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Simon Dallow Tall Ships feature

Pop CultureOctober 9, 2019

This is the news, Simon Dallow, but not as you know it

Simon Dallow Tall Ships feature

Think the news is boring? Think again. Tara Ward discovered some snazzy graphics on 1 News and realises that TVNZ’s current affairs have been zhushed up beyond her wildest dreams.

The news. Who watches it? Who trusts it? Definitely not Trump and definitely not me, until the other day when I found myself in front of the old gogglebox at six in the evening. 1 News’ Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie welcomed me with kind eyes and warm smiles, before hitting me with a barrage of depressing information. They calmly poured more and more newsy salt onto the open wound I fondly call ‘my soul’, and just as I remembered why I hated the news, something incredible happened.

Simon Dallow stood up, and the magic began.

Simon Dallow walked away from the safety of the news desk, like a captain abandoning his ship. Lights began to shimmer and fancy graphics appeared from nowhere. The studio suddenly transformed from a blank canvas into a visionary masterpiece, where stormy seas swamped Simon Dallow’s feet and lush native forests swayed in a fake breeze and entire solar systems appeared before our very eyes. Grinning politicians rose up from the floor and Silver Ferns burst into the room, balls flying everywhere. Simon Dallow! What the heck did you do?

What was I watching? This was a 1 News bulletin so beautiful it could have been hung in the Louvre. Newsflash, the news is not the news any more. It is a work of art, and Simon Dallow is the Mona Lisa.

Simon Dallow in Jurassic Park, apparently.

TVNZ have zhushed up their news with some augmented reality shenanigans, and frankly, it’s a joy to behold. I remember when the six o’clock weather report was mostly cardboard clouds stuck on with velcro dots, and now we’ve got newsreaders standing on enemy lines just to remind us that World War 1 finished. I don’t know how they do it, and I don’t want to know. All I know is that ten seconds ago Simon Dallow was reading the news and now he has actually landed on Mars.

Simon Dallow on Tatooine!

This visual symphony must remain forever shrouded in a pixellated curtain of mystery. Some people watch the news and reckon the world is going to hell in a handcart, but have they ever seen Simon Dallow face off with a MOTHERFORKING TANK before the first ad break?

Now THIS is the fucking news.

Simon Dallow with a tank!

This is the snazzy news, the jazzy news, the suck-on-this-Newshub-news, and you know what? I bloody love the news now. The world is Simon Dallow’s augmented reality oyster. Look! Here’s Simon Dallow at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi!

Kapow! Here’s Simon Dallow on the Western Front!

Shazam! Here’s Simon Dallow in a galaxy far, far away!

Basically Simon Dallow is a superhero now and if you think that’s not true, I’m sorry but I SAW IT ON THE NEWS.

He might begin the bulletin with his sombre voice and serious face, but every night an augmented reality beast sits inside Simon Dallow, just waiting to be unleashed. Sometimes he even lets Wendy have a turn, so that one minute she’s explaining how Kiwibuild works and the next she’s standing on Chunuk Bair watching the ANZACs arrive.

Sure, she could have warned them they were landing on the wrong beach, but she was also due in the trenches in five minutes, so you know, lots to do.

I’m not sure Simon and Wendy are getting the danger money they deserve. Each night they have to burst through a vortex of time and space, enduring everything from tornadoes to rocketing petrol prices. They’re risking their lives for the nation, dodging cars that hoon across the studio and sidestepping planets that randomly swing into their orbit, just so us idiot New Zealanders are better informed. It’s worked a treat. Bless you, 1 News, for making the news fun again. War and famine have never looked so good.

You can watch the news at 6PM every night. That’s how it works.

Keep going!