No appetite for Australian Breakfast
absence of Paul Henry from Kiwi TV channel TVNZ’s Breakfast program coincided with a dramatic drop in the number of complaints lodged with the broadcasting watchdog. Breakfast, with Henry (pictured) as co-host, was the subject of 29 complaints last year but this year the presenter relocated to Australia for Channel 10’s Breakfast show and complaints dropped to just one, the annual report from the Broadcasting Standards Authority shows. The authority dealt with 195 complaints in the 2011/12 year, down from 250 the previous year. Henry controversially described singer Susan Boyle as ‘‘retarded’’, suggesting former governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand was not a real New Zealander, and ridiculed Indian diplomat Sheila Dikshit’s name. He quit the show in late 2010. Now his Australian television foray has also come to an end. Ten has pulled the plug on his Breakfast show from November 30. Authority chief executive Susan Freeman-Greene welcomed the reduction in complaints but was unsure if it was the start of a trend. ‘‘We believe that if the system is working well, complaints will drop over time,’’ she says. As well as Henry being absent from the TV screens, another popular source of complaints, Outrageous Fortune, had also gone off air. Henry is set to return to either the screen or the airwaves in NZ. MediaWorks, owner of TV3 and RadioLive, says he will rejoin the company after he returns from Australia. Ten culled Breakfast because it was a ratings flop.
Ends November 20, Ten, Ten SC