Jessica Mutch always knew she wanted to be journalist. The TVNZ political editor and former Europe correspondent can rattle off a list of career-appropriate skills she loves: writing; discussion; debate and interviewing.
“And I guess I’m nosey and curious,” she adds.
Growing up, her family encouraged debate and she never shied away from playing the devil’s advocate. She was, she says, one of those kids who was always wanted to know why.
Later this year, the Q+A presenter will marry her fiance Iain McKay, a diplomatic protection officer who entered the public consciousness as Jacinda Ardern’s bearded “hipster” bodyguard during the election campaign. So personally 2018 is about the wedding – “exciting”– while professionally it’s all about the drama of politics. It may not be an election year, but watching the new coalition government settle and covering a PM who has had a baby while in office is politically intriguing, says Mutch. “It’s a big deal… It’s only the second time it’s ever happened in history.” And it shows “what a cool country New Zealand is” that we’re all mostly pretty relaxed about it.
So, does she ever switch off her political radar, relax and turn her phone to flight mode? “No, because…then the biggest story of my career would happen and I’d have such FOMO that I’d never be able to deal with it.”
She takes our Sunday grill.
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From next Sunday, Q&A moves to a primetime slot on Sunday nights: 9.30pm on TVNZ 1.