Leah Panapa on childhood dreams, fave romcoms and guilty pleasures

Home » Culture » Film + TV » Leah Panapa on childhood dreams, fave romcoms and guilty pleasures

1 January 1970

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Magic Talk co-host gives her top music, album and movie picks in our rapid-fire Q&A.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My first memory was to be a professional horsewoman (I was pony crazy!) and ride at the Olympics, etc. Then for a brief moment I wanted to be a dancer on the TV show Solid Gold. And then radio broadcaster from about 13 years old, after visiting a radio station… Oh, and also Oprah Winfrey. I wanted to do what she did – still do.

What was the big album of your youth?

Purple Rain by Prince

Who are your favourite writers?

I’m a horror freak so I love Stephen King, but also Bryce Courtenay, James Patterson, Martina Cole, John Grisham.

What song can you listen to on repeat and never get sick of?

“Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits.

Ever cried watching a movie? If so, what was the movie?

I always cry at movies! Everything from Marley & Me, The Notebook, Peter Jackson’s version of King Kong to animations like Coco and Up – I’m a big softy.

What’s your favourite romcom?

Bridesmaids, The Sweetest Thing, Love Actually… I couldn’t pick one!

Who’s your favourite actor?

I really enjoy anything with Jessica Chastain in it. And Tom Hardy.

What song is guaranteed to get you on the dance floor?

Funky songs – Earth, Wind and Fire, for example. Stuff that has that disco/groove sound. Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” or “Kiss”. But I also like a good rock song so I can rip out my air guitar, like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard.

Favourite board game?


What’s your secret TV obsession/guilty pleasure?

I have many. I love house renovation/house buying shows like Love it or List it (the UK and Australian versions), and Escape to the Chateau. I’m currently binge-watching Sex and the City.

Subscribe & WIN!

Subscribe to WOMAN+ for only $19.99 for the year and you’ll have a chance to WIN 2 Nights for 2 at JetPark Rotorua +
an Evening in the Polynesian Spa.

*You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.