I'm not much of a fan of reality TV ... in fact, truth be told, I generally abhor such shows.

But when we have a couple of staunch Whanganui-ites brightening up our telly screens, such prejudices can be put to one side.

Devilishly-detailed designer Kerry Ranginui in Project Runway NZ, and creme de la creme cake-maker Clayton Barnett in the Great Kiwi Bake Off are doing their home town proud.

And, in any case, I'm not sure if these programmes qualify fully as reality TV - more the television competition shows of old.


Either way, our dapper duo are cutting a dash with their respective passions - high fashion and bravado bakes.

Both reveal wonderful touches of creativity - Clayton's Kowhai Park dinosaur slide cake; the figure-enhancing cut of Kerry's cloth - and both are well-mannered enough to avoid the occasional histrionics that erupt in such shows.

But can they win? What a double whammy that would be for Whanganui.

And if they did, can we look forward to a champion-of-champions face-off ... perhaps swapping roles?

Kerry could probably whip up something quite amazing in the cake stakes, while Clayton could add touches of leather and lace to an elegant brocade.

In fact, Whanganui is getting quite a lot of exposure on television lately.

From the "call for a cobbler" on Seven Sharp a few weeks ago to this weekend's Sunday programme which features the remarkable story of how Whanganui woman Anneke Batelaan adopted 11-year-old Samoan non-verbal quadriplegic girl Ana.

When the Chronicle broke the story last month, we headlined it "A love like no other". That still seems apt.


It is reality TV of a different kind, and will be well worth watching.

Stay tuned ...