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Chris Chang, Jenny-May Clarkson, Daniel Faitaua and Anna Burns Francis are back for more Breakfast (Image: Screengrab)
Chris Chang, Jenny-May Clarkson, Daniel Faitaua and Anna Burns Francis are back for more Breakfast (Image: Screengrab)

Pop CultureJanuary 22, 2024

‘Hello, big boy’: Everything you missed from the return of Breakfast

Chris Chang, Jenny-May Clarkson, Daniel Faitaua and Anna Burns Francis are back for more Breakfast (Image: Screengrab)
Chris Chang, Jenny-May Clarkson, Daniel Faitaua and Anna Burns Francis are back for more Breakfast (Image: Screengrab)

Breathe easy, New Zealand – morning television is back. Tara Ward checks out the first episode of Breakfast for 2024. 

Nothing reminds you that the summer holidays are coming to an end more than the return of your favourite news and current affairs shows. This morning Breakfast took one for the team and was the first show to venture back onto the small screen, pulling us back into the brutal real world of news updates, weather reports and controversial beach opinions. Here’s everything you missed from the morning show’s return. 

Daniel Faitaua is back…

Breakfast kicked off the new year with a familiar face behind the desk: old mate Daniel Faitaua. He replaces Matty McLean, who spent 17 years on the show eating super hot chillies and dropping f-bombs live on air before departing for a new job in radio. McLean left big T.rex shoes to fill, but Faitaua was ready, having already been Breakfast’s newsreader between 2016 and 2019. “I’m just checking myself out in this new studio,” he said, showing an impressive level of enthusiasm for six o’clock in the morning.

“Hello, big boy,” Chris Chang greeted him, welcoming Faitaua back after several years away as TVNZ’s European correspondent. Breakfast then showed a short but serious montage of Faitaua’s recent work, which included Faitaua saying random things like “no soggy bottoms” and “the pavement at the front of the building”. Everything is normal, welcome back to Breakfast. 

…but he’s got a bee in his bonnet

The new team spent the first few minutes of the show enjoying a lovely chinwag about what they’d been up to in the holidays. Chris Chang spent it baking and Anna Burns Francis spent it being pregnant (“I got sick of waiting for us to announce the fourth presenter, so I just made my own,” she said). Faitaua, however, spent his holiday at the beach being really mad.  

The cause of his outrage? People on the beach with a UE Boom, blasting out their “angry music” for everyone to hear. Despite being nowhere near a beach, Faitaua was still seething, and wanted the nation’s thoughts on this gritty issue. He recalled how he’d confronted the music lovers and offered them his headphones, and received nothing but rude gestures in response. “Someone should march up and down the beach and issue a fine,” he harrumphed. 

But the nation was divided. Burns Francis preferred the passive aggressive solution of packing up your stuff in a huff and moving down the beach, but viewer Huia wasn’t having any of it. “Hey Daniel, what next?” she boomed via email. What next, indeed? 

Related: Is this really Daniel Faitaua’s bone down the back of the Seven Sharp couch?

True crime drama or Seven Sharp promo? A developing story until Seven Sharp returns on Monday 29 January. 

There was also some real news

After the 7am news bulletin, Jenny-May Clarkson spoke to New Zealand First deputy leader Shane Jones about the national hui at Tūrangawaewae Marae held over the weekend, which he didn’t attend. “This was a significant hui. Why not engage in that conversation?” Clarkson asked, to which Jones replied by quoting the Bible. 

Then it was on to an item about banning vehicles from Muriwai beach, a discussion about the high cost of school uniforms, and a heartwarming segment where the Breakfast team released a kiwi chick on predator-free Rotoroa Island. In a tense twist, Faitaua hadn’t been invited. “What’s the difference between a takahē and a pūkeko?” the team wondered, quickly changing the subject. Turns out the answer is “chonk”.

Dan the Weather Man ate an ice block

Breakfast reporter Tessa Parker went directly to TVNZ’s weather expert Dan Corbett for his thoughts about what we can expect from the weather in 2024. Corbett said something about a cake being mixed together and then proceeded to eat an ice block. I think this means it’ll be hot in February and then piss down for the rest of the year.  

There are some hardcore preschoolers in New Zealand 

Near the end of the show, Breakfast interviewed “Dan the Plumber Man”, the enthusiastic organiser of a Whanganui soap box derby. Footage showed homemade carts hooning around a “wall of death”, while Plumber Dan assured us that it was ”pretty safe” and cited the three-year-old Wellington girl who competed last year and was clocked at doing 32km/h downhill. An absolute thrillseeker, no doubt later seen at a local beach blasting The Wiggles on her UE boom. 

Someone at TVNZ is still eating their Christmas ham

It’s in the freezer, which is… fine, I guess? 

Breaking: Daniel Faitaua now loves playing music at the beach

It was only day one, but already Faitaua was a changed man. “I’m happy to come and sit next to you and play my Neil Diamond music,” he said after reading Huia’s powerful email. Faitaua was suddenly a new and improved big boy, full of hope for the year ahead, and at the end of the show, he promised to return tomorrow. Breakfast was back, and in the words of Neil Diamond himself (and probably best sung on a beach next to a group of hostile strangers), “what a beautiful noise”.  

Breakfast screens on TVNZ1 at 6am every weekday, and streams on TVNZ+

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