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Paul Henry became 'white elephant' - co-host

Published: 7:50PM Friday February 08, 2013 Source: ONE News

Paul Henry's former co-host has laid the blame for the failings of his Australian Breakfast show squarely at the feet of the former TVNZ Breakfast presenter.

Australia's Channel Ten announced in November it had cut its Breakfast programme following months of declining ratings.

Australian audiences failed to warm to Breakfast, averaging around 40,000 viewers nationally per day compared to the 300,000-plus who tune into rival shows Today on Channel Nine and Sunrise on Channel Seven.

Dr Andrew Rochford, former Breakfast co-host, said there a lot of people with theories about what went wrong with the show.

"My personal theory is somebody who was publicised for pointing out the white elephant in the room became the white elephant in the room," Rochford told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rochford said he and co-host Kathryn Robinson, had tried to work with Henry, before he quit five months before the show was cancelled.

"Look, he was himself. And everybody else tried to be themselves and make a show that added something to the morning," he told the paper.

"I was thoroughly disappointed that it didn't go the way I'd hoped or thought would potentially be the best direction for that show. But when I saw how things were playing themselves out, I was a big boy and decided (to leave)."

Rochford said he would love to do another breakfast show if given the chance.

For now, though, he is taking on a new guest role on Ten's Friday night lifestyle show The Living Room as a presenter.

Henry told Woman's Weekly in November that the show wasn't a failure, instead it simply lost the support it so badly needed from its own company.

"I took the job on the basis that the network knew it wouldn't be easy changing peoples TV habits is always difficult, especially at breakfast time and while I never expected the show to jump to number one instantly, I was led to believe Network Ten understood this was a long-term commitment, and they'd give it the opportunity to succeed.

"Instead, some of the management pulled the corporate rug out from under our feet," he said.

He said he "was so surprised people called us a failure after only a few weeks".

"A new programme of any type will never be able to immediately rival an established one anyone in the business should know that."