Home > Media, Social Issues > The Paul Henry Show – Insulting or Insightful?

The Paul Henry Show – Insulting or Insightful?




TV3 have been running ads promoting the new “Paul Henry Show”.  The ad shows Henry walking down a darkened alley, with a disembodied voice-over – hype over-flowing like the Waikato in heavy flood – and just as murky. Tantalisingly, or nervously perhaps,  TV3 gives little idea what the programme’s content will be.

TV3’s website offers this, somewhat less-than-illuminating, “information”,


paul henry show TV3 website page



The text refers to  “covering everything from the erudite to the outrageous” – and that, frankly speaking, does not reassure me one iota.

We know that Henry can be “outrageous”. He has form. Whether it be reference to a woman’s appearance or giggling like a ten year old at someone’s unusual-sounding name – Henry’s behaviour can certainly qualify as “outrageous”.

If outrageous is what TV3 want, I suspect Henry can deliver that by the monster-truck full. As much as TV3’s executives; the show’s producer(s); and the public can stomach before Henry  once again over-steps the mark and the audience vomit back any tasteless performance he rams down our throats.

Which is not to say that there is a percentage of the viewing public that will always rush to Henry’s defense after one of his spectacularly tasteless performances.

Then again, some people defended Tony Veitch after his vicious assault on his girlfriend. Not that I’m comparing Henry with Veitch. No,  I’m comparing their audiences whose moral compasses were so skewed that they would defend the repugnantly indefensible.

Henry can do outrageous, tasteless, shocking. It’s not that hard to cater for society’s lowest common denominator. Ignorance, juvenile “humour”, and  tastelessness require no thought whatsoever. Just check out Courtney Place in Wellington or Queen St in Auckland, in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, for evidence of that kind of behaviour.

But I’ve also seen Henry’s better, more serious  side, where he has hosted intelligent current affairs programmes with maturity, dignity,  and professionalism. That side of Paul Henry is one that treats viewers, and his own profession, with respect.

I’m not expecting a sombre, sullen, Henry – fresh from a funeral or roadside crash.

But is it too much to expect maturity and  dignity from a man who is quite capable of delivering a professional performance?

Paul Henry has talent. I would love to see that in his new show. I would love to see TV3 encouraging that talent. And I would love to be part of an audience to appreciate it.

So Paul, I look forward to a solid, professional, engaging, performance from you.

Just leave the clown nose at home this time. Ok?

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 9 January 2014.



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Categories: Media, Social Issues Tags: ,
  1. Peter Kennedy
    16 January 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I used to enjoy “Nightline”, particularly in its formative years when it truly pushed the boundaries. But the “Paul Henry Show” is one show that will be on my delete button – the man is an arse – a tory one at that.

    • 16 January 2014 at 12:48 pm

      The original “Nightline” with Joanna Paul and Belinda Todd, Peter? God, they were fantastic! They were clever without being nasty; entertaining without treating viewers as fools; and still managed to present the news and current affairs.

      Now if only TV3 brought them back again for the late night slot… 🙂

    • 23 January 2014 at 4:42 pm

      +1 Peter.

  2. Trish Harrison
    29 January 2014 at 11:45 am

    Why has this guy been given a show when “Nightline” brings in more viewers than Paul Henry ever will. I switched channels as soon as I saw his face sorry he is not for me

  3. simon101
    11 March 2014 at 12:15 am

    Good God ! Leave the man alone! The guy is just doing a job like any other employed person with an opinion worth listing to. Lighten up or watch tv1 news,buy a Prius and watch coro.His show gets a 10/10 .The RIGHT is right, right !!!!!!!

  1. 29 January 2014 at 7:22 am
  2. 4 February 2014 at 8:01 am

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