Breakfast on Ten worth a second look

This morning while waiting for a tradie to turn up, I sat down and checked out Ten’s new Breakfast show.

Partly I flicked from ABC News 24 because I wanted to see what Paul Henry was like on Australian TV; partly I wanted to see a program sorting itself out after having been put on air two days early to deal with Labor’s leadership issue.

I liked much of what I saw.

To put it into context, ‘breakfast TV’ is on at our place for less than an hour each morning. Depending on who’s got the remote, it’s the ABC or Nine. I can take or leave Seven and my preference is news, bit of analysis, sport and weather. Nothing personal, Hollywood gossip-folk, but I don’t care. Back to the ABC for the 7.00am news.

Much has been made about Paul Henry and him fitting into Australian TV. I can’t see what the fuss about Henry is about, and while this view is based on my experience of having him on TV for breakfast when I lived in New Zealand, from what I saw today, I think he adds some dry wit and energy to the show. You can read my review about Paul’s autobiography here.

Henry is a sharp interviewer, and his ‘go-go-ness’ is well paced by Dr Andrew Rochford, Kathryn Robinson and weather presenter Magdalena Roze. From what I could tell, there’s no forced politeness on-air, though you can almost sense that when Paul gets rolling, the other three begin wondering when it will all end.

Peter Ford who is on 3AW in Melbourne twice a week on breakfast, noted (and here I’m paraphrasing) that Paul Henry is not a shock jock. Peter is correct. Paul Henry is exceptionally clever, has a cutting wit and is an experienced journalist who has done much in his career. I’m not a cheer squad for the guy, but people who may otherwise write this show off because of what they’ve heard about him are well advised to sit down and listen to Paul Henry interview. He is neither shock jock nor bore. Henry, you get the impression, has said what he wants to say and is away, on to his next topic, before many of us have worked out what he was saying in the first place.

Will this type of presenter suit people like me who are zombies until we’ve had caffeine? It’s a contrast of the newsie ABC, blokely ‘channel Karl’ and Seven, the latter of which I’ve not watched in eons. That said, this is not the ‘Paul Henry show’ either – and for some reason, the four presenters working off each other worked for me.

Presentation-wise, the bright orange of Today and Sunrise are contrasted with crisp on-screen fonts and a smaller studio set than you get the impression the other two commercial networks have. Talkback TV was tried by Alan Jones and Neil Mitchell ages ago and doesn’t work for me – TV is for pictures and not people calling up. A quibble and annoyance but not a major one. One can always check the other channels out in that segment!

For day two (and really, who has ever been at their best on the second day in a job?!) it was impressive. Good vibes from the presenters, bit of laughter – and no Hollywood goss.


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