Why Corbett doesn't want Williams on 7 Days

SARAH NEALON
Last updated 05:00 16/08/2014

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Jeremy Corbett pauses for a moment when asked how 7 Days has changed in the five years since it first screened.

"Now we have cheese and crackers backstage," he reveals. "And I have a third suit.

"So over five years I've managed to accumulate three suits so I'm living the life of Riley. Cheese and crackers and an extra suit. It's kind of my five-year result."

The TV3 comedy panel show has been a hit with viewers and critics since it first hit the small screen back in August 2009.

It has since showcased a host of local and international comedians, plus various politicians, musicians and media figures. This year 7 Days has featured everyone from Paula Bennett to Che Fu to The Wiggles.

"I'm proud that it's still there," says Corbett, the show's host. "To be going for five years on a New Zealand comedy show is outstanding. I always thought the format would work, but it's worked better than I imagined and it continues to evolve.

"You don't really notice it from week to week but if you look back at earlier shows, we've definitely refined the techniques and it's such a sharp show. We've got great people working on it. I'm very proud of it and I consider myself very lucky to be involved in it."

One of the show's most popular segments is a game called Yes Minister in which a politician is asked questions by panellists but must not reply with a 'yes' or a 'no'.

While a variety of folk from parliament have taken part in this one, John Key has yet to show his face.

"In his defence, I have bumped into him on the odd occasion and he's keen, but the people around him try to prevent him coming on the show," explains Corbett.

"I know for a fact he was very close to coming on the show one time, but it happened to be when there was some pretty grim news for New Zealand and he just couldn't be seen having a laugh.

"He once told Paul (Ego) and I off when he saw us. He said, 'My kids watch the show and you're always take the **** out of me'. So we said to him 'Well stop doing stupid things'."

For the upcoming 7 Days Red Nose Day Special the show has been extended to an hour. Besides making people laugh, it is also designed to encourage viewers to donate money to Cure Kids, an organisation which funds research for illnesses and diseases affecting New Zealand children.

"Dai (Henwood) and Paul will be flanking me," he says. "I know that Jono (Pryor) and Ben (Boyce) will be invading our show at some stage...

"Jono and Ben tend to take over when they visit, but that's all right. They've invited me on their show from time to time and I like to help them out... They're hard workers, full of energy and always a pleasure."

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As to whether Guy Williams from Jono And Ben At Ten will make an appearance, Corbett grumbles at the thought of it.

"I'm against it," he says. "But they'll probably have him on. He is the sexiest man on TV as voted by TV Guide readers in the Best On The Box awards. I personally find that a bit intimidating. When I was nominated I came sixth and to have someone with his kind of sex wattage on screen with us, well it diminishes our appeal. So I'd rather not have him on to be honest. And I'll be lobbying hard for him not to be on the show."

When TV Guide spoke to Corbett, details of the special show were being finalised, but he was keen on the idea of the 7 Days panellists donating money.

"Paul and Dai have been doing this for a while. Surely they must have a bit of savings," he says. "We could take them down and have a bit of a challenge between the team members to make the biggest donation which could be quite good."

In terms of celebrating the show's five years on air, Corbett is optimistic the TV network will mark the occasion with something significant.

"There's no doubt in my mind that TV3 will have a pretty massive gift for all of us," he says. "I don't know what it's going to be, but if they're reading this article, I'm expecting something pretty amazing. I wouldn't be surprised if we got a free car each. There must be a couple of extra Mazdas left over from Campbell Live."

7 Days Red Nose Special TV 3
Friday, 22 August. 9.30pm

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