AUSTRALIA'S Queen of Television, Kerri-Anne Kennerley is as glowing and beautiful today at age 64 as she was 10, even 20 years ago.
While most Australians feel they know Kerri-Anne due to her appearance in our lounge rooms for 50-years, her newly released book, A Bold Life, tells us otherwise.
Behind the glamour of a public life is a private woman and a survivor, and for the first time, Kerri-Anne has opened-up about some of the pain and trials she has had to face and overcome during her long and jam-packed career.
She holds nothing back, giving us detailed information of an abusive first marriage in New York which ended after she pointed a gun at her violent husband. She talks honestly about her very brief flirt with cocaine during the 70s New York party scene, her struggles and triumphs throughout five decades of Australian television (much of it live), and of the pain of losing a baby in pregnancy. She even speaks honestly and openly about the cosmetic procedures she has had. But throughout the book with its behind-the-scenes peeks, racy revelations and titillating insights, is an enduring love story between Kerri-Anne and her husband of 33 years, John Kennerley, now a quadriplegic after a freak accident in 2016.
"It was John's suggestion that I tell everything," Kerri-Anne said. "I have never felt the need to talk about my life previously. In all the interviews I've done, it has been all about other people, their stories, what they needed to say, but John told me to do it (the book) right and reveal everything, not to be selective."
Starting with her childhood in Sandgate in Brisbane, Kerri-Anne details her life from the first stirrings of passion as a young teenager to 'be on television' to her multiple achievements in the fickle and male-dominated television industry, through to some of the most iconic moments in Australian television history, and to finally being inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame.
Ask her how she keeps her stunning looks and youthful figure, Kerri-Anne is informative but obviously does not want to dwell on the subject.
"I must admit you get to a stage where you have to focus and concentrate (on diet and exercise.) Every time you over-indulge you must pull back. Eat a little less. If you gain weight it ages you. People hate to hear that but it is true."
Kerri-Anne devotes an entire chapter in A Bold Life to her cosmetic procedures and she is proud and happy to pass on her experiences to others who might be considering their own 'refreshment' journey.
"I had the enhancements done for myself, not for anybody else," she said. "I did it because I woke up in the morning looking tired when I was not. I did very light things and I am happy with that. I didn't ask anyone about it. I just did it for me. I won't let people criticise me for that. Anyone who wants to have enhancements should do it for themselves."
Over her long career, Kerri-Anne has interviewed politicians (she got Peter Costello to do the Macarena and Kevin Rudd the rumba) and endless visiting celebrities. She has been pushed into swimming pools, covered major events all over the world, had pies thrown in her face, endured the best of high times and the worst of lows. She says she has loved every moment of her work and considers it a privilege.
"So many people have made a mark," she said. "Stand-outs include (the late) Robin Williams, you just had to let him take over, a genius. Lisa Minelli is a star performer. She would limp into the studio (because of bad health) but as soon as the spotlight was on her she would rise. Will Smith was delightful, charming beyond belief...so many really interesting characters."
Since her beloved husband's terrible accident in 2016, Kerri-Anne's life has changed and she accepts that it will never be the same again.
"We have got ourselves into a nice rhythm now," she said. "It is important to let things settle, get organised. It (John's care) does take a lot of organising. I have had to redecorate the whole house. I'm only half way through it. It is an unfortunate fact of life that we don't like change. Change is hard. You must work your way through it. As Charles Darwin said: 'it's not the strongest or most intelligent of the species that survives, it's the one most adaptable to change.' "