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Sonia Kruger on motherhood, mistakes and the private Logies moment she’ll cherish forever

Worth more than gold.
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What does success mean to us? And what does it look like when we get it?

For Sonia Kruger, those questions have been in focus since she was crowned the Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 2023 TV WEEK Logie Awards in July.

Her Gold Logie moment was showered in praise; handshakes from famous faces and industry elite, all wanting to congregate in the shine of her success. At the time, it was “surreal” to be on top, Sonia says. The reality hadn’t sunk in, nor what it meant to reach such career heights.

But in the quiet of her home, away from the fanfare, one person helped Sonia realise that yes, that really did happen – and yes, it means a lot.

“My daughter Maggie came running up to me when we got home and gave me the biggest hug,” Sonia, 58, tells TV WEEK happily. “I think she realised it was quite a momentous thing for me. We all want our kids to be proud of us, so that was half the gift for me.”

The star won the TV WEEK Gold Logie this year.

(Image: Supplied)

The TV presenter, who is back on screen for Big Brother, is still in disbelief over her win.

“I grew up wondering what it’d be like to win a Gold Logie,” she says. “And ahead of the Logies, the other school mums and I would say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice for a woman to win and be able to set an example for young girls?’ So that moment felt particularly good because a lot of young girls are watching the Logies, just like I did. That means the most.”

In a few months’ time, Maggie will turn nine and Sonia often wonders what lies ahead.

“It [parenthood] changes at every stage,” she says. “Maggie is starting to discover what she really wants to do and is finding her passion. She and I can spend days hanging out now too. She makes me laugh. When she returns to school [after school holidays], I miss her.”

Sonia and her daughter, Maggie.

(Image: Supplied)

Sonia, who has experienced infertility and difficult miscarriages, fell pregnant with Maggie via an egg donor and welcomed her at the age of 49. Knowing the stigma surrounding IVF and older mothers, Sonia spoke openly about her struggle to have a child.

“I had no idea at the time that it would have an effect on so many women,” she recalls of going public. “It [the response] was non-judgemental and many women told me they found inspiration to keep going, which is beautiful. But on the flip side, I want people to understand that not having a child is not the worst thing that will happen in your life. You have to look at the positive aspects of it all and try to find the good.”

Sonia attended the 2023 Logies with Maggie’s dad and partner of 15 years, Channel Seven executive Craig McPherson, who expressed his pride a little differently to their daughter.

Spot-on mother-daughter style with eight-year-old Maggie.

(Image: Supplied)

“When my name was announced, he patted me on the head like a dog!” Sonia says with a laugh. “Craig’s a very private person so to be in that very public situation was strange for him. But I know he was happy.”

With another chuckle, Sonia admits she didn’t get everything right on the night either. Upon accepting her award, she tried to “wing it” after forgetting to take her pre-written speech on stage. In clear shock, Sonia fumbled a few gags in the direction of fellow nominee Hamish Blake, drawing mixed reactions.

She admits it “wasn’t her best moment” and sought council from Hamish and comedian Tom Gleeson afterward – both of whom have won the Gold Logie previously.

“It’s very difficult for people to understand how strange that moment is,” Sonia explains. “We’ve all been in TV a long time so you’d think we would be comfortable, but I didn’t expect to win and I was in shock. It’s such a long night and you don’t really know what you’re saying.”

“I didn’t expect to win,” Sonia says of her Gold Logie.

In a decades-spanning career, it would be standard to have some regrets. Sonia doesn’t have many but knows when she’s beyond her scope.

In the midst of the pandemic in 2021, Sonia co-hosted Holey Moley alongside US comedian Rob Riggle. The miniature golf game show was critically panned and hasn’t returned to screens since.”I was way out of my lane,” she says. “We also aired it during COVID so it aired four nights a week, but it’s not designed to be watched that way. It became repetitive.”

Lesson learnt, Sonia now sticks to what she does best, interacting with a live audience and delivering highly addictive TV such as The Voice Australia, Dancing With the Stars and Big Brother. This season of Big brother will showcase her strengths by putting her face-to-face with contestants in the house for evictions and tasks. But with a batch of young and single housemates, Sonia – who seemingly defies age – jokes that she kept her distance.

“I was feeling pretty good about myself and how I looked and then the first housemate arrived and I dropped a few ranks down! I told producers not to keep the camera on me for long” she says with a laugh. “But it’s a fresh format and viewers will think back to their 20-year-old selves and what that was like. When I was that age, I fell in and out of love very quickly. Emotions are very hard to control, which is what we’ll see. It’s exciting television.”

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When it comes to getting older, Sonia says there’s “no point” is fighting the inevitable.

“Getting older is a fact of life so you just have to get comfortable with it and into a happy place,” she says. “The upside is that you become more confident in your skin, worry less about what people think and only concern yourself with family and friends.”

The same goes for being in the public eye. Rather than shy away from social media, Sonia is adept at knowing when to use it, and ignore it.

“I tend not to read comments too much. What is that saying, “what other people think of me is none of my business?”‘ she says. “To be honest, it’s [criticism] very few and far between. People are mostly positive. It can be too easy to start thinking the opposite of that.”

Sonia hosted The Voice in 2023.

(Image: Supplied)

For all her struggles and success, Sonia continues to take each day as it comes. Like the continual change of motherhood – the day to day, hour to hour choices that sometimes don’t go as planned – each day presents a new opportunity to do those around you proud.

“I just want to entertain people and make them laugh,” she says. “Hopefully, at the end of the day, you’re leaving people feeling a little bit better about life or the world in general. That’s the mission.”

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