Paul Henry will front a new current affairs programme that is set to go head to head with American talk-show king David Letterman.

TV3 last night confirmed Henry would host a new programme, dubbed The Paul Henry Show, in the new year. It will replace the late-night bulletin, 3News Nightline, which has been running for more than 20 years. But the show - which will start from 10.30pm - will clash with The Late Show With David, which starts at 11pm on Prime.

Last night's announcement comes after weeks of the former Breakfast host's rumoured return on the rival channel.

TV3 director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings last night said Henry would bring something new to the game.


"Nightline has been a great programme for us over many years and produced some of our best broadcasters," Mr Jennings said. "But the landscape is due for change and Paul Henry will lead that change in later evening viewing."

Nightline is set to finish at the end of the year while Henry's programme begins sometime early next year.

A MediaWorks spokeswoman said last night that Henry would not yet be commenting to any media about his return.

Henry, who has been a controversial figure in the past few years, recently worked on an Australian breakfast show on Channel 10. The announcement also comes just weeks after Henry's latest book - Outraged - was released.