Paul Henry was one of New Zealand’s last great broadcasting celebrities.
He was a radio broadcaster through the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that he became a household name. His seven-year tenure on Breakfast saw ratings soar and he boasted the type of star power at his peak that just doesn’t exist in broadcasting anymore. But alongside the fame were a number of on-air controversies that followed his career.
Paul’s rise to fame and fortune is even more incredible when you chart his journey from abstract poverty in Bristol being raised by his single mother. Not to mention brushes with danger as a foreign correspondent that included being detained in Iraq, shot at in Cambodia, nearly lynched in the slums of Calcutta, threatened by the French navy at Mururoa and shelled in Bosnia.
But it all makes for a rich tapestry of life that we were lucky enough to hear about. Paul doesn’t normally do this sort of thing, so we’re feeling very lucky.
Show notes | Episode 111 | Paul Henry
1:52: Between Two Beers (with The Henry Gin)
7:40: Landing Paul Henry on the podcast: a story via Sudan and Osama bin Laden
17:37: “A rich tapestry of life”
21:05: Sodomy in Malaysia and being detained in Iraq
35:27: Life as a foreign correspondent
42:10: Jesus Boots and growing up in poverty
47:55: Lessons from mum and dad
55:59: The journey to becoming the biggest broadcaster in New Zealand
1:02:28: Reflections on breakfast television
1:08:09: Pushing the boundaries: the controversies of Paul Henry
1:17:18: Commercial whaling with Guy Williams
1:19:27: Life after broadcasting
1:22:43: Palm Springs, nudism and perineum sunning
1:26:42: What next for Paul Henry?
1:33:00: Interviews and the three-question method
1:36:08: Last words from Steve, Seamus and Paul