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Pop CultureDecember 15, 2017

Breaking news: Mike Hosking has feelings

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Alex Casey watches the last episode of Seven Sharp with Mike Hosking and Toni Street at the helm, and witnesses something truly extraordinary. 

It began with Toni Street vomiting and fainting, and it finished with Mike Hosking crying while holding a Sol3 Mio Christmas CD. The Street/Hosko Seven Sharp era has come to an abrupt end, after it was announced just last night that they would not be returning to the show in 2018. Tonight, they said their goodbyes to the 7pm timeslot, with a little help from festive icons such as New Zealand’s favourite opera trio and this extremely threatening Santa doll.

The episode kicked off like any other, with Mike talking over Toni to tell the nation that she’s been dealing with “a couple of issues health-wise”, quickly revealed to be a some chunders and a big old faint. Without actually being a practicing doctor, this strengthens my medical theory that maybe doing a breakfast radio show and then a 7pm telly show for five days a week isn’t a sustainable way to spend your precious time on this melting ball of mud we call home.

Once the medical update was out of the way – you’d have never known by the way via Toni Street is a beaming angel and I bet even her vomit is glittery – it was time for the most Seven Sharp story of all time. We meet a self-titled Lucky Man who has found 58 wallets over his life, and even found a bedroll on the side of the road – just as he was thinking he needed to buy one for his camping trip. Ah yes, nothing luckier than luxuriating on a thin slab comprised mostly of a stranger’s dead skin.

By the time the segment made it to air, the Lucky Man had found yet another wallet, bringing his total to a whopping 59. Nobody bothered to ask if he was, in fact, a pickpocket.

Sol3 Mio bravely booted the murderous Santa from his perch for some charming chat about their new Christmas album, before performing several chrimbo tracks. Later, there was a weird story about Ed Sheeran pairing up with Andrea Bocelli, and it became crystal clear that you’d be hard pressed to get this much hot opera content anywhere else on television at 7pm. 

What else happened? There was a touching ASB “good as gold” story where Sam Wallace gifted thousands of dollars to a woman battling cancer. Mike talked over Toni at least eight times, which seems surprisingly low based on compilations that I have seen – perhaps a nice treat for their final rodeo. “And here we are with a bit of our own… Christmas cheer” said Mike, smacking his gums in distaste by way of introduction to a zany Christmas lipsync video.

Seeing Tim Wilson dressed as a reindeer is all good and well, but what we were all waiting for was the farewell climax: the teary goodbye from Toni, and the heartfelt grunt from Mike. But before we could have our emotional thirst quenched, it was time to watch a supercut of their greatest hits from the past four years. I’m talking Mike choking on a pineapple, Toni saying “oh my goodness” a lot and Mike getting punk’d by a ghoul jumping out of a rubbish bin.

“That was lovely wasn’t it?” said Toni, beaming. “When they first rang and asked me to host the show I was a little nervous to start out with… but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with you, Mike, and I knew we’d make a good go of it.” Her voice started to crack and I pulled out my knife and fork, ready to devour her precious TV tears. “Your backing of me has been fantastic this year – especially when I was sick – thank you for always being there.”

Hosko didn’t budge, as straight-faced and as glassy-eyed as he had been during the unforgettable chocolate slice controversy of yore. Call me a pair of his jeans, because I was becoming intensely distressed. As he launched into a speech about cogs, I thought he probably wouldn’t crack. “This is the thing you learn about television as opposed to radio. Television is resource heavy, it’s a big machine and we’re a couple of little cogs at the front of it all.”

“But most importantly, for me, I get to go home…”

Hosking paused. Was he being sarcastic? Simply playing up exasperated grinch we all know and angrily petition against? Or was something else happening? Was he… feeling????

“… and spend more time with my family. Because that’s what counts.”

Just like that, hell froze over, thousands of pigs ascended to the skies and I finally got round to paying my phone bill. Mike’s voice cracked and he welled up with big juicy tears as some children, presumably his, ran into the shot with flowers. Sam Wallace emerged out of the darkness smiling and looking confused, Sol3 Mio started belting out more holiday tunage and the Lucky Man almost certainly “found” another wallet. It was a bloody Christmas miracle.

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