When Kerri-Anne took on the job of co-host of Good Morning Australia in 1981, breakfast television wasn't taken seriously.
"In those days, people thought you had to be a moron to actually watch TV in the morning," she explains. "It was cartoons for the kids while you got dressed for work."
But over the 11 years that Kerri-Anne fronted GMA, viewers started to realise that, due to the time difference, breakfast TV could deliver the big news stories from overseas.
"The Falklands War [in 1982], the space shuttle [Challenger] going down over Florida [in 1986]... we had the pictures," she recalls.
By the early 1990s, Kerri-Anne had such a high profile, she was being sent up on hugely popular skit show Fast Forward. Gina Riley, in a blonde wig, would say something along the lines of, "I'm Kerri-Anne Kennel. It's great to be watching me," and belt out a song.
Kerri-Anne concedes that if she was going to be sent up by anybody, at least it was by someone who was "actually really good" at what she was doing.
"It was too good - to the point where I walked around and people thought I was Kerri-Anne Kennel!" she laughs.
Kerri-Anne went viral in 2007 after interviewing ER star John Stamos on her morning show. The actor slurred his words as he insulted a newspaper journalist, was rude about Kerri-Anne's outfit, and made an obscene gesture. Initially, John blamed jet lag and sleeping pills, but later admitted he was drunk.
"That was out there," Kerri-Anne says. "I loved it. All the executives were starting to panic, but I thought it was fabulous.
The Logie Awards audience were moved to tears as Kerri-Anne delivered her Hall Of Fame acceptance speech. She paid tribute to her husband, John, who had been left paralysed following a fall a year earlier.
"Having John there was such a huge hurdle - getting him down there and into the room," she explains.
In her speech, Kerri-Anne said she would give away her 50-year career to have John standing by her side, holding her hand. Kerri-Anne recorded the speech, but admits she hasn't been able to watch it back yet.
"You've got to be in the right frame of mind and it's got to be enough distance to look at it properly," she says.
For the full story, pick up this week's issue of TV WEEK.
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Australian Women's WeeklyJun 30, 2022