Paul Henry was in talks with MediaWorks to host his own show back in August, but in an exclusive chat with Spy was at pains to point out he was in no hurry - despite a slew of offers.

"I am feverishly turning down major TV offers - but do admit a couple of minor ones have come along lately that have piqued my interest," he says.

The firebrand left his morning show at MediaWorks in 2016 and was replaced with what's now The AM Show, headed by Duncan Garner. His departure came soon after a controversial interview in the Weekend Herald's Canvas magazine. He stopped short of giving Spy details on the projects that might tempt him back to New Zealand television.

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But the 59-year-old has been lighting up the Auckland social scene over the past few weeks, having finally brought his boat, Olive, back to New Zealand. Olive, lovingly named after Henry's late mother, has made a two-year journey across the world from her berth in Holland. The journey has taken the exploration-style 80-foot "small steel ship", through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Pacific and a few weeks back she docked in Opua and was due in Auckland this week.

Henry tells Spy that many friends and family have hopped onboard, including Sir John Key and Sir Michael Hill. At Sir Michael's book launch of "Catch and Release" in Parnell last week, Henry and Sir John were co-MCs for the event and a surprising friendship and bond emerged between the three. Henry's close friend, rich-lister Diane Foreman, was there too - he had MC'd her book launch four years ago.

The boat and her crew will in the future be limited to personal use only by Henry throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Julyan Collett and Bella Henry Sourced from the instagram account of @belllhenry 25 OCTOBER 2019
Julyan Collett and Bella Henry Sourced from the instagram account of @belllhenry 25 OCTOBER 2019

The highlight of a busy summer for Henry will be the wedding in early March of 27-year-old daughter Bella. Henry will walk her down the aisle to marry Julyan Collett, 30. Last year Collett proposed to Bella on Olive in front of St Mark's Square, Venice, and Dad was there to take in the special occasion.

Before the nuptials, Henry will head back after Christmas to his second favourite love, his home in Palm Springs.

"I just love Palm Springs, the people the restaurants and the climate all add to its magic," he says.

Henry lives on a multi-house estate property that was once owned by Hollywood movie star Doris Day. He loves pointing out the neighbourhood and all the famous people who made the mid-century homes come alive, such as Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack.

Henry doesn't shy away from his Palm Springs' Resort being known to be a favourite for nudists.


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"I will. I will sunbathe until mid-afternoon and then the sun will set behind the snow-capped mountains and the day will change and I will turn the heating on inside and just … enjoy"

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