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A Pair of Clowns

Jan 30, 2014 Film & TV

Why do Hosking and Henry get it so wrong?


Does anyone else think it’s weird that the point of having Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp appears to be so Jesse Mulligan and Toni Street can make constant jokes about what a dork he is?

And what about Paul Henry, of TV3’s The Paul Henry Show, who keeps telling us how fabulous he is? It’s a deep joke, right? He’s saying he knows we know that he knows we know he thinks he’s fabulous, and he doesn’t care. But actually he really does care or else he wouldn’t bother to bring it up.

But here’s the thing about Paul Henry: if he stopped telling us how fabulous he is, would he have any other conversation at all? Seriously – just in case you haven’t been able to bring yourself to watch – that’s all he does.

Maybe that’s all he’s got? When he proclaimed on Tuesday night that his fabulosity included wilful ignorance of Twitter and most other things on the internet, Janika Ter Ellen laughed in his face and said, “Oh Paul, you just don’t get it.” What she was doing is telling us that Paul Henry is now an anachronism and even his own crew knows it.

In fact, it’s obvious he knows it too. Isn’t that why he keeps making jokes at his own expense? He doesn’t know what else to do.

As for Hosking, why is he – still, after all these years – sulking? Is there anything more unattractive on television?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about their monstrous egos. Paul Holmes had a monstrous ego, but he wasn’t like these guys. He loved his audience and he gave us our stories. Henry and Hosking, each in his own way, it’s like they’re sneering at us while they give us only their own silly selves.

I’d love to be wrong about this, by the way, because we deserve better. So here’s my challenge: could Seven Sharp and The Paul Henry Show do even one whole programme without any jokes about what pricks they are?


Illustration by Daron Parton.

Rearranging the deck chairs: Steve Braunias on Seven Sharp’s presenter problem.


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