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SocietyMarch 15, 2017

The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #11: the hair of RNZ broadcaster Paul Brennan


We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today: José Barbosa reviews RNZ broadcaster Paul Brennan’s hair. 

If I think of what RNZ sounds like (at least the bits I like) I always think of Paul Brennan’s voice (and also, it must be said, the authoritative, no mucking around Catriona MacLeod). The newsreader’s excellent delivery of the nation’s woes and sports scores is like being deep inside the earth listening and learning from the roots of Yggdrasil. I’d be surprised if eventually it turns out he was an Ent moonlighting with a public broadcasting gig.

Last year, purists were scandalised when RNZ’s venerable early evening news show Checkpoint was rejigged. Mary Wilson was turfed, replaced with lovely fellow John Campbell. And the show was going bloody multimedia. The faithful screamed their distaste, and I was one of them. That meant video, both online and on the telly.

So much change to a respected show. And yet … and yet … consider what we have gained.

We can now see Paul Brennan’s hair and it is glorious. Like a lovingly sculpted elven helmet it cascades like spring waters down the sides of his head, meeting the natural glaciers of his hunched newsreader shoulders. And Lord, how it shines! This is no Palmolive 2 in 1 operation. This is milk and honey, possibly unicorn blood, all mixed in a stone bath, followed by repeated rinses.

Yes, it gets a little unkempt the closer we get to 8pm, but nothing short of a dumped bucket of chicken nugget paste would diminish this mane. And even then he’d be professional and simply state “more at 9”. Like his radiant mop, the man is a force of nature.

Paul Brennan’s hair in search of Voyager 1

Good or bad? Utterly a force for good.

Verdict: Get him in schools; tour him through rugby clubs; the people need to know.

Keep going!