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Sir Paul Holmes' final curtain

A “who’s who” of New Zealand turned out for Sir Paul Holmes’ funeral in Auckland this afternoon.

More than 1000 people packed the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell at 1pm when the service got under way.

If the funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary in 2008 is anything to go by, the service could last several hours, with many wishing to give eulogies to the colourful and controversial broadcaster.

Already, some are dubbing him the greatest broadcaster in New Zealand’s history.

Whatever one’s view of that, he was certainly the pre-eminent broadcaster of his generation and was a trailblazer for television advocacy journalism.

Viewers loathed him or loved him, but whatever camp they were in they always watched him as he pushed the boundaries.

It was edgy stuff at times and the Holmes show, which ran for 16 years on TVNZ, often got into hot water.

To this writer, the person who best summed him up was television producer Chas Toogood, who knew him better than most.

“Holmes at his best was without peer, absolutely brilliant, but at his worst he was dreadful.”

Good or bad, Sir Paul, 62, was a workaholic who followed a punishing schedule and drove himself to an early death.

What now masquerades as a current affairs show in the 7pm time slot he occupied so successfully and for so long, Seven Sharp, will no doubt make him turn in his grave.

rvaughan@nbr.co.nz 

Photos by Caleb Allison

Clockwise: Ex-Labour Party president Mike Williams, Sir Paul's step-daughter Millie Elder, Sir Paul's son Reuban Holmes, Sir Paul's brother Ken Holmes.

Mark Sainsbury and Simon Dallow

Broadcaster Mike Hosking

Sir Peter Leitch, aka The Mad Butcher

Jason Gunn and Kate Hawkesby

Susan Wood

TV newsreader Bernadine Oliver-Kirby

Veteran broadcaster Bill Francis

Former head of TVNZ News Bill Ralston

Dancer Candy Lane

TV journalists Guyon Espiner (left) and Duncan Garner

Labour Party leader David Shearer

 

David Southcombe and Aja Rock

Epsom MP John Banks

Radio broadcaster Leighton Smith

Auckland mayor Len Brown

Former Close Up host Mark Sainsbury

Michael and Dame Rosie Horton

Minister of Conservation and Housing Nick Smith (right)

 TV producer Richard Harman

Ex-NZ Idol judge Paul Ellis (left) and long-time broadcaster Jason Gunn

Media couple Paula Penfold and Mike McRoberts

TV newsreader Peter Williams

Sports broadcaster Murray Deaker

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