Aussie Idol star walks back to home ground

GRANT BRYANT
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2014
Stan Walker and Ginny Blackmore
GRANT BRYANT/FAIRFAX NZ

SURROUND SOUND: Stan Walker and Ginny Blackmore belt out "Holding You" as part of the live broadcast of popular Australian breakfast show "Sunrise".

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Sun's up for Queenstown across ditch

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Trans-Tasman singing sensation Stan Walker says he's happy to use Queenstown as bait to lure more Aussies across the ditch.

Walker duetted with rising star Ginny Blackmore, singing their song Holding You as part of a live broadcast by Australia's Sunrise breakfast show yesterday morning. Sunrise is now in its 11th year as Australia's most popular breakfast show, with an average weekly reach of 3 million viewers.

Walker, who lives in Australia, won Australian Idol in 2009 and shot to subsequent stardom. Born and raised in Tauranga, he still has strong New Zealand roots.

In an interview dotted with plenty of Kiwi colloquialisms, he said he was happy to act as a conduit across both sides of the Tasman Sea.

"I'm excited as to be here because Queenstown is one of my favourite places in the world, if not the favourite. So appearing on Sunrise - an Aussie show - here is really cool because it links both countries together, and I hope really strengthens the bond.

"We get heaps of Kiwis going across the ditch to live and for holidays, but not so many Aussies coming the other way, so if heaps of Aussies see us singing here, in the amazing place that is Queenstown, and decide to come over for a look, then I'm definitely down for it."

Walker has other Southern connections, and said he always included Invercargill on nationwide tours.

"We shot the video for Music Won't Break Your Heart mostly in Invercargill, with a few scenes in Queenstown. That was the second time I'd been to Invercargill and the first visit to Queenstown. The whole shoot was a choice-as experience. We had a whole lot of extras - dancers and skaters - and after we finished shooting they all gave a mass haka and invited me back for a feed."

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- The Southland Times

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