Paul Henry (broadcaster)

Paul Henry Hopes (born 4 August 1960), known professionally as Paul Henry, is a New Zealand radio and television broadcaster who was the host of the late night show The Paul Henry Show on New Zealand's TV3 which ended December 2014 so that Henry could host a new cross platform three-hour breakfast show Monday to Friday on TV3, RadioLive and online. Paul Henry launched on 7 April 2015 and initially had an audience larger than the two shows it replaced on radio and TV. For nine months in 2012, he also co-hosted an Australian television show, Breakfast, which ceased production on 30 November 2012, due to low ratings.[1][2][3]

Paul Henry
Henry in 2008
Paul Henry Hopes

(1960-08-04) 4 August 1960 (age 63)
Auckland, New Zealand
Years active1987–present
Political party National
  • Rachael Hopes
  • Linzi Dryburgh
    (m. 2009; div. 2019)
  • Diane Foreman
    (m. 2020)

Early life edit

Paul Henry Hopes was born in Auckland, New Zealand,[4] to Brian and Olive Hopes,[5] on 4 August 1960.[6] He attended Cockle Bay Primary in Howick, Auckland.[7] His parents separated when he was 11, and in 1971 he moved with his English-born mother to Bristol, United Kingdom, where he finished his education and won a drama school scholarship. Paul and his mother Olive lived in a council flat. Olive worked triple shifts in a plastic bag factory to make ends meet.[8] Henry says that when he was 25 he discovered that his grandmother was a "Gypsy".[8]

Television and radio career edit

New Zealand edit

Henry commenced his broadcasting career working for the BBC, as a studio assistant and in the mail room. He worked as a projectionist in the natural history unit, where, according to the Sunday Star Times, "David Attenborough would come in and Henry would play the rushes". Henry returned to New Zealand when he was 19 and worked as a producer on National Radio.[9]

From 1986 to 1990, Henry worked as a breakfast host on 2ZD Wairarapa. In 1991, Henry left 2ZD to establish rival radio station Today FM, hosting the station's breakfast show. Other notable Today FM staff included Hilary Pankhurst, Georgina Beyer, local identity Rick Long, and former 2ZD station manager John Shearer.[10] In 1992, Henry sold the station to the owner of Port FM.[citation needed]

Henry went on to be a foreign correspondent and weekend talkback host for Radio Pacific, later presenting breakfast programme The Morning Grill with Arch Tambakis, then Pam Corkery. He also presented the station's drive program, and was the inaugural drive presenter at Radio Live when the station launched in 2005.

In 2004, Henry was appointed co-host of TV One's Breakfast. In 2009, ratings for the show had improved to around 150,000 viewers from a base of around 100,000.[citation needed] Between 2007 and 2008, Henry also presented episodes of This Is Your Life, and was a backup host for current affairs show Close Up. At the 2010 Qantas Film and Television Awards, Henry was awarded the People's Choice Award for Best Presenter.[11] His acceptance speech attracted more than 300,000 views on YouTube.[12]

In October 2010, Henry was forced to apologise[13] and later resigned from TVNZ after controversy over his pronunciation and ridicule of the name of Indian politician Sheila Dikshit, as well as comments made about the then-Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand.[14][15][16] In an interview the following month, Henry claimed that TVNZ, in particular chief executive Rick Ellis, had "capitalised" on him by encouraging him to be controversial on-air, adding that he believed it was wrong for the New Zealand Government to apologise to India for his remarks.[17]

On 1 April 2011, MediaWorks New Zealand announced Henry would return to Radio Live in July, replacing Maggie Barry as the host of the station's drivetime show, a position he had held four years previously.[18] His tenure in the role would this time last just over half a year; Henry moved to Australia the following year to host Network Ten's new morning show.[19]

In 2011, Henry published an autobiography,[20] What Was I Thinking. The book was a bestseller upon release.[21] In 2013, he released another book, Outraged, also a bestseller.[22] In late 2020, Henry released his third bestseller. I’m in a United State.

