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Lloyd and Wilhelmina’s extreme style makeover

The Today FM co-hosts and former TV stars treat each other to a bold new look

Social media makes makeovers look easy – a hand clap or a head bob and you’ve got an instant before and after. But for Lloyd Burr, his transformation took a little longer – roughly three years, actually.

Yet while his body changed dramatically, his fashion sense didn’t, so his best buddy and Today FM co-host Wilhelmina Shrimpton decided Lloyd, 35, needed to get himself a new wardrobe to truly become a new man – and also bag himself a new man!

To do so would take Lloyd out of his comfort zone, so he lay down a challenge: “I will if you will.” If he was going to surrender to a full styling experience, Wilhelmina had to put herself in his hands too… in the pages of Woman’s Day.

To put this into context, Lloyd is a man who doesn’t own an iron or a pair of jeans. His “look” is ankle boots with sassy socks, silky shorts he wears year-round and T-shirts blazoned with something goofy. Today’s is a picture of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin holding a Croc shoe.

Then there’s Wilhelmina, 32, a leggy, glamorous journalist who boasts not just a cupboard, but an entire room to her wardrobe, with stacks of floor-to-ceiling boxes purely full of trainers. Under wall-to-wall racks are clear boxes for dress shoes. To use her catchphrase on the Lloyd Burr Live show, her clothing collection is “out the gate”.

Lloyd admits he is not a fashion follower, saying, “I’ve always hated shopping. I dress for comfort and have always been a farm kid.”

In 2018, Lloyd became the Newshub correspondent in London. He wasn’t there long when he flew to Turkey for a gastric sleeve operation, which saw his weight drastically drop from 144kg to 91kg.

Lloyd before losing 53kg after gastric surgery.

“All my shirts were just hanging off me, so I thought, ‘Treat yourself!’ and bought about 15 tees and a few singlets from Glastonbury that I could wear to work. I forgot that there were cameras in the studio.”

Wilhelmina chips in, “Lloyd has come to work in a shirt and chinos a couple of times, and I always joke that he has a job interview.” To which Lloyd responds, “People say, ‘Nice to see you made an effort today!’ and I just feel so judged.”

He returned to New Zealand a year ago, initially to Magic Talk, before its metamorphosis into Today FM. Wilhelmina had left Newshub and was working at a digital agency, knowing her heart was still in media. She tells, “Everything happens for a reason. I had no idea what the reason was until now.”

The pair met in 2012, when Lloyd was working in the parliamentary gallery for Radio Live, and Wilhelmina was working across Radio Live and Three.

“I was watching 3 News and she signed off with Wilhelmina Shrimpton and I thought, ‘That’s not what I expected a Wilhelmina to look like!'”

They gravitated towards each other at work parties and Wilhelmina laughs sharing the story of the night Lloyd met her then-fiancé Mike Sanders, who she married in 2018.

Wilhelmina married Mike in 2018.

“The next thing I know, they were setting up the scene to re-enact the Dirty Dancing lift,” she recalls.

Lloyd laughs, “He was the one doing the lifting of me. I came barrelling down and I was probably about 130 kilos. He was like, ‘Woah!'”

The chemistry the pair has on air resonates as they chat to us at Wilhelmina’s Auckland home. They bounce off each other in conversation – teasing, enquiring and empathetic. It’s a formula they love for the show, which is a mix of topical news, personal accounts of their lives and regular slots, such as “Word of the Day”, and Friday’s “Beers and Ideas”.

“We bring the weird out in each other,” Wilhelmina says. “You’re my number-one, hon – you’re my work husband.”

Which is probably why Lloyd is able to get away with so much when he seeks retribution for being taken like a scared lamb to Working Style menswear for his sartorial makeover.

Astounded at Wilhelmina’s shoebox storage, Lloyd says, “That’s not OCD – that’s a hoarding problem. And what the hell is this?” he adds, holding a ’20s-style lace dress, before trying on one of her boob-tube tops with bouffant sleeves.

But much like their show, there is a serious side to the day. Lloyd defends Wilhelmina, who has been judged for how she dresses.

“She loves hard news and she loves fashion,” he muses. “Nobody has ever said to me, ‘You can’t be a serious journalist because you dress like that.'”

Wilhelmina produces weekly investigative podcast The Core and has also raised the issue of people’s attitudes to what women wear while she’s on air.

“You shouldn’t judge a woman by her dress,” she asserts. “I can dress up, be glamorous and also be great at my job. I’m determined to change the narrative you can’t be both and be taken seriously.”

Speaking of which, after his makeover, we have to ask Lloyd, will this stay his new look or will he return to his comfort zone of shorts and a tee?

“We bring out the weird in each other,” says Wilhelmina.

“Well, it won’t change the way I go to work, but it probably will change the way I go out,” he answers honestly.

Asked what his “word of the day” would be to describe today’s shoot, Lloyd replies, “Definitely ‘effulgent’ – which means shining brightly!”

Listen to Lloyd and Wilhelmina from 4pm weekdays on Today FM.

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