NZ First leader rocks the nightclub turntables in Ponsonby.

His Grey Power followers may have been tucked up in bed in their flannel pyjamas, but silver fox Winston Peters hit the turntables at a Ponsonby nightclub on Wednesday night.

The 67-year-old NZ First leader played guest DJ at The Whiskey bar at a party celebrating rock 'n' roll legends the Rolling Stones to mark their 50th anniversary.

"I rang Winston to see if he'd be a guest DJ and he agreed," said Whiskey bar owner Andrew Bruce.

Peters joined musicians Jason Kerrison, Peter Urlich and MCs The General and The Professor.


Peters - a closet Stones fan who counts Far Away Eyes as a favourite song - worked the turntables from 10pm (with a little help from Urlich) playing such classics as Honky Tonk Womenn, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Start Me Up.

"I played one just for the National Party - Get Off Of My Cloud," Peters quipped.

He told The Diary it was a night to remember. "I really enjoyed it. I went in with such underrated expectations, but it was a good night."

Showing no sign of exertion, a sprightly Peters, still wearing his trademark dapper suit and tie ("I came from a meeting"), proved the old dog still has some new tricks. He even sang along to the songs.

When reminded he is two years younger than 69-year-old Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger, Peters chortled: "Everyone is younger than Mick - visually. He looks like he's been stung by a bee's nest."

But the veteran politician had nothing but praise for the band who are still playing 50 years later.

"The Rolling Stones are still together, they've got real talent, what it takes."

He said he always preferred the Stones over the Beatles.

"They have a better beat."

But entering the rebel rock 'n' roll industry was not on the cards.

Peters said he didn't have time in his youth to be playing music.

"I was milking the cows, not mucking around on musical instruments."

Vacancies for Close Up 2

TVNZ's weekday current affairs show Close Up is sitting on death row until November 30, when it faces the needle, but a new-look programme will start next year and vacancies are now open." Close Up will finish on November 30 and will be replaced in early 2013 with a distinctly different and innovative 7pm current affairs programme," said TVNZ news boss Ross Dagan. "Positions on the new programme will be advertised in the next few days."

Dagan wouldn't reveal any details. Staff on Close Up will have to reapply for positions, but it's the role of host(s) that has generated the most buzz.

Paul Henry and Pippa Wetzell are the bookies' favourites. Insiders say mother-of-three Wetzell carries favour with programming executives for her broad appeal.

Wellington-based reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan, a sharp and sassy face on the One News round, caused a stir this week when she was relocated to Auckland to "shadow presenters and undertake some training". She will front the afternoon news today. There's widespread speculation the 27-year-old is in line for the resurrected Close Up, but an informed insider said "the two are unrelated".

Campion mover and shaker

Director Jane Campion was playing promoter this week in the South of France. She was at Mipcom, the international audiovisual trade show in Cannes, to market her TV drama series Top of the Lake, which was filmed in Queenstown and due to be delivered by the end of the year.

Creative stars such as Campion join the suited execs in campaigning mode. Like John Key, she knows the value of the money at stake in the global TV business. With the abundance of content and audiences disintegrating, more is needed to leverage TV shows to a broader market.

Campion is well-versed in the film festival circuit, but this was her first Mipcom trade show promoting her wares to foreign broadcasters.

"Being here makes our drama [Top of the Lake for the BBC and Sundance Channel] stand way above, as it were. We're like farmers who come to town with their apples and pears - only ours are more polished," Campion said in the Hollywood Reporter.

Top of the Lake is Campion's first small-screen foray. More talent from the film world are making the transition to TV, where the reception is said to be warmer. In a creative talk session in Cannes on Tuesday, the Oscar-winner said she found working on a television show more of a liberating experience than a feature film. "To me everything ends up on television, even if you make a movie."

Change at top of Weekly

There's a change of guard at the nation's oldest women's magazine. New Zealand Woman's Weekly editor Sarah Stuart has resigned and will step down at the end of the year. She hands the baton to Louise Wright, editor of New Idea magazine. "I've had a wonderful time at the Weekly and have worked with a fabulous team, but I am excited to be pursuing a new career direction," says Stuart.