Paul Henry says he feels “humbled”, after a series of charity events raised thousands of dollars for the struggling broadcaster.
News that the Ten Network in Australia was considering axing his low-rating Breakfast show, has led to messages of sympathy and support for Mr Henry from all around the world.
Although Henry’s job is safe for now, industry insiders say his breakfast TV career across the ditch is ultimately doomed.
The show’s ratings are an unmitigated disaster, and rumours of tensions between Henry and his co-hosts refuse to go away.
Friends of Mr Henry are concerned that although his salary package is vastly larger than the average broadcaster’s wage, the cancellation of his Breakfast show would force him to scale back on plans to acquire further inner city villas, expensive cars, and fine wine.
Both ASB Bank and ANZ came to the party as soon as Henry’s troubles were made public. ANZ has opened a bank account for donations, and ASB has established the Paul Henry Trust to help Henry’s family pay their private school fees and other day-to-day bills.
Henry’s plight has touched many hearts around the world, with many moved by his efforts to raise awareness of issues of race and tolerance.
Indian community group leaders were quick to seek donations from their members when they heard of his difficulties, and in India where the broadcaster is a household name there were street collections for him. One collection among the beggars of Kolkata raised several thousand rupees.
Paul Henry took time out of his busy day today to tell reporters how flattered he was to be the subject of so much generosity.
“I can honestly say I feel completely humbled,” said Mr Henry. “It doesn’t happen all that often.”
Many prominent community leaders have spoken up in support of the broadcaster.
“Henry has given so much to both New Zealand and Australia,” said Paul Henry Trust chairwoman, Stephanie Mills.
“His contribution to the national discourse on issues of tolerance, understanding and enlightenment has been immense, and we wish him well. Who could possibly derive any sort of pleasure at the destruction of such a prominent broadcasting career?”