Holmes reveals his fears

Last updated 08:36 28/01/2013
Paul Holmes
NEW KNIGHT: Sir Paul Holmes

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For the terminally ill Sir Paul Holmes, the scariest thing is "going to bed and closing your eyes and not knowing if you're going to wake up again".

In an emotional interview with TVNZ's Sunday programme last night, the veteran broadcaster revealed his innermost fears and reflections as his life draws to a close.

He admitted death was a scary prospect, but said he had made peace with all he needed to.

"I'm a bit frightened, but I plan to increase my peace with God," he said in the interview aired last night.

"I'm worried about what's over the hill. I don't know what there is."

Holmes has suffered a public battle with a heart disease and his prostate cancer has returned.

He announced his retirement in November, and this month was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at a special ceremony at his home.

In the interview, which was carried out after the investiture ceremony, but before his most-recent stay in hospital last week, Holmes told Sunday he had regrets over how he treated some people, but not how he treated others.

Talking about his former wife, Dr Hinemoa Elder, Holmes said he "hurt a very brilliant, beautiful and loving woman".

Holmes had an affair and went through a public breakup with the child psychologist.

On his current wife though, Lady Deborah, Holmes said "a day doesn't go by which I don't think about how much I love Deborah".

He also paid tribute to his late mother Chrissie, and his step daughter Millie Elder. Holmes said he had been close with her since she began calling him "daddy" at the age of four.

In a more than 30-year-career, Holmes has covered some of New Zealand's biggest stories, and been at the centre of others.

He told Sunday his most memorable by far was Eve van Grafhorst, a girl with Aids.

"I love people," he said.

"I really worked hard and I did it well, I think. There were some slip-ups and there were some bloody stupid mistakes.

"I upset some bad people - which I don't mind - but I also upset some good people."

Holmes conceded that in the famous clip of American yachtsman Dennis Conner storming out of an interview, he had been pushing Conner in the hope he would walk out because he wanted a bit of "theatre" in the programme.

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