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Mark Sainsbury to host Close Up

TVNZ Media Release

20 December, 2006

Close Up Host Announcement

Mark Sainsbury has been appointed as the new host for Close Up.

Mark was support host for the top rating Current Affairs programme with Susan Wood until her resignation on December 4th. Paul Henry will be the new support host for Close Up.

TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Bill Ralston, says he is delighted to have a journalist of Mark's ability and experience at the helm of Close Up.

"Mark is a consummate broadcaster with an outstanding News and Current Affairs pedigree. As Susan's co-presenter, Mark has been an important part of the Close Up success story this year. It is fantastic to have him on board for 2007."

Mark Sainsbury says he is excited by the opportunity to front Close Up fulltime.

"It's one of the great jobs in Current Affairs. Close Up is a terrific show put together by a wonderful team. I enjoy working on the show immensely and I'm very much looking forward to putting my own stamp on it."

Mark began as a reporter with TVNZ in 1981, working on a Current Affairs programme also called Close Up. He has been a network and feature reporter in Dunedin and Wellington as well as taking on national rounds such as industrial relations. He was part of the original line-up for Holmes, and has worked on Assignment. Mark was TVNZ's European correspondent for three years, and TVNZ's political editor between 1999 and 2006. This year he also hosted the weekly show About Now. As well as his senior reporting and presenting duties, Mark has made documentaries on Sir Edmund Hillary and his visits to Nepal.

Mark was named Best News and Current Affairs presenter at the 2005 Qantas TV Awards for his work on Close Up.

Close Up has had a stellar year, finishing up as the most watched Current Affairs programme in New Zealand. Close Up is well ahead of TV3 in the ratings for both the TV ONE target demographic of 25-54 year-olds and the TV3 target of 18-49 year-olds.

Close Up's final programme for 2006 on Friday, December 22nd will be a one-hour special presented by Mark Sainsbury that looks back over the year's memorable moments; a comprehensive wrap-up of the year that was in politics, sport, entertainment and the issues that touched the lives of New Zealanders.

Close Up returns on Monday, January 22nd, 2007, 7pm on TV ONE.

ENDS

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