Matt Chisholm gets back to his roots

Matt Chisholm: 'The only show I can't miss is Country Calendar.'
TV Guide

Matt Chisholm: 'The only show I can't miss is Country Calendar.'

TV Guide: What is the best part of being on Seven Sharp?

Matt: The best thing is that on any given day you can be anywhere in the country, or out of it, talking to anyone about anything. You could be hitting up someone who runs an abattoir selling horse meat for human consumption, or you could be talking to someone who's just about to do the greatest thing in their life, you know? You get to meet amazing people who've got amazing stories to tell. That's the beauty of the job.

What are your favourite kinds of stories to cover? 

I'm a country kid, right, so nothing is better for me than getting out into the country, getting on to the farm, putting on a set of boots and going out and kicking tyres and talking to blokes about animals or whatever. Getting back to your roots is always good, isn't it? I do a lot of blokes' trips or adventure stories, where you're out and about and away from the concrete jungles. That's what I like. 

What is the most bizarre thing you've done for television?

I once ate a piece of colossal squid. They found this colossal squid off the coast of New Zealand somewhere and they brought it in and it was frozen. They were defrosting the squid and a little Japanese scientist handed me a piece of colossal squid and goes, 'Try it'. So down the hatch. Dry retching on camera is always good TV. One good thing I did too was there were these trans-Tasman rowers. They row through the night and through the day from Sydney to Auckland, and they wanted me to experience what their lives were like, so I did it for just 24 hours. So you row for an hour, sleep for an hour, row for an hour and it was the most hideous experience of my life probably. I vomited a couple of times on that trip as well. 

If you had to change jobs tomorrow, what else might you like to do?

I would definitely be a sheep shearer. I wouldn't mind giving that a crack. I want to learn how to shear a sheep. I've shorn a few sheep before, but I haven't been trained properly. So I'd either be a sheep shearer to see if I could hack it or selling something. I'm an amazing salesperson. I once sold hair products for Wella in the South Island – earned more money than I do now and I didn't even wash my hair. In this job you actually have to be a bit of a salesman because you've got to get people to talk to you and try to beat the opposition to stories. 

What TV show can't you miss?

I'm going down a kind of a theme here but the only show I can't miss is Country Calendar. So I record Country Calendar if I'm not at home. I can't miss my footy, especially if the Highlanders are playing because I come from down south. And, I'm going to come clean here, I quite like a bit of cage fighting. I don't want to do it myself, but I quite like watching it. I admire people who get in the ring and put themselves out there. Guys don't like to look weak and there's only going to be one winner. 

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What is the best advice you have ever been given?

That would be 'Go like a cut cat because you never know when your time is up'. You never really know what's around the corner so don't say no, say yes, rip into it boots and all, roll your sleeves up, have a bit of fun. Someone told me that once and I don't believe in reincarnation, just one life, so rip into it, have fun, get amongst it. 

What one place in the world would you want to go to?

That's a good question. I really want to do the Trans-Siberian (Railway). People talk about the Russians and how they're not very friendly. Well, I'm going to find some friendly Russians and I'm going to tell some amazing stories and I'm going to learn enough Russian to re-tell those stories. I'm going to prove to people that Russians are friendly people and can have a lot of fun. 

What is a skill you would like to master?

Cooking. I just paid all this money to have this flash kitchen and right now I'm allergic to that kitchen. So I need to spruce up on my culinary skills, get into the kitchen, bash out some nice dinners – not to impress people, but to prove to myself that I can do it. I can cook for survival, but that's about it. I'm rubbish at the moment. It's looking like Otago in the early 70s. It's really basic. There's some lamb chops, there's some mashed potatoes and some mixed veg. I can do better than that, surely? 

Whose shoes would you like to step into for a day?

It would be interesting to see just what time John Key gets out of bed and what time he puts his head down of an evening. Far out, you meet him in the lift at 6.30am at Television New Zealand and he's probably watching the late news at night, if not on (it). He earns his money that boy, doesn't he? I wouldn't mind stepping into his shoes. Then you've got Barack Obama. He'd be getting up a lot earlier wouldn't he? If John Key's getting up at 6.30, what time's Barack getting up? He's not sleeping at all is he? 

Seven Sharp, TV One, Weeknights.

 - TV Guide


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