This article was first published in April 2020.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield's place as a national treasure, healthcare hero and modest heartthrob has been well and truly staked as he guides Kiwis through the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director General of Health has been a sight for sore eyes for many worried New Zealanders as he takes his podium for the daily briefings alongside the Prime Minister. So much so that legions of fans, some of whom identify as "bloomers", have taken to social media to profess their love.
Amongst the torrent of online adoration, The AM Show host Duncan Garner asked Bloomfield to name his favourite love song, seeing as he had so many being sent his way.
A blushing, stuttering Bloomfield confessed he had a soft spot for a particular Eric Clapton song, although it took him a minute to fight through his embarrassment to name the track.
"Ah, er... 'Wonderful Tonight' would be my favourite one I think. It means a lot to me from when I just started dating my now-wife. A long time ago!" he said.
Referring to Bloomfield's shyness, Garner replied: "It wasn't going to be that question that tripped you up, was it? After all the questions you've had over the weeks!"
Another Bloomfield response made international headlines recently when he lapsed into a stunned, slow-blinking silence in response to a journalist's question about Donald Trump's recent musings on injecting disinfectant into the human body to kill coronavirus.