Story by Molly Gay; Photography by Alice Mahran
50 plus years in the industry, 13 shows, one hall of fame award - Kerri-Anne Kennerley (tenderly known as KAK) is a truly seasoned professional and iconic personality. As most stories go, Kerri-Anne’s wildly successful career did not come easily. A persistent attitude and fervent search for unusual television moments landed her in front of Channel 9 lenses as a young teenager, and followed her throughout an exciting, jet-setting career. Not only did she carve an impressive path in the male-centric TV industry , she led the way for other strong women to follow in her footsteps.
We were delighted to take a peek inside Kerri-Anne’s bright and wonderful wardrobe, and awed by the (hilariously honest) stories that she had to share about her years as one of the most respected entertainment hosts in Australia.
“My first TV appearance was on an afternoon kids show called Everybody In. At the age of twelve, I would call Channel 9 constantly for an opportunity to appear on the show, and my persistence paid off!
They eventually relented and let me bring along with a group of friends who performed to the song My Boomerang Won’t Come Back (a performance I directed and produced!). Following the concert, I was invited to stay on to co-host the afternoon show, and I was thrilled. From there, I then spent my teenage years on afternoon television. I guess I was just forward… although some may say pushy! Fast forward to 1981, and I was asked to co-host Good Morning Australia. I spent the next 30 years doing live TV five days a week on various programmes, including Midday with Kerri-Anne and Mornings with Kerri-Anne.
Actress Betty Davis once said ‘ageing isn’t for the faint hearted’. The ageing process is not fun but better than the alternative!
I try to be the best I can be, as mentally and physically fit as possible. If you don’t move you, lose it. It is harder the older you get but making the effort with exercise and health is definitely worth it. I like to work out with weights regularly, and gym classes can be useful to motivate and gives me a routine. Variety is always important, but walking walking and walking is still the cheapest and easiest form of exercise! I have always been interested in supplements and I have found that they have had fantastic, positive effects on my body. I work with Healthy Care Vitamins, and take supplements of collagen, vitamin B, E and turmeric as sometimes it can be hard to get the required amount just through diet
Be as happy as you can and that will reflect in your appearance. Misery is ugly.
My approach to beauty is coloured by a wonderful phrase, ‘health is beauty and the most perfect health is the most perfect beauty’ It’s important to me to eat as well as I can and to drink lots of water to let my skin glow, and to feel good. I think that beauty comes from the inside, out – so If you want to take years of your face just, my best advice is to simply smile. I’m a big believer in the importance of exfoliation – regularly removing the dead skin on your face and body keeps your skin healthy and gives you a subtle glow. When I have time, I like to book in for light skin peels also give my skin a buffed appearance. It’s also important to recognise that as your skin ages, it needs different treatments products, my routine is certainly not the same as when I was 20! Hydration is of course key to plump skin, so I love to use a great moisturiser during the day (like this Avène) and at night (like this Dior or Bobbi Brown option). And most importantly, I wear sunscreen every day and always use one that is at least 30+.
Like all young girls, my friends and I loved to play with makeup and because of my TV connections we had extra advantage and products. In those days we thought more was better!
When I started working at Channel 9 my mind was blown by their fantastic makeup department! There were always such glamorous women who walked around the studio who I tried to emulate. Now, I’m all about a primer on a night out. I like to use a face primer (like this one from Fenty or this one from Laura Mercier) under my foundation as it gives my face a nice glow, which I feel dresses up my makeup. I also like to use a primer under my mascara which thickens my lashes for a dramatic eye. In terms of outfit, I think a sheer Razzamatazz stocking can add that extra bit of class to an outfit (as well as smoothing out any lumps and bumps!), and give you that extra oomph for a night on the town!
I have always had a fascination with live television. It is edgy and can be unpredictable so you have to stay sharp and listen carefully.
I have interviewed every Prime Minister, treasurer and star over the years I was working and also had the opportunity to do fantastic stunts including abseiling from choppers, driving leopard tanks, fast cars, hovercrafts, singing with Cliff Richard to Albert Hal, playing with dolphins, diving with sharks, being in the ring with lions, being human bowling ball… the list goes on!
My television style was deliberately flamboyant, when appropriate! I loved colour, legs and stilettos – before Sex in the City made them popular!
My male co-host and I on Good Morning Australia used to joke that I was the ‘legs in the two shot’, and I would always wear beautiful Razzamatazz stockings which flattered my legs, which I still do today. Legs with a sheer stocking and sheen are very flattering. My favourite designers have changed over the years but Carla Zampatti has always, and still does, create elegant garments that are beautifully cut.”