Kerri-Anne’s alright by me
Last week, Kerri-Anne Kennerley (or, as she is also not-quite-affectionately known, KAK) was axed from her TV hosting job. Poor old KAK. For years, it’s been cool to make fun of this diamante-encrusted dinosaur of daytime TV. Always mocked in good humour, but mocked nonetheless. But not only is KAK too easy a target, she’s actually one of the few remaining women in her industry who wasn’t cast from a mould.
Sure, KAK’s wardrobe choices are a little tacky and her singing voice sounds like the illegitimate love child of Shirley Bassey and Grover from Sesame Street. But how often do you hear people point out KAK’s good qualities? She’s unpretentious and knows how to laugh at herself. On the surface she’s all glitz and glam, but when the job calls for it she doesn’t think twice about donning an unflattering velcro suit for the purpose of being ungracefully catapulted into a sticky wall. She also has a normal, healthy figure for a woman of her age and ain’t hung-up about unsheathing the bingo wings on national television.
Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t advise that you go out of your way to watch any of KAK’s television pursuits. (It’s called “light” entertainment for a good reason.) But in commercial TV land, the Kingdom of King Karl Stefanovic, women like KAK are sort of an endangered species. Or as of last week, possibly now extinct.
My dismay upon hearing the news of the KAK-sack can only be fully appreciated in the context of today’s media and entertainment scene. These days, we can’t visit the websites of what were formerly Australia’s most credible newspapers without being forced to wade through worthless junk stories about the latest piece of forgettable young fluff that now passes for a TV star. Wow, Ricki-Lee Coulter has lost some weight and now she’s an ‘it’ girl. If I was any less roused by Ricki-Lee Coulter, I wouldn’t have a pulse.
KAK might not have been to everyone’s liking, but she did show something that today’s stars often aren’t permitted to let slip: a personality. There’s also something to be said for a woman who fearlessly wears whatever the hell she feels like on national TV (no mean feat in today’s entertainment industry).
KAK’s replacement is rumoured to be the gorgeous, young, thin, charming and totally uninteresting Sonia Kruger. I have no beef with Sonia. I’m sure she was an A+ student in her How To Exchange Delightful But Safe Banter With Your Co-Host 101 class at TV presenter school. She will probably rate the pants off KAK. And let’s be honest: if KAK is the best female presenter we can come up with, we’re doomed. But, deep down, a small part of me is sad that we’re unlikely to ever see another TV presenter who genuinely doesn’t care that her muffin top is showing on national TV.
So ladies and gentlemen, please raise your bejewelled wine goblets from Copperart and join me in farewelling Kerri-Anne Kennerley. Or depending on how you look at it, welcoming Australian commercial TV’s final slide into uniform blandness.