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Hilary Barry, Jeremy Wells and a silver stiletto
Hilary Barry, Jeremy Wells and a silver stiletto

Pop CultureJanuary 30, 2024

‘Great rig’: Everything you missed from the return of Seven Sharp

Hilary Barry, Jeremy Wells and a silver stiletto
Hilary Barry, Jeremy Wells and a silver stiletto

Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells returned to the Seven Sharp couch last night with a cavalcade of wholesome summer yarns, writes Alex Casey. 

Just like that annoying tweak in your back from your bad office chair, the return of Seven Sharp is yet another reminder that the summer holiday dream is over and it’s time to get back into the swing of the year. While we await the return of Shortland Street next week and the arrival of Three’s Untitled Ryan Bridge Project some time after that, Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells graciously eased us into our regular scheduled 7pm programming with a sun-soaked, banter-packed tearjerker episode on Monday night. 

If you were too busy sorting your back out at the chiropractor, here’s everything you missed. 

Hilary Barry stood on a stingray

At least, that’s what she thinks she stood on. After a segment about Poor Knights Marine Reserve, which included the alarming fact that more and more sea snakes are making their way here thanks to warming water temperatures, Hilary Barry revealed why she was left with “PTSD” from the story. “I had a terrifying experience with a stingray over the holidays,” she began bravely. “I went for a swim in the ocean and I stood on one.” 

Allegedly screaming and heading for shore with such haste that she appeared to walk on water, Barry’s traumatic encounter did not impress her co-host. “Did you see it?” Wells probed. “Well I saw a dark thing,” said Barry. “Did you see the sting ray?” he repeated. Barry admitted she mostly “felt” it, and Wells remained convinced that it had actually been a flounder. What nobody in the mainstream media is talking about is this: it could have been a sea snake. 

There was big Dick energy abound…

To commemorate 50 years since Christchurch hosted the Commonwealth Games, Barry and Wells chatted to Dick Tayler, the running legend who pulled ahead in the home straight to win gold in the 10,000 metre race in 1974. He’d been celebrating since his first beer at 3.15pm – the exact same time that the historic race took place. 

He also revealed that he had been called “Richard” until Keith Quinn called him “Dick” that fateful day. “I’ve been a dick ever since,” he laughed. Just don’t call him Fanny! Tayler also revealed what kept him going at the end of that race, all those years ago: “I thought if I win this race I could be on Seven Sharp in 50 years.” Seven Sharp, making Dick’s dreams come true since ages ago. 

… and a touch of chaos theory

As if we hadn’t had enough extraordinary elders already, Seven Sharp then met Dale Copeland. She’s an 80-year-old triple threat: a nuclear physicist, artist and Tae Kwon Do master. Copeland has a particular thing for Chaos Theory, explaining it as what governs every ripple in every stream. I thought I couldn’t feel stupider at that point, but then she said this: “I times Pi is not only irrational but imaginary, and you know what you get?” Bradley Cooper in Limitless? “Negative one,” she answered herself. “And that’s the most beautiful formula in the world.” I’m confused but also I’m crying, and I think that’s what they call the magic of television. 

Daniel Faitaua didn’t claim his bone…

We had Chekhov’s phone followed by Chekhov’s chicken bone (Daniel Faitaua is Chekhov in the latter instance). The Seven Sharp promos had shown the hosts discovering old chicken bones down the side of the couch, pinning the poultry crime on the Breakfast host. Alas, that particular chicken plotline did not come home to roost (probably because Faitaua ate it). 

… But Jeremy Wells kicked up his heels

I’m not sure what is happening with magazine show hosts and zany footwear choices at the moment, but Wells revealed a classy pair of stone grey stilettos under the desk. “In all seriousness, I did not think you were going to wear them,” said Barry. “They are so small, it would be nice to have a decent size,” mused Wells. Has he tried timesing them by Pi?

… And this grandpa flipped out

Filling out the trifecta of people over 65 showing the rest of us how it’s done, the episode ended with 68-year-old Bruce Hopkins doing 68 flips into Auckland’s viaduct for charity. Raising money for Grandparents Raising Grandkids, tears were jerked nationwide once again when his own grandson said “he’s a really good poppa to everyone in the world.” Back in the studio, Wells had something else on his mind.

“Pretty good rig for 68,” he said. “We’ll be back in just a moment.” 

Seven Sharps airs 7pm weekdays on TVNZ1

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