Duncan Garner will replace Mike McRoberts as the face of TV3's flagship current affairs show which is set to get a complete transformation, including a new name and a new format.

TV3 has developed a new long-form current affairs programme following the loss of the 60 Minutes franchise.

"The show will be one hour long and have all local current affairs content," TV3 news boss Mark Jennings told The Diary.

"Duncan Garner will be hosting the show - though there is potentially two hosts." Jennings would not discuss who may join Garner in presenting duties.


It is understood the new programme will continue to run on Sunday nights, however Jennings is staying schtum on that. Television programmers covet Sunday night slots and the high ratings they attract.

TVNZ news boss Ross Dagan had to give way to the company's programming department when his flagship current affairs show was temporarily truncated to make way for New Zealand's Got Talent. TVNZ's hour-long Sunday programme has been reduced to a 30-minute show for the 13-week duration of the talent contest. Programmers believed they would get higher ratings - and they were right. However, media experts panned the decision and lamented the value TVNZ placed on populism over current affairs.

Dagan told The Diary last week he was committed to Sunday and the show will return in the new year to its original 60-minute format.

TV3's new current affairs edition will screen from February with additional staff. Positions were recently advertised for reporters, a producer and two technical staff members.

McRoberts has been a trusted face at the helm of 60 Minutes for 10 years and leaves big loafers to fill. Garner, who is relocating to Auckland in a few weeks to take up RadioLive's drive show from December 3, says he's ready to slip into his shoes.

Join the Dotcom tour

He opened his mansion doors to more than 100 business people on Saturday night, now Kim Dotcom will play host to nosy neighbours - all for a good cause.

The Christmas in Coatesville tour takes place next month and includes a guided home and garden sightsee of 11 plush properties in the Coatesville area. Tickets are $60. But those wanting a peek at the raided Dotcom digs will need to spend an additional $40 for "a golden ticket".

Money raised will go towards the local school and the Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.

Each of the homes on the circuit will be given "a Christmas makeover", says event manager Bridgette Jackson. "Dotcom has a warehouse of his own Christmas decorations which we will be utilising on his home. We will have a close team decorating his house."

While the indicted Megaupload founder is opening his house for the tour, ticketholders won't actually be able to venture past the velvet ropes. They can only peek through the French doors and cruise the manicured grounds.

Holt's deer-hunting date

Most romantic first dates take place over a latte or a quiet cocktail, but TV host Hayley Holt went deer hunting with her new boyfriend. She's staying schtum for the moment on her younger man's name and age, but she told More FM breakfast yesterday the date was a first for her. "We went hunting [on our romantic date]. As in deer hunting. I've always wanted to do it ... I actually shot my first deer." It must be love. Wearing fluorescent orange is only advisable for safety or blind love.

Kiwi pair in Oz hit

Kiwi actors Sara Wiseman and her husband Craig Hall have been cast in a highly-anticipated Aussie television series together. A Place to Call Home (from the creators of Packed to the Rafters) is a TV drama set in rural Australia in the 1950s and expected to be Channel Seven's big hit next year.

As acquisition of television dramas are on the wane in New Zealand, Wiseman told The Diary there's a lot of support for locally made productions in Australia.

"It is a much larger industry and the television networks and audiences are very passionate about their locally made shows."

The acting couple worked together on the TVNZ Sunday Theatre production What Really Happened: Votes For Women, for which Wiseman has been nominated in the best actress category at next month's NZ Television Awards.

As for their Kiwi accent across the ditch, Wiseman says the couple don't get teased - much.

"I get the odd jab, but then I just have to cough 'World Cup'. I tend to speak 'Australian' on set anyway."

StarJam's star support

TVNZ news anchor Simon Dallow will lead an entertainment line-up to celebrate StarJam's 10th birthday next month. He will MC "Live Jam" on November 25 at Auckland Museum, and his colleague Matty McLean will host a simultaneous event in Wellington.

Kiwi entertainers Ray Woolf, Adeaze, Shane Cortese, Megan Alatini and Ben Lummis will take to the stage, alongside performances from more than 300 disabled young New Zealanders.

StarJam is a charity dedicated to empowering young people with disabilities. To buy tickets go to Eventfinda and Ticketek.