Alex Casey revels in the highs and lows of Daniel Corbett, the endearing One News weatherman and replacement for Jim Hickey in our hearts. //
I have always been told to listen to my parents, so when my Dad urgently let me know that the new TV One weatherman looked like “Dynamo in 30 years” I had to take note*. Daniel Corbett, our new Jim Hickey, is a weatherman to end all weathermen. He’s 20% suit and 80% fingers, and I strongly recommend tuning into the ol’ 6pm news if you haven’t already seen his scintillating yet spindly caress of the South Island.
It’s an unexpected transition from our heavenly father Jim Hickey, especially with the spritely Sam Wallace flexing in the wings. I was expecting TV One would seize the opportunity to overhaul the weather and make it a bit young, a bit sexy, a bit Sticky TV. Instead they went with what can only be described as a jokey British version of Nosferatu in a suit.
I love him to bits, and I’m not the only one. After a small flurry of research I found this incredible fanblog devoted to the man himself. Tirelessly recording every hilarious analogy, joke and bizarre noise he makes for the world to see, it confirmed my suspicions that we have a little ray of sunshine piercing through the post-Hickey rain cloud.
Corbett goes for an extremely theatrical presentation technique, with a consistent forecast of Gondry-sized hands and breadstick fingers. A great way to watch him is to sit as close to the screen as possible and just focus on the hands. Honestly gives Cirque de Soleil a run for it’s money.
“That low coming through will temper your numbers,” Corbett assures us, gently pushing both his palms down like he was resuscitating a ghost. It’s hypnotising. The resemblance to a magician is hard to deny – you could hide about 40 packs of playing cards in those mitts.
Another one of his essential techniques is to personify or anthropomorphise the weather, acting out relatable scenarios for people like me who don’t know about things like “highs” or “pressure fields” or “science”. Last night he described a stubborn ridge as “sat there like a big rugby player.” He would do his rugby player bit two more times throughout the segment. I feel safe in saying that he has never touched a rugby ball in his life.
Last night’s anthropomorphic analogy came in the form of a mouse. I have never heard someone say the word “nibble” so many times on the six o’clock news. He said it five times in the space of three minutes. That’s too many nibbles, surely. The high was being nibbled, the weather system was being nibbled, the rugby player ridge was being nibbled.
Corbett finished his segment on a poignant note; “the mouse eats around the edges of the cheese,” he said, pausing and staring reflectively past the camera and into the deepest crevice of my soul, “and eventually gets to the middle of it.”
Who’s to say if he was even talking about the weather at this point, or simply closing his piece with a bleak reminder that the mouse of time is slowly gnawing away at the cheese of our lives?
Either way, I’ll be checking back in with Daniel tonight, tomorrow, and the next day. Have a nibble New Zealand, he’s really great.
*I have run Dynamo’s picture through the science lab and can confirm that Daniel Corbett doesn’t actually look like him at all, it’s more of a spiritual resemblance than anything: