Kōrero: Holmes, Paul Scott

Holmes on 2ZB

Paul Holmes’ breakthrough in broadcasting came when he was appointed Nine-to-Noon host on Wellington’s 2ZB radio station in 1985. This clip reel, compiled for the 1986 Radio Awards, highlights various aspects of Holmes’ show, including interviews with politicians John Banks and Roger Douglas, a sex worker and a man who used to beat his wife, an empathetic conversation with a bereaved woman, and a theatrical reading from a lurid romance novel.

First clip: John Banks interview

Paul Holmes 

Mr John Banks is on the line from way up north. Good morning to you.

John Banks 

Greetings, good morning.

Paul Holmes 

Why did you do it?

John Banks 

I did it because I wanted to launch a public campaign, as part of my effort in declaring war on recidivist violent offenders.

Paul Holmes 

Where did you get the information, Mr Banks?

John Banks 

I can’t confirm or deny where I got the information, but I can confirm that it arrived on my desk.

Paul Holmes 

Is it illegal? The way you got the information?

John Banks 

Oh, I’m not really interested. I’m more concerned about the defenceless elderly. I’m more concerned about young children being able to go about their lawful endeavours.

Second clip: interview with a sex worker

Paul Holmes 

Do you think that the so-called respectable community would be amazed at the kind and the number of people involved?

Sex worker 

They would be shocked at the kind of people involved, on both sides.

Paul Holmes 

You mean, not only the people practising prostitution, but the people who -

Sex worker 

Yes.

Paul Holmes 

Are you married?

Sex worker 

No.

Paul Holmes 

Do you nevertheless have a relationship with one man?

Sex worker 

No, I don’t have any outside relationships, no. No, I don’t need to miss it. I have a lot of fun at work. Also, being a single mother, I prefer to [do] what I’m doing in work rather than to bring strange mean home to my, I’ve got children at home.

Paul Holmes 

Do you miss that? How many children?

Sex worker 

Two young children.

Paul Holmes 

How old are they?

Sex worker 

Five and seven.

Paul Holmes 

Do they know yet where mummy goes when she goes to work?

Sex worker 

Oh, yes.

Paul Holmes 

So you prefer to be quite open with them?

Sex worker 

I’m open with my children. Yes.

Paul Holmes 

Does your family know what you do?

Sex worker 

I have no family.

Paul Holmes 

Do apparently normal men, you know, the kind of respectable men in the community, some of them, that come to you, do they sometimes surprise you with what they actually want from you?

Sex worker 

Oh, yes, it can be quite shocking how the very, the businessmen, that the last person you’d expect to want some of these way out things. It’s quite funny at times, you know, it just takes you back, and it makes the job more pleasurable knowing you know, well, ‘you really want that?’ Yes. And that comes down to pain.

Paul Holmes 

How was this pain inflicted?

Sex worker 

Oh most men wear a belt.

Third clip: ironing socks

Guest 

I just iron just about everything.

Paul Holmes 

I’m pleased to hear this. Does this ‘everything’ include socks?

Guest 

Oh, no, I don’t iron socks, I’ve never ironed socks. I must admit my mother-in-law used to iron socks, and I thought that was rather odd, but everyone to their own.

Paul Holmes 

Did you ever express the opinion to her, after perhaps a couple of drinks on Christmas Day, you know the kind of time, that it was a stupid idea?

Guest 

No, no, I actually I don’t think it’s stupid because I like to see things looking smooth, and I thought it was really good, but it never took on with me as it happens.

Paul Holmes 

That Jackie Onassis used to want the socks ironed, your mother-in-law wasn’t Jackie Onassis?

Guest 

No, she wasn’t.

Paul Holmes 

Did she sometimes think that she was? Be honest with me.

Guest 

No, no, she wasn’t the type to think she was Jackie Onassis.

Paul Holmes 

Fair enough. I thank you for your call.

Clip four: Roger Douglas interview

Roger Douglas 

This country’s had enough of that, and that’s why we’re suffering.

