Celebrity Families

EXCLUSIVE: Amanda Keller talks candidly about love, life lessons and why she's grateful every day

The TV powerhouse opens up about her biggest inspirations, her deepest passions and the importance of a good old-fashioned laugh.

By Woman's Day team
She's one of the country's most successful and popular media figures, yet Amanda Keller tells Woman's Day she never expected to still be working at 57.
It's this humble and unassuming nature which has seen the mother-of-two cement herself in a radio and television career lasting more than 30 years.
As well as co-hosting WSFM's top-rating breakfast radio show Jonesy & Amanda and Ten's hit show The Living Room, Amanda has immersed herself in a ballroom bonanza as co-host on TV's Dancing With The Stars.
It's a gig that puts a smile on her face, to say the least.
"It's a stack of fun – what can I say?" she declares with passion.
"People get to see their favourite stars outside of their comfort zones. It's just great TV."
"I'm always blown away by what good humans they are," says Amanda, who considers raising her sons to be one of the most rewarding parts of her life.
The proud mum with sons Jack and Liam Image: Channel Ten
Throughout her long career, Gold Logie nominee Amanda has worked with a number of passionate and dedicated men.
From her early work as a researcher for Simon Townsend's Wonder World or Ray Martin's Midday, to her collaborations with Andrew Denton and her current radio partner in crime, Brendan "Jonesy" Jones, Amanda's experience has taught her a thing or two about managing a counterpart.
It's why she and her Dancing With The Stars co-star Grant Denyer have become practically inseparable.
"Sometimes it's hard to get us to shut up when we're together on set," says Amanda, as the pair traverse a blockbuster second season.
"I've come to learn we're really similar people. Spending more time together, we've realised we have quite a bit in common. The stuff he doesn't like, I'm not a fan of. We just seem to be on the same page all the time."
Here, Amanda opens up about her biggest inspirations, her deepest passions and the importance of a good old-fashioned laugh.
Dancing With The Stars' Amanda Keller and Grant Denyer are just two peas in a pod! Image: Channel Ten
One thing people always seem to get wrong about me is… that I work every minute of the day. People think I work so hard and super long hours, but I don't! I do breakfast radio every day, but I go home at lunch and have a sleep. I'll get up, cook dinner for the family – it's very ordinary.
Then, every fortnight or so, I'll film The Living Room, and I've got Dancing With The Stars early in the year. One of the things that attracted me to the show was the fact it was live! We're not filming for hours and hours. I'm such a homebody! I have a bigger home presence than most people might think.
The most rewarding moment of my life so far has been… definitely raising two fabulous sons. I'm so proud of my eldest son, Liam, who has just finished school and is starting university this year. Truly, I'm always blown away by what good humans my boys are. They are truly so funny and so caring.
They don't ever take my job too seriously – I find that so refreshing. They know it's just a job that I do. They are very fantastic and well-balanced children, and I'm so grateful for that.
When I was younger I never expected that I would... still be working at 57! You know, I never had role models that worked this long, particularly in the media. When I grew up, maybe I knew the odd teacher, but really, I didn't grow up around career women.
The fact that I'm choosing my projects, I'm knocking back work, and the fact I get to control what I do is really fantastic, especially at my age.
WATCH: Amanda Keller tries to name all her credits in one minute. Story continues below...
The most challenging part about my working life is… probably trying not to overshare.
Radio is live, Dancing With The Stars is live and then working with some of my best friends on The Living Room, there's always that chance I'm going to share too much.
I sort of have to remind myself occasionally and be like, "We're on air!" because I just love to blab, whether it's about my personal life, or my co-stars, or my children.
That's another big challenge – when they were babies I could say what I wanted. Now, they're older, I probably need to be a bit more judicious about what I'm putting out there.
On a Sunday night, you can always count on me being… well, before Dancing With The Stars it was probably in bed early! I've had to throw that on its head a little with this job.
If you speak to anyone in breakfast radio they'll tell you Friday is the beginning of your weekend, because you have to wind down on Sunday. But now I'm doing the exact opposite!
Family means everything to the radio and TV star. Image: Instagram
The one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face is… a fart joke, as awful as that may seem. I have a very schoolboy sense of humour – it's just who I am!
I'll always try not to take for granted my… good fortune. I'm very aware of how lucky I am. As I get older – touch wood – I'm very grateful for my health, my home life and the job I have. I get to wake up every morning and come to work and have a laugh. I never take that for granted.
So far 2020 has taught me… It's been an interesting start to the year. It was obviously a sad Christmas and a sad New Year with the horrible bushfires – it's been a real punch to the psyche. It's interesting being on air trying to reference how hard life is at the moment, but also being people's respite.
Often I'll encourage everyone to hold hands and promise the audience that we can get through this together. Another day, I'm making them laugh – whatever it takes to get people through it. I think 2020 has just been a big lesson in learning how to heal.
Amanda wants audiences to give up Married At First Sight in favour of DWTS. Image: Channel Ten
This time next year, I'm hoping to… be co-hosting Dancing With The Stars again. I love this show! I'd love it to keep going for years. The production value is so truly extraordinary and I'd love people to really get on board.
This is me being selfish, but I really want people to get away from Married At First Sight. That's probably a bad thing to say but it really confuses me. I don't know why they call it a social experiment – I think they moved on from that some time ago. Let us be everyone's new favourite social experiment! You get to see celebrities you know and love stripped from their skill set and comfort – and their clothes! It's just great television.
No matter what, one thing I can't seem to get used to is… having people know me. I like it, but I went to South Africa for a recent holiday and when we came back, I'd almost taken for granted that people didn't know who I was over there! I've had my photo taken in a public bathroom many times!
Once I was at the dentist – I was getting a crown – and I came back the next day to have it finished off and someone there wanted a photo. I was shocked. You have to think – toilets, dentists' surgeries, doctors' surgeries… maybe not… but it happens!
With that said, my teenage self would've loved the idea of me having a job where people recognise me and respond to the things I'm saying. My diary was full of exactly what this dream life is, so I'm grateful.
The Living Room team, by gum! Image: Channel Ten
I'm always finding inspiration in… my amazing friends. One minute we're talking about the most intense and deepest type of stuff. The next we're eating Cheezels and laughing until snot comes out our noses.
I really rely on them to fill up the jug – not the alcohol jug (well, sometimes!), but the jug of life if you will!
My kids seem to be always questioning… my driving skills. Somehow it's become a narrative in my family that I'm this terrible driver! When I'm alone in the car, I think I'm perfectly fine.
But when they're in the car, they make me very self-conscious about it. A friend of mine once said I drive like I talk. I'm not sure if that's a compliment, but I'm happy to take it.
This year I'm aiming to be… less anxious about things I can't control. I'm very linear in the way I think about things. I'll plan things one thing after the other, but when that derails I find myself getting very wound up.
I can sit in meetings and be so panicked about missing the next. I need to become more focused on taking a deep breath and letting things go.

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