Back on the air after a five-month absence, Martin Devlin,' />

The opening salvoes of the talk-radio wars didn't quite go according to plan yesterday.

Back on the air after a five-month absence, Martin Devlin, breakfast host of the new Radio Live, was inadvertently ditched by Helen Clark on their first date. It seems someone got the number wrong and an innocent Prime Minister rang Radio Pacific, where John Banks was no doubt more than happy with his bonus guest.

The new noise on radios nationwide from 5.30am yesterday came from the studio in a Freemans Bay basement. Although it is Radio Live, all CanWest hands are on deck, with TV3 staff much in evidence.

The vagaries of news delivered a glut for the launch of the station set up as an alternative to talkback giant Newstalk ZB. The breakfast show covered the Tamihere affair, and got the only chat so far with the New Zealand great granny who was invited to Charles and Camilla's wedding. She said she spoke to Prince Harry, who "made me admit the Lions are going to win the rugby, and I didn't know or care".

Devlin, a former Radio Sport host, had the breaking-news tension of Tiger taking over the US Open and, lest it all be sport and politics, there was romance in Doug Beck, a Stewart Islander, bemoaning the lack of women on his island.

There were the expected technical hitches - a bit of dead air, a few missed cues, a few muddles with all those blinking buttons.

Devlin, who left Radio Sport five months ago, signed off with the words "Radio Sports" three times, costing him $15 in fines and prompting wife Andi Brotherston to sigh, "He'll be bankrupt by the end of the week."

News and talk around the dial

Morning Report with Sean Plunkett and Geoff Robinson (RNZ)
Martin Devlin (Radio Live)
Paul Holmes (Newstalk ZB)

Nine to Noon with Linda Clark (RNZ)
Michael Laws (Radio Live)
Leighton Smith (Newstalk ZB)

In Touch with New Zealand with Wayne Mowat (RNZ)
Kerry Smith (Radio Live)
Danny Watson (Newstalk ZB)

Afternoon Drive:
Checkpoint with Mary Wilson (RNZ)
Paul Henry (Radio Live)
Larry Williams (Newstalk ZB)