Toni's pregnancy makes the news

SARAH FOY
Last updated 05:00 17/04/2012
Toni Street
ANDY JACKSON/FAIRFAX NZ
OUR TONI: Taranaki's favourite broadcaster, ex-New Plymouth girl Toni Street, talked to students and women in the city on Monday.

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Toni Street's baby news is hot property.

The Taranaki-bred broadcaster and her former rugby-playing husband Matt France are expecting their first child on October 3.

The news was inadvertently 'leaked' on air last week by Street's TVNZ colleague Rod Cheeseman while she was filling in for Breakfast host Petra Bagust.

Family and friends knew but not the rest of the country.

As soon as the news was broadcast national magazines New Idea and Women's Weekly were on the line requesting interviews. Later that day the New Zealand Herald phoned.

"It was quite overwhelming that morning," she said in New Plymouth yesterday to give a breakfast speech to the women's group Soroptimists.

"I had done a three-hour show. You're live from 6am to 9am you are tired so it's like 'whoa'."

She was stunned at the speed at which the news spread while acknowledging new babies and weddings are big news for women's magazines.

She and France, both 28, are happy to talk about the birth but have yet to decide whether to appear in either one of the magazines. There will be no payment, and whatever their decision TVNZ publicists will be supportive.

While Street is excited, the news is already impacting on her work.

She was to travel to the Olympics as the only woman in a prestigious five-strong broadcasting team.

It would have been the second time she'd reported from the global event, with the last time being Beijing in 2008.

"I will be seven months' pregnant and I had to make a decision whether to go or not. I decided it's not worth the risk."

The long flight and demanding working hours were the reasons, she said.

"It's a bit gutting because you get picked and then have to pull out. It's quite a huge honour [to go] so that's what made my decision to pull out even harder. Everyone wants to go to the Olympics."

But there's consolation in the fact she's likely to play a role back in New Zealand.

Street, a former New Plymouth Girls' High head girl, has made a name for herself since starting as a 22-year-old intern at TVNZ.

Passionate about sport, her first break came when she began as a netball commentator and then Commonwealth Games host in 2006.

Last year she was named co-host of the Saturday Breakfast show and is the regular weekday back up for Petra Bagust. She's been dubbed TV's sexiest woman, a title she finds a little embarrassing, and is renowned for her on screen enthusiasm.

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During yesterday's talk to an audience of more than 60 New Plymouth women Street talked of her career and her dream rise to the top.

The early morning event was a fundraiser for the after school programme run by the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary, with about $1800 raised.

She regularly returns to the region and will next be in town to judge the upcoming Bride of the Year show.

- Taranaki Daily News

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