Gre­tel Killeen

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - ANNA BRAIN TV WRITER

Gre­tel Killeen re­turns to our screens as co-host of How Not to Be­have, along with co­me­dian Matt Okine. As it hap­pens, man­ners and po­lite be­hav­iour are top­ics the 52-year-old has some strong opin­ions about.

It is a rare and lovely thing to see an older fe­male and younger male paired on TV as hosts. Isn’t it? I was think­ing, there are quite a few firsts that I’ve done. I think I was the first fe­male in Aus­tralia to host a tele­vi­sion show by her­self. I was the first fe­male broad­caster on break­fast ra­dio at To­day FM. The only other pair I can think of where the fe­male is older is Lisa Wilkin­son and Karl Ste­fanovic at the To­day show. But Matt is al­most the same age as my son.

Tell us about your dy­namic with Matt. He and I just got on from the word go. He likes to tease me, and I am of­ten rep­ri­mand­ing him. It’s al­most a mother-son kind of sit­u­a­tion, where he picks on me in that cheeky boy way. But one of the things I find most hi­lar­i­ous is that if we re­ally looked at it, I’m the much naugh­tier of the two of us.

Are we ob­sessed with man­ners? Yes. I had a taxi driver the other day, he asked if it was all right if he called me a chick. He said, are you that chick from TV? And I said, well you can call me a chick, but I don’t know if you can call any­body else that. But he was gen­uinely ask­ing, what are the pa­ram­e­ters?.

Is it be­cause peo­ple like be­ing told what to do? I think hu­man be­ings love be­ing told what to do. They love rules, and they love struc­ture, any­thing they don’t have to in­de­pen­dently think about. I think also cir­cum­stances are chang­ing so rapidly. We’ve got in­flu­ences com­ing in like nar­cis­sism and lazi­ness, which pred­i­cate that peo­ple take short­cuts.

Haven’t nar­cis­sism and lazi­ness al­ways been around? I don’t think that they’re new, but be­cause of the time I grew up in, we were all treated as though we were not spe­cial, we were not unique, and we had to fit in. That’s what you did. Now, the younger gen­er­a­tion is much more about, yes, you are spe­cial, it is all about you. All the sta­tis­tics show that nar­cis­sism and self-ob­ses­sion have ac­tu­ally led to a very anx­i­etyrid­dled, some­what de­pressed group of peo­ple.

Do you have a pet peeve in the man­ners depart­ment? I don’t like peo­ple not say­ing


Gre­tel Killeen says peo­ple like be­ing told what to do.

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