Friday, 9 July 2010
Kerri-Anne Kennerley, known by her initals as KAK, has rarely been out of the public eye since her first television appearance in 1967 at the age of 13 on the children's shows The Channel Niners and Everybody's In on Brisbane's QTQ 9. Her audience stayed with her when she crossed to The Saturday Show on Network Ten, and when she tackled the New York cabaret circuit as a 19 year old singer.
Upon her return to Australia in 1981 after a five year stint in the US, Kennerley met her future husband. In that year she landed her first adult role on Australian TV, as the dowdy Melinda Burgess in TV series The Restless Years, a teen-oriented soap opera. She hosted the daytime TV program Good Morning Australia a role she held for 11 years. During the 1980s Kennerley also performed as a singer, and released a self-titled album (Kerri-Anne) as well as a Christmas album in 1985. Her cabaret singing style was parodied by singer and comedian Gina Riley on the TV comedy show Fast Forward. She also appeared on the television show and later record album Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge with a rendition of the AC/DC song Dirty Deeds.
From 1996 until 1998, she was the compere of the daytime-variety TV show Midday. Her hosting duties on the show earnt her three Gold Logie nominations. Once Midday finished in late 1998, she joined the What's Cooking program in 1999. This role, however, (and the program itself) only lasted a few months. Both 'Midday' and 'Whats Cooking' aired on the Nine Network.
In 2001, she shifted to Channel Ten to host Greed. It was a flop and lasted a handful of episodes.
In 2003 Kennerley returned to the Nine Network where she has hosted Kerri-Anne (formally titled 'Mornings with Kerri-Anne') ever since. She has garnered considerable media attention from the program's dance instruction segments featuring prominent Australian politicians – Peter Costello and the macarena, Cheryl Kernot and the Cha-cha-cha and Kevin Rudd and the rumba. Her more memorable interviewees included the normally reticent Priscilla Presley who discussed her ex-husband Elvis and daughter Lisa Marie. American TV actor John Stamos who appeared on her show in June 2007 was arguably her most challenging interview. Two years later Stamos conceded he was drunk, which confirmed media speculation raised at the time. Kennerley also persuaded Russell Crowe to hurl himself against a wall on her show.
By one account Kennerley's annual salary for 2009 was A$500,000, and she was allegedly offered a reduced amount when her contract came up for renegotiation in October, 2009. She is one of several of Nine Network's stable of stars whose contracts are being cut in an attempt to rein in operating costs at the network.