Henry has released three vintages of Central Otago Pinot Noir, the most recent in 2020. All sold out within weeks.[citation needed]

Australia edit

In February 2012, Henry relocated to Sydney, Australia to co-host Network Ten's morning show Breakfast.[23] The show debuted on 23 February 2012 to low ratings.[24] As in New Zealand, Henry's on-air comments caused controversy: in May 2012 he suggested asylum seekers could stay in people's linen cupboards, and implied they were "dirty".[25]

Due to low ratings, Henry's Breakfast was cancelled on 30 November 2012 after less than one year on air.[26] During the show's broadcast period, one of Henry's co-hosts and the show's executive producer quit, prompting speculation about whether the departures were due to tension with Henry.[27] A newspaper reported other staff at the network resented Henry, claiming many wouldn't look at him when he walked in the room, and were planning to boycott the Christmas party.[28] Both Henry and the low ratings of the show were continually lampooned by the comedy show The Hamster Wheel.

Return to New Zealand and semi-retirement edit

Henry returned to New Zealand after Breakfast's cancellation. While in Australia, Henry maintained work in New Zealand media as an Australian correspondent for Radio Live and as the host of Would I Lie to You? on TV3.[29]

In late 2013 it was revealed that from 2014 Paul Henry would be hosting a late night current affairs show called The Paul Henry Show, which would replace the long-running Nightline.[30] The Paul Henry Show lasted one year; in early October 2014 Henry was announced as the presenter for Mediaworks' new breakfast show to air simultaneously on TV3 and Radio Live. This new venture, entitled Paul Henry, replaces both TV3's Firstline and Marcus Lush's morning segment on Radio Live.[31] In 2016, Henry departed Mediaworks and announced he would be entering a period of "semi-retirement", splitting his time between New Zealand and the United States, and producing wine.[32][33][34]

Following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in New Zealand, MediaWorks announced a new show hosted by Henry titled Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry. The show ran over four weeks in April 2020 and featured live interviews in regards to the country's response to COVID-19. This is the first project Henry has taken part in since the announcement of this period of "semi-retirement".[35]

Personal life edit

Henry is currently married to entrepreneur Diane Foreman.[36] He was previously married to Rachael Hopes (née Orsman[37]), with whom he had three children.[38][39] Henry was also previously married to radio producer Linzi Dryburgh.[40]

In 2014 it was reported in an interview that Henry was a nudist,[41] which Henry has also stated on his show.[42]

Political career edit

Henry ran as the National Party candidate for the Wairarapa electorate in the 1999 general election. He lost to former radio colleague and New Zealand Labour Party candidate Georgina Beyer by 3,033 votes.[43]

Controversies edit

Female facial hair edit

In March 2009, Henry caused offence by pointing out the facial hair of female guest anti-nuclear campaigner and Greenpeace worker Stephanie Mills. TVNZ stated that it had received a "handful" of complaints. Henry stated to the Sunday Star Times: "I certainly have no intention of apologising to people who have written in and complained. The key thing to me is what a fortunate life they must have that they can afford time and energy to complain about such an insignificant thing."[44]

Views on homosexuality edit

In August 2009, Henry referred to homosexuals as "unnatural", prompting a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, which regulates broadcast radio and television content within New Zealand. In February 2010, the Broadcasting Standards Authority declined to uphold the complaint.[45]

Susan Boyle edit

In November 2009, Henry sparked controversy when he called singer Susan Boyle 'retarded'. His comments led to almost 200 complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority and an apology from Television New Zealand.[46]

Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Anand Satyanand edit

In October 2010, Henry was again the subject of complaints after a live broadcast in which he asked Prime Minister John Key whether the Governor-General, Sir Anand Satyanand, was "even a New Zealander". Henry went on to ask "Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time... are we going to go for someone who is more like a New Zealander this time?"[13][47] Anand is of Indian descent but was born and raised in Auckland. Henry was criticised by Key, Labour leader Phil Goff and race relations commissioner Joris de Bres. Henry later apologised for his comments.[13][48] After initially expressing its support for Henry, TVNZ announced the following day that it had suspended the presenter for two weeks without pay.[49]

