11 Aug 2015

Story began well, says media critic

1:45 pm on 11 August 2015

TV3's new current affairs show Story made its debut last night going up against TV1's Seven Sharp.

Media commentator Gavin Ellis told Nine to Noon the programme had, on the whole, made a strong start.

Story, hosted by Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan, replaced the long-running Campbell Live programme which was broadcast for the last time on 29 May after 10 years on air.

Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan

Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan. Photo: TV3

Former host of Campbell Live, John Campbell, has now joined Radio New Zealand to present a proposed multi-media, drive-time news and current affairs programme which will replace the existing Checkpoint programme.

Ellis said his first impression of Story was that it "hit the spot".

Gavin Ellis

Gavin Ellis Photo: SUPPLIED

"This was serious current affairs; and there were strong elements of holding power to account that I thought augured well," he said.

Ellis praised Story's opening segment on Auckland real estate agents selling properties quickly before auction, in conflict with their clients' interests.

"I have to say that under persistent questioning by Heather du Plessis-Allan he [chief executive of Ray White] looked a little like a possum in the headlights."

He also felt Garner's interview with Corrections Commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot was effective.

"It was persistent questioning, not taking flanneling for an answer. I thought that both of them acquitted themselves quite well, but not to the point where the questioning became irritating."

Ellis said there was a "good chemistry" between the hosts with Garner playing the "straight guy" to Du Plessis-Allan's "mischievous humour."

"For a first outing I thought it was pretty good."

He said TV3's challenge now was to maintain the standard set in the first programme and attract dedicated viewers.

"Whether it will rescue TV3's ratings, and boy they need that, remains to be seen."