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Career

Radio hosts Tim Wilson and Tim Roxborogh on why they're similar but different in so many ways

They fought for three hours on their first radio show together, but they've learned to appreciate one another's differences since then!

By Amy Prebble
They're both named Tim. Both of their fathers are Presbyterian ministers. They've carved out careers in the media and, during their interview with the Weekly, they have each other in stitches.
But when it comes down to it, the hosts of Newstalk ZB's The Weekend Collective − Tim Roxborogh and Tim Wilson − couldn't be more different.
"You don't have to listen to us for long to realise we have very different opinions about almost everything, particularly politics and sport," says Roxborogh (37).
"Luckily for us, there is always a laugh close by."
"We have quite a similar sense of humour," agrees Wilson (53). "We can be very, very, very silly."
Silliness aside, there is one thing that they do agree on – matrimony.
"I'm a big fan," says Wilson, who tied the knot with wife Rachel (33) in 2014.
"Marrying my wife turned my life around. It's brilliant. Same with Roxy. He was sitting there in the last-chance saloon, and this angel appeared before him and saved him."
Roxborogh laughs, but agrees emphatically that his wife is a lifesaver.
"I couldn't do what I do without Aimee," he says.
"Broadcasting is not plain sailing and a lot of people get out of it at a certain point. She's been totally behind me just doing everything that I can to try to make enough money doing all the different things I love in the media."
It's not always a war of words! "We can be very, very silly," Tim Wilson (left) says of colleague Tim Roxborogh.
Wilson and Roxborogh have worked in radio together since 2014, when they were paired up for a show called The Two on Sunday nights.
Television stalwart Wilson confesses that he didn't know what to expect from Roxborogh as he was unfamiliar with the world of radio.
Immediately, the pair clashed over whether schoolboy Lucan Battison should conform with his principal's wishes to cut his hair.
"I think from his years on TV and being a foreign correspondent, he's got a more interrogatory sort of style and I was confronted by that," admits Roxborogh.
"We came out of that show, which was three hours of just essentially fighting, and what we came to realise was that there was a way to have those differences of opinion but in a way that was still entertaining."
"We used to slug it out on that show," muses Wilson. "But in The Weekend Collective, I think we always know that if it gets intense, we know where to go for the lighter moment. I think that's one of the great joys of doing the show actually."
Despite their disparate interests, they have influenced each other on the odd thing.
"I think Wilson has come to embrace sport more. He was very anti-sport," says Roxborogh, a sports fanatic who freelances as a cricket commentator.
"I'm pro-sport now!" Wilson deadpans.
"No, I've come to realise that sport is a bit like politics, which is basically sport for unathletic people. You just apply the same notes: Who is winning? Who's up? Who's down? Who do you hate?"
They now cover politics, health, parenting, finance, real estate and sport for three hours every Saturday and Sunday.
"All the things you love about talkback and other shows wrapped in one amazing show! It's sort of like a dinner party, two a half drinks deep, a bit rowdy," Wilson grins.
Tim and Tim are radio's yin & yang
For Roxborogh, the parenting segment of the show is about to become significantly more relevant.
He and Aimee (38) are expecting a baby girl in July and the couple have been getting away together a lot before the new arrival, as he also writes a weekly travel column in a newspaper.
"We thought we'd try to squeeze in as much travel as we could together before the baby. But we've had some advice that if she's a good sleeper, it's easier to travel with a newborn than a one-year-old. So now we're thinking, maybe we can bust out a trip with a four-month-old."
"The first kid is often a delight," says Wilson, who shares three children with Rachel − Roman (4), Felix (3) and 10-month-old Wilfred.
"You think, 'This is amazing. Why do people grizzle?' Of course, the next kid slaps you in the chops. And the third one kicks you in what's left."
Like Roxborogh, Wilson – who has written three novels – juggles a number of roles along with parenthood.
He works four days a week on TVNZ's current affairs show Seven Sharp and is currently working on a collection of poems.
Tim Wilson with his sons Roman (4), Felix (3) and 10-month-old Wilfred.
Both Tims have a strong work ethic and agree that aspects of their dads being ministers have helped their media careers.
"Dad was sort of an itinerant jobbing Presbyterian minister," says Wilson.
"We lived in Pokeno, then New Plymouth, then Whanganui – every seven years or so, we'd pack our stuff and move to another town. Meeting a variety of people and having to be in a lot of social situations with people you don't know is quite good for talkback."
Roxborogh's dad John (74) was an engineer before doing his PhD in theology. He took the family to Malaysia for seven years to work as a lecturer at a theological college.
It was while there that Roxborogh got used to seeing his dad talking to different people from the pulpit when he filled in for services.
John also officiated for his son and Aimee's wedding in October 2017.
"He did a lovely job too," says Wilson, who was a guest.
"They wed at St Stephens, the same church where my parents married!" he adds, ticking off another commonality.
Wilson concedes that his mid-life conversion to Catholicism probably wasn't ideal for his dad Warren (82), but he is grateful his dad has been so accepting.
"I think probably it was quite alarming for my father to have a child become Catholic, but he's certainly come around to it."
Tim Roxborogh and Aimee are set to become parents in July. The pair were wed by his dad John.
It was during his time as the US correspondent for TVNZ that Wilson's interest in Catholicism was piqued.
He would drive past St Cecilia's in Spanish Harlem after his 2am live shoots and was curious about it.
"I had this great life in New York," he says. "I had a great job. I just had my first novel published and I thought I should have everything. But I didn't feel like I had everything.
"I actually felt quite meagre and empty inside. It was just like I was this cynical, hard-bitten journo. I had created this caricature of myself. So I went to mass and it was like I felt my heart start to beat again."
While he seldom attends church, Roxborogh remains Presbyterian.
"I'd like to enjoy going, but I don't," he admits. "But I have a faith. I am drawn to gospel music and things that have meaning."
When it comes to a dream guest they'd love to have on their show, Roxborogh says he would like to talk to either Bruce Springsteen or Barack Obama.
"I'd like to argue with someone as well. I don't want to be too agreeable," says Wilson.
"I'd also like to interview Obama, but I'd try to rip him one."
"I'd be very agreeable, but it would be gripping," counters Roxborogh.
"There you have it. He'd be gripping and I'd be ripping," Wilson concludes.

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