Singer Anika Moa is fast becoming the breakout star of the rebooted Seven Sharp. So far this year she has interviewed two mega stars for the show. And next Wednesday she launches a new TVNZ OnDemand talk show and we can also reveal she will be the fill-in host for Seven Sharp later in the year.
Her Celine Dion and Ed Sheeran interviews have been slam dunks with the stars, who are genuinely taken with her laid-back nature and have been impressed when they realise she is a fellow musician — a talented one at that.
“I shit my pants when I have to interview really, really, famous people. My wife, [Seven Sharp producer Natasha Utting-Moa] writes most of my questions and I try not to vomit all over the famous person I’m interviewing. It is a dream to meet these people because I grew up listening to Celine and I’m not afraid to say it! Near, far, wherever you are . . . so catchy and romantic!” Moa tells Spy.
She developed her interviewing skills at nzherald.co.nz with a string of very funny interviews, her best being with former Bachelor Art Green. She then went on to her own show, All Talk with Anika Moa, on Maori Television. All this while the 37-year-old manages a successful music career and motherhood.
Her TVNZ OnDemand show Anika Moa Unleashed starts from midday next Wednesday and is described as a home invasion, total submersion show that only someone as brazen as Moa can pull off. Aiming for true insights she’ll bring out the best (and worst) of A-listers with unfiltered interviews, games and songs.
“I interview some of my favourite New Zealanders in their own homes or somewhere that inspires them and then I break them down emotionally until they are a shell of their former selves. It’s lovely and my guests are hilarious and wonderful.
“I rock in, ask stupid questions, try and peer into their love lives then leave with their food and hopefully alcohol too. I also sing/dance with my guests. A bit like Graham Norton meets Kath and Kim.”
Over the past few months, Moa has interviewed a string of big names including actors Martin Henderson and Sam Neill, MP Paula Bennett, activist Tame Iti and this week — in a baby onesie no less — NZ’s first man of fishing Clarke Gayford.
She gave Gayford parenting tips, thought Henderson was the nicest person she had ever met and, after cooking for Bennett and her family, noted that her political views definitely had not changed
“Tame Iti was a beautiful soul and he couldn’t hear me properly, so I had to yell my questions at him. My other favourite person has been Sam Neill — he was a right old hoot. I met his pigs and his duck called Charlie.
“I would be lost without the hard work our production team does to get these episodes up and running. I take my work very seriously even though my answers may be silly,” she says.
Moa was shy about her new fill-in role on Seven Sharp, but we can confirm that will be happening a little later in the year and what television gold it will be seeing her co-host with Hilary Barry.