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Television: Stevie TV – Potential Contenders for the Garner Throne

Steve Braunias lists some potential understudies for Duncan Garner, should he ever leave a chair open at Story

Regan whatever his name is over at Throng has spoken and it behoves us all to listen and that. He believes that TV3 must get rid of Duncan Garner as co-host of Story. “It’s time,” he announced last week, “for him to go.”

“You heard what the man said,” security guards are about to tell Garner, probably. “Get the fuck out.”

His absence will leave a big space. Garner takes up a lot of room. How best to fill it? Who should TV3 hire as his replacement? Throng suggested Paul Henry, which raises another question. Who’s he?

A panel of experts assembled to discuss the issue. I put on the kettle, and took notes. In the end we settled on the four most likely candidates to succeed Garner, hit it off with co-host Heather du Plessis-Allan, lift Story above Seven Sharp in the ratings, and restore peace in the Middle East.

BARRY SOPER

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Who better than Heather’s irascible hub? Good old Sopes! His broadcasts haven’t made a lick of sense since c1993, but half the fun of having him co-host Story would be trying to work out what the hell he was talking about. The other half would be watching the happy couple bring the spark and joy of their marriage to the small screen. You couldn’t fault their chemistry. It’d bring back memories of the last newsreading couple on New Zealand TV – Simon and Alison. They were so great together. Sad what happened. But Barry and Heather are in love, and viewers could watch them grow old together. They just wouldn’t have to wait that long for Sopes.

AL BROWN

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Who better than weird Al? As the head judge on MasterChef NZ, he’s already part of the TV3 family, so he knows his way around the place and would feel right at home next to Heather. He wouldn’t have to talk – he’s never once said anything remotely memorable or sane on TV. He could just sit there in one of his caps, and make something to eat. Chop cabbage. Butter bread. Create a cabbage sandwich. The possibilities are endless.

RACHEL GLUCINA

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Who better than John Key’s press agent? Rachel could arrange to bring the PM in every night. He’d talk to her about a wide range of issues such as his preferred flag, and his golf swing. Their chemistry would electrify the nation. Their banter would be totally LOL. They’d laugh, and joke, and gossip, and there really wouldn’t be any need or use for news, or weather, or Heather.

JOHN CAMPBELL

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Who better than JC? It’d be trainwreck television – the whole nation would tune in to watch him crash and burn. TV3 hounded him out, and were glad to see the back of him. Imagine what it’d be like if he returned to share his old 7pm stamping ground with Heather. The shame and humiliation would be intense. He’d grin. He’d bear it for approx 30 seconds. Then he’d pull down his pants, squat on the desk, and –


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