shortland St star Harry McNaughton who, while in LA, made friends with Ian McKenzie - a former banker-turned-dancer who works with Gaga. When the singer's troupe rolled into town last week, Ian looked up Harry, who suggested seeing a local play.

Insiders told The Diary Gaga's group "really loved Tribes". Word is the Lady herself couldn't make it because security arrangements were a nightmare.

"For her to leave her hotel, the security measures are so full-on that it's not worth the hassle.

"She keeps up with the dancers while they're out by manically texting and finding out about the scene around town," our source gushed.

In the battle of the sexes, this is a war won by the blokes. Easy Mix, a radio station aimed at women, told staff on Friday that operations would shut down in a fortnight and its FM frequencies would be taken over by Radio Sport at the end of the month.

After 42 years on air and several name changes, it's a historic moment for a station that cultivated broadcasting talent such as Peter Sinclair, Alison Leonard and Simon Dallow.

Talkback sport has conquered the pitch.

The Radio Network said the decision to close the station was "not made lightly".

"We took a good hard look at the mix of the stations we own and how best to use our limited number of FM frequencies," the company said in a statement.

"Recognising that such a significant change would be upsetting for Easy Mix listeners, we still felt that in a very competitive marketplace it would be better for our business to change focus and move Radio Sport on to FM."

But TV One anchor Simon Dallow, who hosted a three-hour morning show on the station for two years from 2005 when it was called Viva, told The Diary it was like losing an old friend.

"The reality [of the closure] is that it reflects the changing place of the modern broadcasting environment, which is evolving," Dallow said.

Radio Sport will take over the Easy Mix FM frequencies in four North Island centres and the company is expecting an increase in listenership of up to 30 per cent as a result. "It will extend the reach of Radio Sport to a new generation of listeners who have never used the AM frequency," talk programming boss Dallas Gurney told The Diary.

Wine-swilling guests at the private bash hosted by fight knight Sir Bob Jones in his swanky Queen St office on Thursday were pleased to see embattled Labour politician Shane Jones happy and in love.

The MP, stood down by Labour leader David Shearer while the Auditor-General's office conducts an inquiry into Jones' involvement in the Bill Liu citizenship case, arrived with his new girlfriend - a former beauty queen, The Diary understands.

Alas, the father of seven wouldn't divulge any details when we rang but sources say the relationship has been welcome relief for the MP, who is keeping out of the spotlight while the investigation takes place.

Insiders say it's just as well because Jones isn't feeling much love from his own party. Sources told The Diary he's been forced to seek external advice on the Auditor-General's inquiry because Labour won't help him.

Friends say he is looking for a new job, but they are telling him not to be too rash.

He may have been scorned for his conceited behaviour at last year's New Zealand Music Awards, but Thom Powers, singer for The Naked and The Famous, said he was "truly amazed and humbled" at news the band's song Young Blood had been awarded gold status in the US. That means 500,000 sales in the States. The band have finished touring 20-plus countries, playing their last gig in California at the weekend. Now it's down to writing their next album.