Whale reports Sean Plunket is moving on.
He was off air the day before the TVNZ Close Up demise was announced leading me to wonder if the two were connected.
But I also noticed a lift in his mood about a week ago leading me to suggest to my other half that, "Plunket's got a new woman". He just had that boyish wickedness thing going on. He's very, very funny when in that frame of mind. But maybe I mistook a new relationship for a new job. There was certainly a sense of relief about him. A devil-may-care, let down your hair (sorry for atrocious rhyme) attitude.
I've listened to him off and on, whereas when Justin du Fresne was host, ZB was the only station I tuned into. It's more likely now that I'll switch over from the fabulous Sound (97.3fm) after dropping daughter off and singing our way to work, to Michael Laws (who was happily replaced by Rodney Hide yesterday doing a sterling job with the lines filled all morning and Rodney chirping away about his new born baby Grace).
In Plunket's first year he made the mistake of treating talkback callers like hostile interviewees. He would lead them through an argument using faulty logic to disprove their position. He had none of du Fresne's congeniality. But this year he had improved. I thought he was warming to the listeners and they to him. If I switched off it was because I wasn't interested in the topic, or some of the nuttier callers were irritating.
He could sometimes pull off an unusual idea. When Margaret Mahey died he spent a morning talking to people about their favourite books. It was quite compelling and nostalgic as caller after caller evoked universal memories of childhood fiction.
But where does NewstalkZB go now? It wouldn't bother me one iota if they switched the Welllington network over to the national network and beamed in Leighton Smith. BUT he isn't popular with a number of the Wellington audience, who are very parochial and sometimes not that bright. Ironically the programme's very weakness.
A permanent post for Rodney perhaps?
40 minutes ago