Banter host Tim Batt looks to inspire Millennials in the lead up to the election

Comedian Tim Batt hosts the new TVNZ Duke show Banter.

Comedian Tim Batt hosts the new TVNZ Duke show Banter.

Comedian Tim Batt is serious about his new job as host of the local panel series Banter.

The show – which goes out live – will bring comedians, experts, politicians and media commentators together to discuss the news of the moment and trending topics that matter to young Kiwis.

"I think there are a couple of elements that will make it a lot more interesting than other shows that are on," Batt says, adding the show is particularly aimed at Millennials, those people born between the early 80s and late 90s.

Tim Batt says filming a live TV show is an 'exciting proposition'.

Tim Batt says filming a live TV show is an 'exciting proposition'.

"One is that it is live, so if I or any of the panellists say something stupid you are going to see it. We can't edit that out, which I think is a kind of exciting proposition.

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"The other thing is I don't exactly have a reputation that I've got to defend – that sort of authoritarian of news where I've got to be very strait-laced.

"I'll probably be able to press them a little harder on some things, introduce a bit more comedy, really give them a good poke and not have to worry as much about the consequences as a Jack Tame or Hilary Barry would have to."

Batt is an award-winning comedian, TV writer and co-host of the international hit podcast The Worst Idea Of All Time. In the podcast, Batt and fellow comedian Guy Montgomery team up to watch the same movie once a week for a year – most recently Sex And The City 2.

Since its launch in February 2014, The Worst Idea Of All Time has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times by fans around the world.

"The podcast is very stupid and almost the point of it is that it doesn't have a point," Batt says.

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"Banter is going to have a point and that's entertaining people while giving them some info about what's happening and providing a place where some ideas can get thrown around by people who are good at representing them and talking them through so we can understand some of the issues going on and do it in a way where it is a bit fun."

Batt will be heavily involved in choosing the topics for Banter and says he is rapt that viewers will be able to use social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to put their own questions to the panel.

He has a strong interest in politics and believes Banter has a role to play in getting younger voters interested in this year's general election.

"People are out there working and I think, for all the people in Auckland who are my age and working 70-hour weeks to try to scrape up enough to get a deposit for a house, there's just not a lot of time to dedicate to other stuff which is why I think the media is so important.

"It's their (the panellists') job to grab all that information, put it through the filter and throw it out in a digestible way for people.

"I don't bemoan anyone who is not into politics or following current events really closely because a lot of the time we're just exhausted and quite time poor, I reckon."

Banter, TVNZ Duke, starts Tuesday June 20.

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 - TV Guide

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