Illness halts Holmes' radio role

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 16:44 30/11/2012
Paul Holmes
NZPA
TALK LESS: Veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes will cut back his Newstalk ZB role as he battles a heart condition.

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Veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes is cutting back his hours at Newstalk ZB as he battles a heart condition.

Holmes announced the decision today after 25 years on the station. He suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a genetic heart condition which thickens the muscles and restricts blood flow.

He underwent heart surgery earlier this year and was back in hospital last month after he contracted an infection.

Holmes said this afternoon that he loved what he did "but there's also much more to life than working, as (my wife) Deborah regularly points out to me".

"We love our Hawkes Bay home and property and I'm looking forward to enjoying the farm some more and kicking back a bit."

Holmes was the station's pioneer breakfast host and will still contribute to the show. The changes take place from January next year.

TVNZ publicity spokesperson Dominica Leonard would neither confirm nor deny whether Holmes would be staying on as co-host of TV One's Q&A programme next year.

The current affairs show ends for the year on Sunday and has yet to have its funding confirmed for next year.

Meanwhile, Newstalk broadcaster Tony Veitch will be replaced as Radio Sport Breakfast Host later next year.

The Crowd Goes Wild and Rock radio host Andrew Mulligan will co-host with Mark Richardson as Veitch's replacement.

Veitch will still host Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning shows.

The Radio Network announced the switch this afternoon, with Veitch showing his keen support for the decision.

"It gives me the opportunity for the next transition in my career. There's no major focus, it's sport. I love doing what I'm doing," Veitch told Fairfax Media.

"It's a revelation, I'm going to be getting to do longer, fuller interviews."

Veitch said he was looking forward to some sleep-ins in his new role. "I've loved breakfast, but it's time to do something different. I'm looking forward to more user-friendly hours. I'm a bit old to get up at 4am."

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