Feisty little “mate of the Nation” Hilary Barry may have jumped the sinking ship that is Mediaworks but is full steam ahead charting a new course on the HMNZS TVNZ, according to an article published in our sister mag NZ Woman’s Weakly.
(WWNews regrets that, due to copyright issues and matters of taste, photos accompanying the original article cannot be shown here.)
Hilary Barry is looking forward to her sudden change in career, bought on she says by a desire not to work for Mediaworks any more and work instead for the company that she’s been meeting in secret with in various hotel and private dining rooms around Auckland’s CBD for the last six months.
“It was just one of those things,” she says of the impulsive feeling just like the ones we all have. “One day I was sitting across the table from Paul Henry and it just occurred to me ‘If I got back and ask TVNZ for another hundred grand, 3 months paid leave and a Ferrari, then I won’t have to slam this mic into Paul’s face’.”
So she did, they agreed and this rest is history, although it was mere rumour and gossip 24 hours ago.
Hilary is unsure exactly what her new role will be but she’s certain it will be in front of the camera. “I’m not one of those people who can sit in the background and do boring admin stuff, or swipe grocery items across a scanner,” she smiles – a smile that’s endeared her to dozens of radio listeners. “I need to be where the action is, with just me, a microphone, autocue and some artfully placed lighting, and everyone else out of shot.”
In an ideal world, she admits, she’d like to front Breakfast, the midday bulletin, the News, Seven Days and Fair Go. “But that’s probably not going to happen. I can’t see Gordie [Harcourt] giving up and anyway I don’t do righteous indignation very well, not since the new hairstyle.”
TVNZ sources have hinted that the Barry persona is a good fit for the former state broadcaster. “Hilary shares a lot of the values we hold dear,” the source said. “She’ll do anything for money, can fake sincerity, humility and broad intellect with the best of them and as for that infectious smile – well, we have some Listerine somewhere.”
The TVNZ source wouldn’t specify if Hilary had been brought in as a replacement for ageing hipster Mike Hoskings or ageing oldie Peter William, or even perennially perky Pippa Pretzel. “We have yet to make a decision on any or all of that,” the source said. “There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge but if Mike were to somehow fall into it and get his carefully-ripped designer denims snagged on a submerged branch, it’s good to know we’re covered.”
Down the road at Mediaworks – which is where many of its staff seem to be heading – Paul Henry declines to comment. Just kidding – he’s talking up a storm, except not about the co-host he’s shared a studio with for several months. “Co-host? No, don’t think I’ve ever had one.”