Sheila Dixit edit

Following the decision to suspend Henry, TVNZ continued to air a clip in which Henry referred to Delhi's chief minister Sheila Dixit during the 2010 Commonwealth Games as "the dipshit woman" and pronouncing her surname as "Dick Shit" despite later being told it was "Dixit", going on to state that "it's so appropriate, because she's Indian, so she'd be dick-in-shit wouldn't she, do you know what I mean? Walking along the street... it's just so funny."[50] An interview with Sheila Dikshit confirmed Henry's pronunciation was correct. In an interview with Sunrise, Henry claimed people in India also find the name humorous and that he thinks the “biggest insult” is deliberately mispronouncing someone’s name just because it sounds funny.[51]

New Zealand Indian Central Association president Paul Singh Bains said the fact that TVNZ was still "promoting" the clip on its website showed it had "totally lost the plot" and was insensitive to the offence Henry had caused.[52] Following at least four complaints against the video, TVNZ removed it from the "Video extras" section of their website.[52] Henry's resignation polarised the New Zealand public, with supporters claiming he was a victim of political correctness, and critics accusing him of pandering to the lowest common denominator.[53] Henry later explained his resignation from TVNZ, saying, “there was a lot of stuff going down against Television New Zealand and I didn’t want to put them through that anymore.”[54]

India summoned New Zealand's high commissioner Rupert Holborow to protest against Henry's "racist and bigoted" comments, and Holborow expressed his regret for the "deep hurt" they had caused.[55]

Asylum seekers edit

On 16 May 2012, Henry was criticised for comments made on Breakfast regarding asylum seekers. When commenting on a newspaper article, about the Australian Government offering families money to house asylum seekers, Henry suggested that the idea could be "broadened out" saying: "I mean if this is all about saving money you could broaden it out. Why not criminals? Not murderers, but low level criminals. You could - the jails could be smaller and you could put them in homestay situations. The mentally ill". He later suggested the asylum seekers could be housed in linen cupboards. His remarks were featured on Media Watch.[56]

