us two

Amanda Gil­lies, 40, and Dun­can Gar­ner, 43, met dur­ing the hal­cyon days of TV3’s Welling­ton news­room. She was a crime re­porter, he was a po­lit­i­cal re­porter. Al­most two decades later, the pair re­main great friends, co-host­ing The AM Show on Three.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view/ Britt Mann Pho­to­graph/ Be­van Read

DUN­CAN/ My im­pres­sion of her straight away was: great journo. Re­ally di­rect and in­ci­sive journo. That’s how I re­mem­ber her, right from the start.

I al­ways thought she was quite a goody two shoes. I was a bit wild and a bit loose and I thought, here we go, she’s a lot straighter than you, more well-be­haved.

She’s very much that girl-next-door from Gis­borne. Her broth­ers call her Doris, you know. She still likes to party, don’t get me wrong. She’s not so nerdy she doesn’t know how to have a good time. We’ve had a few nights out to­gether. Put it this way, though, on ev­ery oc­ca­sion, she’s left be­fore me.

You won’t see this on the telly, but I know that as soon as the cam­era’s off her she uses her hands to ex­press her­self and get the words out, like she’s a con­duc­tor. She’s just a bloody good sort, you know?

She’s the sort of per­son that’ll go past and give me a tap on the bum. I haven’t done it back to her! I have won­dered if it’s ac­cept­able but I prob­a­bly don’t think so.

She’s one of the num­ber of peo­ple whose cell­phone num­ber I re­mem­ber off by heart [re­cites num­ber].

If I wasn’t work­ing with Amanda I would still stay in touch with her be­cause she’s just a truly de­cent per­son. We’d have text and phone con­ver­sa­tions out­side of work two or three times a week, eas­ily.

We’ve been in the trenches to­gether for 20 years. She knows my bat­tles and my per­sonal story. She knows how hard I’ve worked.

She’s been there for me; she’s a mate. She’s like the spine that’s been there all the way through.

I feel quite pro­tec­tive of Amanda. I don’t know why but I do. Re­cently, when we were talk­ing about the fer­til­ity stuff on the show, I looked at her and she just gave me a nod – “no, no, no” – she didn’t want to talk about it. I looked at her a sec­ond time – “no, no, no”. I looked at her a third time and I saw maybe she was up for ex­press­ing her­self, and her story. I reached out and held her hand and she was bril­liant. She was brave and she was bold. We talked about it af­ter­wards and I asked if she was OK with me do­ing that. She said ab­so­lutely, it’s fine. I was so proud of her that day.

She’s one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced journos. She told great sto­ries out of Aus­tralia with all their bush­fires. She’s done a truck­load of work around New Zealand, won awards – all that sort of thing.

I’ve al­ways be­lieved in Amanda which is why I re­ally wanted her on The AM Show. I trust her. And I quite like the fact she’ll play the straight guy, the nerdy one. I quite like that for a bit of a tease.

AMANDA/ Let me start this off by putting it on the record that I never touch Dun­can Gar­ner’s butt. Ev­ery now and then his butt might be pushed into my hand. That’s about as close as it gets.

Ev­ery­thing about Dun­can is big. Big heart, big per­son­al­ity. You know when he’s en­tered the room. He’s sort of the wild child, larger than life, the bull­dog.

I’m prob­a­bly more con­ser­va­tive – he’ll prob­a­bly say goody two shoes. It’s like brother and sis­ter. It has been that sort of re­la­tion­ship since we first met. He’s al­ways had my back, I’ve al­ways had his.

Last year he said to me, look, do you want to present Story? Heather [du Plessis-Allen, co-host] was away for a cou­ple of weeks. I’d never pre­sented in my life.

I didn’t ac­tu­ally know where the stu­dio was – they’d done a re­vamp. He took me down there and I was re­ally ner­vous. Just be­fore the show started he held my hand and said, we’ve got this, it’s OK, you’re go­ing to be good.

His dad grew up in a house about 300 me­tres from the house I grew up in Gis­borne. He said he’d al­ways thought of him­self as a Gizzy boy. And he is! An hon­orary Gizzy boy, I would say. I met his dad when he was alive and he was gor­geous. We had that im­me­di­ate bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

By the end of his stint as po­lit­i­cal edi­tor he was over­worked and, in his own words, he was an­gry. It was quite hard to see that be­cause I think he was frus­trated work­ing 24/7. He just got sucked into that whole world. He made a huge punt and he got out.

I see him sit­ting there now and he’s lost some­thing like 15kg – he and his wife go to these boot camps – he’s do­ing his dream job, he’s do­ing a bril­liant job of it and I’m so proud of him. I say it to him quite a bit.

He’s a lit­tle bull­dog, but he’s also a big teddy bear at the same time. He did the baby Moko story last year which I know re­ally af­fected him. He wears his heart on his sleeve, our Duncy.

He fan­cies him­self as a bit of a singer. He’s ac­tu­ally got a beau­ti­ful singing voice.

Ev­ery time you see Dun­can he’ll sing you a line from a song. If you’re wear­ing red, he’ll sing you Lady in Red. What­ever it is, he’ll have a line.

Amanda Gil­lies and Dun­can Gar­ner co-host The AM Show week­days from 6am on Three and Ra­dioLIVE.

“He’s a lit­tle bull­dog, but he’s also a big teddy at the same time... He wears his heart on his sleeve, our Duncy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.