Brand Power Takes Over Seven Sharp
On Tuesday afternoon, a sweaty man, seemingly wearing jeans under jogging shorts, sprinted into TVNZ and demanded to be put on television. He then proceeded to kiss absolutely everyone, eat cupcakes like a ravenous hyena and randomly tell women they had eating disorders, in between nonsensical improvised limericks. Call the cops, right? Obviously creepy, right?
Not when it's Russell Brand, and not when Seven Sharp is waiting at the ready, heavily breathing at the prospect of this much-needed injection of star power after Story's tremendous Bieber coverage. Prior to Brand, the best talent on Seven Sharp this year had been Hosking's skinny jeans and William Shatner. In that order / AC
Massive Block NZ Spoiler Revealed
Terrible news arrived from the future this week with the Block NZ spoiler that Marty, the show's star builder, would be barred from its Sandringham building site the climactic final week after his visa renewal was denied. How unlucky for Jamie and Hayden, the couple in House 1, who had secured the handsome Scotsman's services for this series. "To end The Block without him," Hayden said, "would be like playing the the World Cup final without Richie McCaw." Something about it just seemed so unjust - there's a shortage of qualified tradesmen in New Zealand, and Marty was on the verge of overtaking Cocksy as the country's premier celebrity builder. Here was a star of the construction industry being cut down in his prime by bureaucracy and red tape. But then, at the eleventh hour, common sense prevailed - Marty was granted a year extension on his visa, and New Zealand was gifted a weird new celebrity to worship. / CH (Click here to read this week's Power Rankings)
Richard O'Brien Gets Freaky With Genes
Here's a question: why is Richard O'Brien not on our TV screens 100 per cent of the time? His strange, compelling hosting of TV One's new factual series, DNA Detectives, adds a peculiar kind of menace to the show - he frequently describes the celebrities as "victims" and sings bizarre old-timey songs like a karaoke version of Vincent Price. The show itself is actually pretty good, tracing the DNA of Kiwi celebrities and linking them with distant relatives across the globe. In the first ep on Wednesday, Ray McVinnie proved himself to be far more interesting than julienned carrots - he's related to Elvis Presley, the judge who de-segregated Alabama and even Jamaican slaves. Jack Tame was related to a man who did a big painting once. / AC
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World Forklift Champion Crowned
Thursday night saw the end of the New Zealand competitive forklift driving season with the Grand Final of Maori Television's World Forklift League from the historic Dunedin Railway Station. The 11-week tournament came down to a head-to-head battle over three rounds between Tauranga-based Fonterra employee Eli "The Young Lion" Martin and Rotorua contractor Nik "The Kaumatua" Mahima, who battled the Dunedin chill by wearing his leather Harley Davidson vest under his high-vis. He took out the first challenge, Sugar Rush, which involved carefully piling giant sugarcubes into oversized cups of tea, but Eli hit straight back, winning the Forklift Golf round. It all came down the Forklift Shuffle, where an error of pallet-stacking judgment from Nik handed Eli all the opportunity he needed to park up first and become the inaugural World Forklift League champion. / CH
Why My Kitchen Rules Actually Rules
Let me count the ways I love My Kitchen Rules. I love the judges, who both shift around uncomfortably in their not-so-subtly branded head chef outfits. I love the instant restaurants, allowing contestants to drink into the wee hours whilst also trying to deliver a succinct criticism on chocolate terrine. I love the talent, from lads Travis and Jeremy to giggling mother and daughter Cheryl and Ruth. I just love the whole show, and I'm overjoyed that it's back. (Click here to read my power rankings for week one of MKRNZ) / AC
Watch: University Challenge, Saturdays on Prime at 7.00pm - The timeless quiz show is back for another season on Prime after being successfully brought back to life by Invercargill's Cue TV studio and new host Tom Conroy last year. Can Canterbury Uni defend their title?
Binge: Dance Moms on Lightbox (click here to watch) - The villain of this reality series, Abbey Lee Miller, has just been indicted for fraud, surely you want to know more?
Movie: Short Circuit 2 and Four Lions, Saturday on Maori Television from 7.30pm - Maori Television continues its reign as our best free-to-air movie channel with a weird but wonderful double-header featuring a beloved cheeky robot and some comically inept British jihadists.