Henry caused further controversy on 27 August 2012 by suggesting on the programme that asylum seekers should "starve to death" following reports that they would be conducting a hunger strike over plans to shift them to Nauru. He issued an apology the following morning following public backlash on Twitter.[57]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Ten to axe Breakfast". Mumbrella. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Ten orders controversial Kiwi for breakfast". Sydney Morning Herald. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Paul Henry left holding fort as colleagues bail out". NZ Herald. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Paul Henry". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  5. ^ "What Paul Henry was thinking". 25 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Paul Henry opens birthday gifts from Rob Fyfe". Radio Live. 4 August 2011. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Wichtel, Diana (23–29 December 2006). "Close Up & personal". New Zealand Listener. 206 (3476).
  9. ^ Kim Knight (30 August 2009). "The man who eats guests for breakfast". The Sunday Star Times. Fairfax NZ Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Hilary Barry's life goals: get old, get fired, play the cello". Stuff. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Paul Henry's outrageous awards speech". Stuff. Fairfax New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  12. ^ Paul Henry Acceptance Speech - Qantas Film & Television Awards 2010. TVNZ. Retrieved 22 February 2012.[dead YouTube link]
  13. ^ a b c "TVNZ's Paul Henry slammed over Governor-General remarks". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 4 October 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  14. ^ Cyril Washbrook (10 October 2010). "Paul Henry resigns from TVNZ". The Spy Report. Media Spy. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  15. ^ "Paul Henry resigns amid uproar". One News. TVNZ. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Paul Henry: I have resigned". Dannevirke News. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  17. ^ Cyril Washbrook (15 November 2010). "Paul Henry claims he was exploited by TVNZ". The Spy Report. Media Spy. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  18. ^ "Paul Henry returns as RadioLIVE Drive host". MediaWorks. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  19. ^ Fisher, David (12 February 2012). "Paul Henry off to new job next week". Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Paul Henry's memoirs lack bite". 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  21. ^ Moore, Bill (27 June 2011). "Henry wins best-selling author race". Stuff. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  22. ^ Paul Henry: People love being outraged. 3 News NZ. 6 November 2013.
  23. ^ Fisher, David; Glucina, Rachel (6 November 2011). "Paul Henry back for breakfast - in Aussie". The New Zealand Herald.
  24. ^ "Paul Henry's slow-cooking brekkie". NZ Herald. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  25. ^ "Paul Henry offends Australian viewers". 3 News NZ. 16 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Australia's Channel Ten axes Paul Henry's Breakfast". 3 News NZ. 12 November 2012.
  27. ^ "Behind the scenes rumours nag Breakfast". TV Tonight. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  28. ^ "Staff resented Paul Henry – newspaper". 3 News NZ. 13 February 2012.
  29. ^ "Paul Henry's disjointed return to TV". 13 February 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  30. ^ Henry show replaces long-running Nightline Archived 6 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. 3 News NZ. 2 November 2013.
  31. ^ "Paul Henry's return to breakfast draws ire". Fairfax New Zealand. 14 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Why Paul Henry never returned to our screens as promised". NZ Herald. 8 October 2017. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Paul Henry is loving life after retiring from TV". Stuff. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  34. ^ Simich, Ricardo. "No telly for Paul Henry but plenty of wine". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Paul Henry's Rebuilding Paradise to premiere April 20 on Three". Newshub. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  36. ^ "Paul Henry to marry Diane Foreman just a week after his daughter Bella tied the knot". NZ Herald. 13 March 2020. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Paul Henry rolls with the punches". 6 December 2009.
  38. ^ "Paul Henry's New Life: My Girls saved me'". Women's Weekly. 21 April 2013.
  39. ^ "Mr Big - Paul Henry". New Zealand Herald. 18 December 2011.
  40. ^ "Paul Henry set to marry long-time love". Stuff. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  41. ^ Hewitson, Michele (8 March 2014). "Michele Hewitson interview: Paul Henry - Entertainment - NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 March 2016. nudi
  42. ^ WALTERS, LAURA (16 February 2016). "Paul Henry: I'm a nudist". Stuff. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  43. ^ "Electorate" (XLS). Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  44. ^ Emma Page (29 March 2009). "Henry faces up to 'moustache-gate'". The Sunday Star Times. Fairfax New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  45. ^ NZPA (22 February 2010). "Henry homosexuality comments OK - entertainment". The Sunday Star Times. Fairfax New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  46. ^ "Paul Henry 'retard' complaints upheld". The Dominion Post. Fairfax New Zealand Ltd. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  47. ^ "Henry causes a stir - again". Stuff. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  48. ^ "TV race row over Queen's N.Zealand representative". AFP. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  49. ^ "TVNZ reverses course, suspending Paul Henry". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 5 October 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  50. ^ "Dikshit giggles: New Henry drama". Stuff. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  51. ^ Paul Henry breaks his silence about his resignation from TVNZ | Sunrise, retrieved 8 July 2021
  52. ^ a b "Kiwi TV host now shown ridiculing Sheila Dixit". Indian Express. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  53. ^ Vass, Beck (15 January 2011). "Henry foes, fans evenly split". The New Zealand Herald.
  54. ^ Paul Henry breaks his silence about his resignation from TVNZ | Sunrise, retrieved 8 July 2021
  55. ^ India condemns 'racist' remarks by New Zealand TV host, BBC News, 7 October 2010.
  56. ^ "Paul Henry blasted for 'sick' refugee comments". NZ Herald. 16 May 2012.
  57. ^ "Paul Henry apologises for "starve to death" asylum seeker comment". TV Tonight. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.[permanent dead link]

External links edit