Crowd favourites Jono and Ben will host this year's Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

The pair will hit the stage at Vector Arena on Thursday, November 17, to present the awards in front of a celebrity studded audience and a music loving crowd. The ceremony will screen live on TV3.

"It's one of the biggest nights of the year in New Zealand," Ben tells TimeOut. "And it's something the two of us have always wanted to host. It's pretty cool and exciting. To do it live on TV3 is also very daunting."

So, how did the dynamic comedy duo get the gig? What was the audition process like?


"It was gruelling," Jono reveals. "Ben had to fight Dominic Bowden to the death. He got rid of him. Dai Henwood? Drowned him in a kid's paddling pool. Sharyn Casey ... well, she actually got the better of Ben. We're lucky he got out of that one alive."

He's joking, of course. But it's a good example of the irreverent comedy the pair will bring to the evening.

All joking aside, they assure us that they are taking their new hosting responsibilities seriously.

"We want to make it a fun atmosphere," Ben says. "For everyone there and for everyone watching live at home."

They don't want to give too much away, but say crowd interaction will play a big part.

"We're gonna get out in the crowd. Keep them on their toes," Jono says, before issuing a few warnings...

"Tiki Taane mate, you can't relax with your lovely roast meal, we'll be right behind ya bro! You won't know where we're coming from. What's that Lorde? You're enjoying your canapes? Well, now you're onstage with us."

"Let's be honest," Ben adds. "We want drunk musicians on the telly. It's what everyone wants to see."


As they describe a sort of organised shambles their plan seems to involve taking the best of Billy Crystal's easy showmanship and mashing it with the frenzied chaos of Kermit the Frog.

"If we could pull that off we'd be away,' Ben says. "We have been called muppets on many occasions, so it's probably quite fitting."