Radiation by Fiona Rae

Fight for Life

“Good evening and haere mai, talofa lava, ni hao, welcome, welcome, welcome to Campbell’s Gamble, the show TV3 have given me to stop me going to TVNZ. On tonight’s show, Carol Hirschfeld continues her 99-part series about Ahmed Zaoui and it turns out there are ducks at the Dominican friars’ residence. Carol will be getting the ins and outs of those tonight and we have an exclusive with Ahmed’s dentist.

“Later, coverage of the campaign to have Zaoui declared a saint. Toni Marsh reports from Rome, where a small but dedicated group of Zaoui disciples continue their efforts, despite the fact that Ahmed Zaoui is a Muslim – discrimination, they say.

“But first continuing On the John, a personal journey about my Flying Nun years. Tonight, the hands of time swing back to 1984, when a young – some would say too young – naïve – some would say too naïve – university student had a life-changing experience at the Captain Cook in Dunedin.

“The bitter Dunedin winter was nipping at our very marrows and the only comfort was to be had in the heady, smoky, booze-laden and, dare I say it, dope-laden atmosphere of the only pub in town that actually welcomed unscrubbed oiks like myself. It was the night The Verlaines played a blinder, and The Chills gave us chills that had nothing to do with the cold. It was the night I decided I wanted to be a television presenter on a Holmes-like programme and save the world or at least set a standard for journalism that all others could only try to attain. It was, in short, bloody marvellous.”

Meanwhile, on another TV station …

“Welcome, welcome, welcome, haere mai and good evening to Up Close on Holmes @ 7. Tonight on the programme: the media, and why are they so obsessed with me? Hardly a day, indeed an hour, goes by without a story in the papers or in a magazine or on the radio or even on the telly about myself. Why? We ask Emmy award-winning media expert Suzy Aiken about just how valuable I am to hackery in this country. And we look behind the scenes of Up Close on Holmes @ 7 and ask, “can our little show work?” I’m picking it can and Alison Mau’s career is counting on it.”

And on yet another TV station …

“Kia ora and welcome, welcome, welcome to Close up @ 7 with Susan Wood and Mark Sainsbury: A New Beginning. Tonight, a tragedy that quickly became a farce and finally turned to redemption for one Auckland family and their pet guinea pig. This one will send a shiver down your spine and right back up again and it may even give you goosebumps as well. Then, and this one will make you so happy, I’m sure; I’ll be talking to local legend and music icon Neil Finn. We laughed, we cried; it was an emotional interview, I know you’ll agree.

“But first, Sudan. Starvation, war, famine and disease. We have shocking pictures. And should our government be doing more? Express your view with our phone poll: call 0900 DO MORE if you think the government should send aid, or 0900 DONT CARE if you think we should stand idly by.”

Later …

“And that’s our show for tonight; tomorrow, Carol’s seen the littlest room of Ahmed Zaoui’s house, and I’ll be revisiting the record store where I bought “Pink Frost”. It’s been a joy, an absolute pleasure, haere ra, haere ra, haere ra and goodnight.”

And …

“Tomorrow night, behind the scenes of my new album and I’ll be asking, “can I really sing?” We ask music expert Andy Shaw. That was Up Close on Holmes @ 7; those were my people on my show tonight.”

Then …

“That’s our show; tomorrow, the tragedy of two old friends who missed each other by just minutes: we have shocking pictures. And the Sainser will be looking back on a childhood filled with laughter and tears. I have a tear in my eye just thinking about it. Until then, goodnight.”