So where to from here for Campbell Live? And what next for John Campbell?

For John Campbell, the future lies outside a 7pm timeslot. But who's got the shoes big enough to replace him?
Peter Meecham/Fairfax NZ

For John Campbell, the future lies outside a 7pm timeslot. But who's got the shoes big enough to replace him?

OPINION: 

So where to from here for TV3 and the 7pm current affairs slot, now that John Campbell has decided he doesn't want to part of a proposed duo?

READ MORE: 
* Sadness and anger as Campbell bows out
* Top five comments on the end of Campbell Live
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* Campbell to leave TV3

Let's start by ruling out Jono and Ben (I'm sure they'll be relieved I'm saying this). Sounds like they may be getting an extended Friday night gig anyway (with the new 7pm show going down to four nights a week).

You can also put a line through Samantha Hayes. She's already over-burdened with their new Sunday 3D show and the upcoming Nightline replacement (where she'll share duties with David Farrier).

Samantha Hayes maybe too busy but could Duncan Garner be part of the new Campbell Live replacement?
Supplied

Samantha Hayes maybe too busy but could Duncan Garner be part of the new Campbell Live replacement?

But perhaps her 3D co-anchor Duncan Garner could simply sidle over from his Drive-time radio show to make up one-half of the new pairing?

Naturally Campbell's deputies like Lachlan Forsyth or even Ali Ikram could be in with a shout, or Mediaworks could tap into Radio Live regulars like James Coleman, Sean Plunkett (which could tie in with conspiracy theories about the show lurching to the right) or even Mark Sainsbury (a man with vast experience in the 7pm weeknight slot)?

If they're desperate they could also go cap in hand to some of their old employees – Michael Laws would probably fancy a crack at TV, while Marcus Lush could be about the only person Campbell Live's supposedly traditional fanbase might be able to champion.

Paul Henry's got a new tele show, but there's every chance he'd want to work gentleman's hours. If that's the case, a ...
Lawrence Smith/Fairfax NZ

Paul Henry's got a new tele show, but there's every chance he'd want to work gentleman's hours. If that's the case, a 7pm slot would be right up his alley.

Perhaps he could team up with his old Newsnight mucker Ali Mau in a "primer-time" gig? Or maybe Mediaworks has designs on uniting her with her afternoon radio co-host Willie Jackson? Other female options could include bringing back TV3 darling Petra Bagust, former Campbell mucker Jaquie Brown, or finally giving Hilary Barry the forum her undoubted talents deserve.  

It's hard to see anyone wanting to make the switch from TVNZ or elsewhere (although who knows what Eric Young's new Prime/TV3 newsroom contractual situation really involves?), but Jesse Mulligan's presence has diminished on that side of the divide and he might well relish going head to head against Mike Hosking. 

But then again this could all have been part of a smokescreen. Maybe Paul Henry has grown tired of early morning starts and fancies the more gentlemanly hours this may afford him.

Mark Sainsbury is a man with vast experience in the 7pm weeknight slot, but would he be the right fit for TV3?
Kevin Stent/FairfaxNZ

Mark Sainsbury is a man with vast experience in the 7pm weeknight slot, but would he be the right fit for TV3?

AND WHAT NOW FOR JOHN CAMPBELL?

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He's been a political reporter, a radio presenter, a cartoon character, a bit-part TV actor and one of New Zealand's highest-profile TV personalities. So what might be next for John Campbell's CV? Here are a few opportunities he might look at, even if he won't find them on Seek.

Auckland mayor: He's never been shy about wearing his heart on his sleeve, and nobody's going to die wondering about his politics. And looking at the chequered line-up in the city's top civic job over recent decades  – John Banks, Christine Fletcher, Dick Hubbard … Len Brown  – weary Aucklanders might welcome someone who brings a different kind of passion to the mayor's office.

Christchurch earthquake tsar: He's done no harm to his stocks in Christchurch by sticking with its ongoing trials and tribulations long after other national media have wandered off.  And there'd be more than a few who would say the city needs a breath of fresh air after years of Gerry Brownlee's oversight of its stuttering recovery.

X-Factor Judge: Nah.

School tuckshop operator: Campbell's drawn lots of attention to the sad state of affairs around underfed school children. Could this be his big chance to move his campaign to a more practical level?  

Radio presenter:  Campbell developed his presenting chops fronting one of Radio NZ's premier shows, the Saturday morning slot now owned by Kim Hill. The state-owned broadcaster still seems like a natural fit for Campbell's style – although they might struggle to cram another ego into an already-precariously balanced line-up. Still, radio does appear to be a popular resting place for former TV careers.

 - Stuff

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