THE BIG ASK

Ita’s Broad­way

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

ITA But­trose, host of Ita’s Broad­way on Fox­tel’s Ova­tion chan­nel, has en­joyed role-model sta­tus for more than 30 years.

Born in Mit­tagong, But­trose was 23 when she was made women’s ed­i­tor of The Daily Tele­graph. Then came her role as found­ing ed­i­tor of Cleo mag­a­zine and a stint at the reins of the Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly.

But­trose once said she was able to iden­tify so read­ily with her read­ers be­cause she was a work­ing mother with two chil­dren. She’s also renowned for be­ing the ti­tle of a clas­sic Cold Chisel song, the au­thor of nu­mer­ous books, an in-de­mand pub­lic speaker and MC, and sup­porter of var­i­ous char­i­ties.

But­trose, who at 66 feels ‘‘bet­ter than ever’’, ap­peared on Chan­nel 9’s Celebrity Over­haul se­ries and is on a mis­sion to en­cour­age her baby­boomer coun­ter­parts to keep fit. You are pre­sent­ing a se­ries of Broad­way mu­si­cals on Ita’s Broad­way. When did you fall in love with mu­si­cals? It was when I was liv­ing over­seas in New York with my par­ents. My par­ents were both very mu­si­cal: my mother was an ac­com­plished pi­anist and my dad was a good tenor. Mu­sic was a very im­por­tant part of my life and up­bring­ing. My mother took me to a Broad­way mu­si­cal for my birth­day— An­nie Get Your Gun. I was seven. I thought it was the most won­der­ful thing and fell in love with mu­si­cals. You hum, tap your foot, they make you feel good. I learned pi­ano for 15 years and we used to have fam­ily sin­ga­longs.

Do you still tin­kle, have sin­ga­longs?

I gave my pi­ano to my daugh­ter, who There are so many. I love Show­boat. I saw it on Broad­way when it was re­vived and it never loses any­thing. It’s a grand story, great roles to play, it has a most beau­ti­ful score and it has a happy end­ing that stirs my lit­tle ro­man­tic heart. You are talk­ing to a ro­man­tic here . . . that’s my prob­lem.

You have reached a stage in life where you can pick and choose what you do. What in­spires you?

I still love writ­ing. It’s what I al­ways wanted to do. I just fin­ished a book yes­ter­day. And I’m do­ing an­other book. The one that went off yes­ter­day is my ninth book. I also do a lot of pub­lic speak­ing and MC work right around Aus­tralia.

The two books you’ve just men­tioned, what are they about?

When I look at my CV, and the things I’ve done other than pub­lish­ing, there’s been a lot of work in the health sec­tor. I must be a frus­trated doc­tor. In terms of health and Aus­tralia, there are so many pre­ven­tive mea­sures to en­joy bet­ter health, es­pe­cially in our older years. So we’ve got the po­ten­tial to live much longer than our par­ents. Why waste the op­por­tu­nity of be­ing in good health no mat­ter what our age?

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