In a surprise move from TVNZ, it's been announced that John Campbell will replace Jack Tame on the Breakfast show. Jack will move to Q+A.
John Campbell will join the Breakfast team - Hayley Holt, Daniel Faitaua and Matt McLean - from Monday April 29th, and will continue to "contribute his storytelling across TVNZ's news and current affairs offering", TVNZ has advised.
Jack Tame, who admits he necks five shots of coffee before a Breakfast show to wake himself up, will present Q+A from Monday April 29th, 9.30pm.
In a statement John says, "Breakfast offers the best of a live studio environment, with the opportunity to still work in the field – to me that's the perfect balance. It's a privilege to be part of New Zealander's first news source of the day, bringing viewers breaking coverage from overnight, sharing stories that matter from around the country, and giving people a voice. I'm looking forward to joining the team."
Jack says, "Joining Q+A in the lead up to an election year is an unmissable opportunity for me. I've loved questioning our country's decision makers on Breakfast. Hosting Q+A will give me a chance to take that examination further – and never is it more important to ask the hard questions than when a vote is on the horizon. I'm really sad to be leaving the Breakfast whānau, the members of which do fantastic work in exhausting circumstances."
The early-morning show has seen a number of host changes over the years. Mike Hosking and Susan Wood were the first to launch the show in 1997. Among those to have hosted the show since then have been Kate Hawkesby, Ali Mau, Ali Pugh, Liz Gunn, Kay Gregory, Corin Dann, Petra Bagust, Rawdon Christie, Toni Street, Nadine Chalmers, Pippa Wetzell and Paul Henry. Jack Tame joined the show in 2016 alongside Hilary Barry. Last year Hayley Holt replaced Hilary.
After the controversial axing of Campbell Live in 2015, John hosted Radio New Zealand's weekday drive-time news programme Checkpoint before delighting fans by returning to television in 2018 in a "roving" reporter role.
TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs John Gillespie described his role as, "John will be a high impact player for 1 NEWS. He'll file for news and longer pieces for Sunday. And he's likely to step in to present Tonight, Breakfast, Seven Sharp, Sunday, Q+A* and 1 NEWS from time to time."
Known for his passion for the job, John once told The Australian Women's Weekly that in storytelling it's important to "be authentic and true to yourself".
He said at times he has found the subject matter tough to handle.
"Stuff I've seen in this job has left a deep sadness in me. I often find myself being devastated in a way. I don't believe in karma, too many bad things happen to good people."
Of the axing of Campbell Live he said, "It was a brutal, hurtful process. It was like a relationship break-up. I internalised it, went for long walks, saw friends for lunch, things I never did."
He acknowledges that although the word of mouth about his show was hugely positive, those enthusiastic backers were not reflected in the viewing figures.
Three (then TV3) bosses gave him seven weeks to turn things around and during that time the show rated its socks off. But in the end the show was still canned.
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