Paul Henry's career has had its highs (radio and New Zealand breakfast TV until his last controversial months), lows (Australian breakfast TV which only lasted a few months) and its resurrection - a late-night TV3 current affairs show which begins next week. He will not be watching what he says.

1.There's a lot of expectation on your new show: do you ever worry about being able to deliver?

I don't worry that I can't deliver because I don't even think about delivering. I'm just me, and the only expectation people should have for the show is that it'll be fun, informative and at times a bit on the edge. It's just a TV show - I'm not aiming to change people's lives.

2. When was the last time you doubted yourself?

It's just so unproductive; any time you doubt yourself is counterproductive to the task at hand. Let's face it - if you fail, what's the worst that can happen? Australia was a failure, but it wasn't my failure. It was just a failure I have been associated with. I don't believe I played a part in that failure, in fact I know I didn't. Most Australians didn't know the programme was on - it got more publicity in New Zealand than in Australia. No matter how good your product, you can't be an overnight success if your shop is in the middle of the desert and no one knows what you're selling.


3. Did you lose money on that venture?

Absolutely not. I'm not the sort of person that loses money. Am I particularly good with money? Not really. Anyone can do it. I don't think it's particularly clever, it's just a matter of making an effort and thinking ahead and not being too frivolous, but remembering you can't take it with you.

4. Did growing up poor affect your attitude to money?

I had an interesting combination. When I was very young we were rich. We had the big boat, several cars, a lovely house in Cockle Bay. Then fortunes reversed when my parents separated and my mother and I were living in a flat with her working shifts in a plastic bag factory in Bristol which was a totally depressed industrial city. I saw myself as an unfairly estranged member of the royal family who had to be able to become wealthy and live a rich, fabulous life.

5. Which guest would you never have on the show?

You can never say never. The people you most dislike, most distrust, and most despise could be among the most interesting.

6. Are you going to watch what you say?

I never have in the past, so no. Why would TV3 buy me if they wanted me to watch what I was going to say?


They trust me not to be silly. Well, I assume they do. Have I been silly in the past? No.

7. How would your daughters describe you?

They would say I was interesting. Unpredictable. They would certainly describe me as being very loving. They probably technically wouldn't describe me as a good father, in terms of being there day to day. The irony is I am now there day to day as all three of them live with me but they're adults. I can be terrifying because I am obsessive compulsive and I like to pull people into that - it's a sickness that can dominate your entire life and it can cause conflict. One of the ludicrous things is I don't want people walking too heavily. That really annoys me. My children walk more lightly than anyone else I know. Noise-making in general is bad. Unless it's the stereo. Then it should be up loud because otherwise what's the point of pumping all that electricity through it?

8. So electricity is a thing too?

I'm obsessive with lights and electricity. I love it, and think we should all use more of it but I hate the wastage of it. Rooms when they are empty should be cold and dark. And there's that thing with aluminium windows and the black stick-on bit when the latch comes down. If you're not careful you can knock it off. I like people who are careful. I like drivers who are sensitive to their engine when they drive.

9. What do you know about love?

I know true love can still be fleeting, and I know that love in general can be a counterproductive distraction. Yes, it sounds contradictory, because I'm a highly intelligent and perfectly balanced human being. I wouldn't describe myself as romantic, because I am a romantic but it's only a very small part of me.

10. When did you last cry?

I cried last night watching the final scene in We Bought a Zoo. Movies easily bring me to tears. Over Christmas I re-watched Notting Hill and didn't even attempt to hide my emotions. I think crying is great. It does make you feel better, though it depends what started you off crying in the first place.

11.What have you learned over the past year?

As I get older, I increasingly understand how important some things are, and how insignificant other things are. The most important thing to learn is not to waste time second-guessing opportunities but to live life to the full, irrespective of what some self-appointed twat might say about the outcome.

12. What do you think of the new Seven Sharp line-up?

Clearly TVNZ is looking for a dignified exit from their diabolically ill-conceived and poorly executed Close Up replacement.