Paul Holmes 

I think what the caller probably was trying to get at, Mr Douglas, was that there is this suspicion, in New Zealand, that you’re on the side of big business, that you’ve got the wrong kinds of supporters. Now in your first Budget you said that 61% of the cost of that Budget had been borne by the business community. Nevertheless, there’s a feeling that you’re getting the wrong kind of supporter, for example the banks think what you’re doing is great, the finance houses, the major employers, Bob Jones, Ron Brierley, they’re over the moon, they’re applauding you, and yet little New Zealand, as Norman Kirk to call it, the small man in the street, the small woman, they’re hurting very much, and that’s the suspicion, and that’s the worry that they have about you.

Roger Douglas 

Well no, the policies are all aimed to get some growth back into New Zealand.

Clip five: comforting a bereaved caller

Paul Holmes 

How did you lose him?

Guest 

In a car accident. On the motorway. On Friday night. Bad one.

Paul Holmes 

You’ve got family, as well, to help you?

Guest 

Yes. I’m hanging in there.

Paul Holmes 

It’ll take a long time.

Guest 

Yeah.

Paul Holmes 

What’s your Christian name?

Guest 

Adele.

Paul Holmes 

Okay, Adele. Well I hope that [?] in Wellington are listening, and I’m sure that their help isn’t going to end, to you, just because it’s been a week, I’m sure it’ll go on for a long time. Any kiddies Adele?

Guest 

No. We didn’t have ...

Paul Holmes 

How long had you been married?

Guest 

17 months.

Paul Holmes 

How old are you?

Guest 

23. I know there’s not much to say.

Paul Holmes 

No, there’s nothing really anybody can say that’s going to help, is there.

Guest 

No. I just rang to thank everybody.

Paul Holmes 

Well, thank you for doing that, and hang in there.

Guest 

I am.

Paul Holmes 

Hang in there.

Guest 

I got me mum.

Paul Holmes 

Yeah.

Guest 

Well thank you very much, Paul.

Paul Holmes 

Bye-bye, Adele.

Guest 

Thank you, bye-bye.

Paul Holmes 

Any troubles you give us a call.

Guest 

Oh I’ll be all right.

Paul Holmes 

Okay.

Guest 

Thank you.

Paul Holmes 

Bye-bye.

Guest 

Bye-bye.

Clip six: heating a house

Paul Holmes 

Good morning.

Guest 

Oh good morning Paul.

Paul Holmes 

Hello.

Guest 

How are you?

Paul Holmes 

Good.

Guest 

Bit cold.

Paul Holmes 

Very. Not at my house, though.

Guest 

Not at your house?

Paul Holmes 

Cold in your house?

Guest 

Ah no, not at the moment, no.

Paul Holmes 

That’s, you’re wasting money. Have you got panel heaters?

Guest 

No.

Paul Holmes 

What have you got?

Guest 

Gas heating.

Paul Holmes 

Gas?

Guest 

Yes.

Paul Holmes 

Is that cheaper?

Guest 

Oh, yes.

Paul Holmes 

Is it?

Guest 

Yes.

Paul Holmes 

How dear are panel heaters?

Guest 

Oh, we’ve got a panel heater, too, in the hallway.

Paul Holmes 

I bet you don’t put it on very often.

Guest 

It switches itself off, it comes to a certain heat and switches itself off.

Paul Holmes 

Do you know I’m turning into a meanie with the heating?

Guest 

So am I.

Paul Holmes 

Oh, by golly, and you know, I used to hate that as a kid, you’d go somewhere and there’d be a mingy fire down one end of the room that never seem to catch alight really. And you’ve turned into that as well have you?

Guest 

Yes. But I’m just gonna do some packing now and a bit of dancing around the house’ll keep me warm.

Paul Holmes 

I think I’m becoming a bit like those, the old lords and the barons in the Middle Ages, and if they were holding a big dance for all the holy aristocracy, and God knows what coming from miles around, they’d get the poor people in first into the big banquet room, or the dancing room, whatever it was, and the poor people would come in, the place’d be freezing, and after the poor people had been there for a couple of hours, for the little scraps, you know, the place’d be warm, it’d stink a bit but it would be very warm, and then they’d be ushered out, and the rich ones could come into a warm place. And I find that I’m starting to rely on guests heating up the room themselves. Do you do that?

Guest 

Oh, that’s right.

Paul Holmes 

You do that too?

Guest 

If you get a handful of skinny people for dinner it doesn’t heat up as quick as you do if you had nice plump ones in, does it?

Paul Holmes 

Now this indicates to me that you really, seriously, have considered this!

Guest 

I have!

Paul Holmes 

You old tightwad.

Guest 

Now what I was actually ringing you for [was] the heat thing that was on yesterday …

Clip seven: domestic violence

Paul Holmes 

And how often were you beating your wife?

Guest 

I went through phases, I might, I might become physically violent three or four times a week, for say two or three weeks, and then I might go a couple of months without laying a finger on her.

Paul Holmes 

What made you violent?

Guest 

Not knowing how to control me temper really.

Paul Holmes 

Did you have, you know, the typical upbringing that one would associate with someone who gets violent and can’t control their temper? Did you have a bad upbringing, normal upbringing, what kind?

Guest 

Unfortunately, my father, like myself, had a very short temper, and he couldn’t control it, and usually resorted to violence directed towards me.

Paul Holmes 

And he would lay into you?

Guest 

Yes, he would.

Paul Holmes 

Often?

Guest 

Often enough for me to remember some of the beatings I had.

Paul Holmes 

I mean, were they beatings or just hidings?

Guest 

Oh they were beatings.

Paul Holmes 

Were they? Done in anger?

Guest 

Done in anger, invariably.

Paul Holmes 

What’d he use?

Guest 

He’d use a belt, slippers, his hands. He’d kick me.

Clip eight: Dick Griffin on ironing

Paul Holmes 

Dick Griffin, independent political analyst, is with us. Good morning to you.

Dick Griffin 

Good morning to you.

Paul Holmes 

Just before we get on to the serious business of the, an analysis of the politics of the nation, who does iron your shirt?

Dick Griffin 

Unfortunately I do, most of the time.

Paul Holmes 

May I say this, do you wear the mainly cotton shirts, 100%, or are you a gentleman who prefers that poly-cotton mix?

Dick Griffin 

100% cotton Paul. More difficult to iron but lasts longer.

Paul Holmes 

Do you sew your own buttons on? I’m asking that because I think you’ve got one missing. You’ve got one missing!

Dick Griffin 

I’ve just undone the collar to talk to you, Paul.

Paul Holmes 

Not the top one, the second one down.

Dick Griffin 

Good God no, I just haven’t done it up.

Paul Holmes 

You’re trying to show off that chest of yours, like that fellow [who] used to do the talkback programme.

Guest 

Hardly that Paul, no, not a chance. Why are we talking about buttons, white shirts? (laughs)

Paul Holmes 

We’ve had many women very concerned about the oppression they still feel they’re under and 

Dick Griffin 

I know how they feel. I hate ironing. I hate it, it’s got to be one of the most boring, stupid, fastidious and unrewarding jobs in the world.

Paul Holmes 

(laughing) I would have thought you’d quite like it? The American elections ...

Clip nine: reading from a romance novel

(read dramatically, against lush orchestral music) ‘I can’t tell you how beautiful you look to me at this moment Yvette!’ In a rush of feverish passion, without any more preliminaries, Yvette threw herself into his arms, and she quivered when she felt her lover’s lips grazing her, his hands loosening her silk robe. ‘Oh Charles! How I have missed you! I just had to see you again. You don’t know how, all I went through to get here, I ...’ But she could not say much more, for he had lifted her in his arms, and was covering his mouth with hers. He lifted her to her feet in and kissed her hard, almost cruelly, until his lips opened passionately and softened into a hint of tenderness. His kisses left her breathless, as they had always done. And she had inherited the total estate of Benito Gonzalez!

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Reference: 35211

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Image: New Zealand Herald

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Tim Shoebridge. 'Holmes, Paul Scott', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2022. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/6h15/holmes-paul-scott (accessed 29 November 2023)