Best friends for almost two decades, the TV and radio stars have been there for each other through thick and thin
Apr 07, 2022 8:00am
On reflection, radiostar Clint Roberts isn’t sure what sort of look he was going for when he rocked up to his first day at broadcasting school back in 2005. Fresh out of Rotorua and keen to impress on the Canterbury campus, he opted for a hairstyle that “hung like greasy curtains”, a uniform of Metallica T-shirts and jeans, and the pièce de résistance – an eyebrow piercing.
“It was pretty bad,” he grimaces, before bursting into laughter with his best mate, Breakfast host Matty McLean, who’s joined him for our Woman’s Day photoshoot.
The pair first met on the course as fresh-faced 18-year-olds and have been buddies ever since, both happily admitting they’ve learned a lot in the intervening years.
“I guess you could say Matty and I were finding out who we were,” grins Clint. “Matty was straight and I was a bogan!”
Laughing, Matty, who’s engaged to his longtime partner Ryan Teece, agrees, “I don’t think I was fooling anyone – not even my girlfriend!”
The famous friends, both 35, are joining us today to talk not only about their “broadcast bromance” but also their latest projects. Until now, ZM host Clint has worked largely in radio, while Matty has become a household name thanks to his TVNZ 1 morning show.
But the pals have recently enjoyed a month together on radio, with Matty filling in for Bree Tomasel on Clint’s afternoon show Bree And Clint, while the dad-of-two is excited to be hosting brand-new talent show 60 Seconds on TVNZ 2.
It’s Clint’s first time presenting solo on primetime television and other than a few last-minute nerves, he’s been loving every minute at the helm of the quick-fire talent show. “It feels big and exciting, and it’s such a cool project.”
Matty says it’s wonderful to see his friend doing so well, adding that Clint is such a natural, he didn’t even consider dishing out advice.
“I knew he’d kill it and he has!”
The pair can’t remember the exact first time they laid eyes on each other, but they love reminiscing about their early years of friendship – wild nights out, drunken bus trips and hilarious antics all made for an unforgettable leaving-home experience.
But Matty quickly points out the radio and journalism classes were “very different beasts”. While he was busy learning the art of news reporting, Clint and the other radio students “just got to be the class clowns”.
“It’s true,” laughs Clint. “Matty and the journalism guys would be off doing serious stuff like shorthand lessons, while we just played fan hacky, where you’d kick a hacky sack onto the ceiling fan and see where it would go next. No wonder the other students looked down on us!”
Somehow, though, their friendship blossomed and by the time they were both living in Auckland in 2013, they were as thick as thieves. And when Clint met his now-wife Lucy Slight – with whom he has daughters Tui, two, and Maggie, one – she formed an instant bond with Matty thanks to a shared love of Harry Potter.
“They have an exclusive Harry Potter appreciation club and I’ve never been invited to join,” says Clint, adding that when it came to their wedding, they didn’t think twice about asking Matty to be the celebrant.
“It was so special for us to have someone we love up there with us,” says Clint. “And it was exciting for my dad, who was like, ‘Hey, look, it’s that guy off the TV!'”
Matty first became a celebrant in 2014 and has since married many of his close friends. He loves being part of such romantic occasions, but now it’s his turn to plan a wedding after real estate agent Ryan went down on one knee in February.
“Ryan had never been here nor there about getting married until he decided he did actually want to get married and now he’s in deep!” admits an excited Matty. “Two days after we got engaged, he sent me an Excel spreadsheet for the planning. That’s what I need, though, because I’m so disorganised.”
And Clint has been there every step of the way to offer help. He says, “My biggest advice for a wedding is to just go for it. It’s the best party you’ll ever throw, so go for gold – you’re never going to regret it.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to ensuring a happy marriage, Clint’s top tip is simple: Don’t sweat the small stuff. “It’s not very inspirational, but it’s super-important not to get fixated on stuff that doesn’t matter – think about the bigger picture.”
Laughing, Matty says, “Who would’ve thought the guy with the eyebrow piercing would be handing out marriage advice?! Honestly, though, he’s such a great friend. I do feel super-lucky to have him in my life.”