Self-love mission: Meet the woman who wants everyone to be comfortable in their own skins

Sonya Renee Taylor believes if you get that right, everything else will fall into place. Source: Seven Sharp

Watch: Robbie Williams picks wildcard to succeed Bill English as National Party leader

Global pop superstar Robbie Williams has turned political pundit, giving his opinion on who should be the next leader of the National Party after Bill English resigned today.

The Rock DJ singer was talking at a press conference in Auckland ahead of his show at the city's Spark Arena tomorrow night, when a reporter pulled out pictures of potential replacements for English and asked Williams to pick his favourite.

First up was National MP Mark Mitchell, who the star took an immediate shine to.

"He seems friendly and trustworthy I would trust him," Williams said nodding his approval.

Next up was Simon Bridges: "There's a bit of closet stuff going on there I think, am I right?" Williams analysed, drawing laughs from the crowd.

Amy Adams also met with the British singer's approval for her no nonsense look.

"She looks like she would get the job done and would take no prisoners," he said.

Paula Bennett didn't fare so well with Williams commenting the reporter hadn't brought the best picture of her, Nikki Kaye was also given the thumbs down for "looking like a few of my exes".

In the end Williams chose Mark Mitchell as the man to replace English, only time will tell if he is correct in his choice.

Williams is playing two shows while in New Zealand for his Heavy Entertainment Show tour including Auckland's Spark Arena on Wednesday February 14 and Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday February 17.

But one of the candidates got the thumbs down for looking too much like some of the singer’s exes. Source: 1 NEWS


Sam Smith: 'I feel quite lonely as a gay man in music sometimes'

British singer Sam Smith will return for a show in Auckland later this year a little wiser when it comes to his craft and a lot wiser when it comes to some of the more personal challenges he's faced.

Smith has just been Down Under promoting his upcoming tour, and told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp: "It's been really scary actually. I feel quite lonely as a gay man in music sometimes."

Smith has been open about his sexuality from the get go, but that's been accompanied by some tough lessons, most notably after his speech while accepting his 2016 Oscar for best original song.

"I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellan and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar," Smith said at the Oscars ceremony.

The statement wasn't accurate and inevitably the backlash was swift.

"If I say the wrong thing like I did in the Oscars it can really damage the community and what they've worked for. So I learnt the hard way I think," he told Australia Correspondent Kimberlee Downs.

Smith is more comfortable with the mantle of gay icon now, drawing inspiration from one of his personal heroes, the late singer-songwriter George Michael.

"George Michael has been part of my life since I was born. My parents and all my family were obsessed with him. I went to see him open Wembley Stadium when i was 15. I remember that was when i decided that I wanted to do what I do."

He said: "I'm back and hopefully imprinting myself on people's minds and hearts. That's my dream."

Smith's second album has drawn widespread acclaim since its release late last year and hit top spot in the New Zealand charts, a solid follow-up to his debut album In The Lonely Hour. 

That one stayed in the  New Zealand Top 40 chart for nearly three years, and the love affair is mutual.

"The happiest memories of my life I think have been in New Zealand. Going to Hobbiton was a gamechanger. It changed my life," the singer said.

TVNZ's Australia Correspondent Kimberlee Downs spoke with Smith. Source: Seven Sharp