The Spinoff has learned who is set to replace Hosking on the TVNZ Show, and it turns out he’s a bit like Mike.
Seven Sharp launches into 2018 at the start of February with an all-new line-up, after the tearful farewell of Toni Street and Mike Hosking last year. Hilary Barry was swiftly announced as one of the two hosts, but who would be her sidekick? According to a well-placed source, that co-host is set to be Jeremy Wells. When contacted by the Spinoff, Wells said, “I’d love to comment, but I can’t comment.”
TVNZ has presented Wells with a contract, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, and his signing is imminent. The recruitment process had sent shockwaves through NZME, which feared losing the clever, weird, handsome star, but a deal has been struck to retain Wells as co-host of Hauraki, according to our source.
Along with the breakfast show on Radio Hauraki, which he fronts with Matt Heath, Wells is a founding member of the Alternative Commentary Collective, and a meatball baron. He will be best known by some, however, for his pitch-perfect and acerbic impressions of leading New Zealand broadcaster Mike Hosking. The Spinoff understands he will be presenting the show as Jeremy Wells, rather than as Mike Hosking.
Wells first came to prominence as Newsboy alongside Mikey Havoc on BFM, and later on television in Havoc and Eating Media Lunch. The recruitment of a co-anchor with a background majoring in comedy suggests Seven Sharp is likely to be chasing more laughs than it did under the previous personnel, presumably in a direct response to the comedian-dominated rival The Project.
The 7pm slot will be a major battleground in 2018, with Three having stolen a march on TVNZ by launching with their full Project squad of Jesse Mulligan, Kanoa Lloyd and Josh Thomson intact, midway through January. Recruiting Wells to join Hilary Barry will inevitably radically alter Seven Sharp, with Barry the undisputed lead and the pair shifting the station’s gaze markedly younger.
When contacted for comment, TVNZ corporate communications manager Rachel Howard said: “We don’t discuss individual employment negotiations publically. We’ll share any announcements regarding our lineups when we have news to tell.”
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