Sir Paul 'scared' of death, but at peace

Sir Paul Holmes poses with wife Lady Deborah after receiving his knighthood earlier this month.
Sir Paul Holmes poses with wife Lady Deborah after receiving his knighthood earlier this month.
Sir Paul Holmes admits he is scared of death, but is at peace with himself - and his former wife, with whom he had a very public and messy divorce.

In an interview with the Sunday programme last night, the 62-year-old reflected on his life and a career that has spanned three decades.

Asked whether he was scared, he did not hesitate to answer.

''Yeah. The scariest thing is going to bed and closing your eyes and not knowing if you're going to wake up again. That's my scary thing.

''I'm a bit frightened, but I plan to increase my peace with God.

''I'm worried about what's over the hill. I don't know what there is.''

Sir Paul, who has prostate cancer, said his urologist had indicated him there was little more they could do for him.

Speaking about his former wife, Hinemoa Elder - mother of their daughter Millie and son Reuben - Holmes said he had ''hurt a very brilliant, beautiful and loving woman''. The pair's marriage ended after Holmes had an affair.

But he revealed in the interview that she had visited him recently and they had made peace.

''We haven't had the best of relationships for the last 10 years or so. She said she would like to visit and pay her respects to the old bugger.''

They spoke for about 15 minutes ''and peace was made. She's happy''.

Sir Paul also paid tribute to his wife, Deborah Lady Holmes, for her love and support and his late mother, Chrissie, who he said was the most influential woman in his life.

There was also a special mention of his daughter, Millie.

Although she is not his biological daughter, the pair were very close and he regarded her as his own.

''Years ago, one day, she turned around and called me daddy. She was about 4 or 5. I thought: `Wow, that's nice'.''

He admitted he had spent too much time in his work and could have been at home more with his family.

Asked about the most memorable story he had worked on, he could not go past that of Aids sufferer Eve van Grafhorst, the little girl who touched the hearts of New Zealanders.

Sir Paul said he wanted to show people that being around someone with Aids did not mean they would get sick.

''I upset some bad people which I don't mind but I also upset some good people.''

Clips of the infamous Dennis Conner interview were shown and Sir Paul admitted he had been trying to get him to walk out all along.

''I wanted some theatre ... I wanted him to walk out.''

Sir Paul announced his retirement last November.

He was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at a special ceremony at his home in Hawke's Bay this month. The ceremony was brought forward at the request of his wife and their family.

The interview took place in the days after the ceremony and before the veteran broadcaster was re-admitted to hospital, where he remained for a few days before being discharged late last week.

In a statement, Lady Holmes and Sir Paul's brother, Ken, said the broadcaster was being nursed at home and that family members were gathering to be with him.

By Vaimoana Tapaleao. 

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