HOW I MAKE IT WORK...

THE 55-YEAR-OLD TELE­VI­SION AND RA­DIO PRE­SEN­TER IS DE­SCRIBED BY FRIENDS AND FAM­ILY AS BE­ING QUEEN OF THE DAGS. HERE, SHE TALKS ABOUT EM­BRAC­ING THE TI­TLE AND SUC­CEED­ING ON TV AS A “NOR­MAL” PER­SON

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - as told to Al­ley Pas­coe The Liv­ing Room airs 7.30pm Fri­days, on Net­work Ten.

TV star Amanda Keller on the joys of be­ing a dag.

Itake be­ing called a dag as a com­pli­ment. I mean, I don’t have much op­tion but to take it that way. I’ve never hid­den my roots. I grew up in Syd­ney’s Beecroft in the ’70s and I re­mem­ber be­ing in­tim­i­dated that every­one else seemed more worldly than me. If you went through my wardrobe now, you’d still find a lot of daggy stuff. I’m wear­ing my Ugg boots as we speak…

I won­der if I started out in tele­vi­sion now, would I ac­tu­ally be on cam­era? I was at the tail end of “nor­mal” peo­ple be­ing on TV. Af­ter that you had to be an Olympian or a model to get on a life­style show. When I stepped in front of the cam­era for the first time on Ray Martin’s Mid­day show, I was com­pletely un­groomed. I was prob­a­bly naive not to feel pres­sure to look a cer­tain way. When I got my role on [sci­ence pro­gram] Be­yond 2000, they said they liked ev­ery­thing ex­cept my hair and clothes. I thought, “Well, that’s pretty much it.”

I’m more so­cially con­fi­dent now than when I was younger. But I still have times, like the night be­fore the Lo­gies each year, where I have so­cial anx­i­ety. It’s taken me a while to get a han­dle on that. I do find it eas­ier now, but that has only come with age and hav­ing the con­fi­dence to step up and ac­cept that you have to walk into a room and hold your own. It’s best not to dwell on the worst thing that can hap­pen at an awards cer­e­mony, as it’s prob­a­bly hap­pened to some­body. I don’t get wound up about hold­ing my stom­ach in or how my hair looks. At some point, I just thought, “Stuff it, this will do.”

Part of my strength and my weak­ness is that I’m not given to self-anal­y­sis. I try not to get sucked into other peo­ple’s views of me, as one neg­a­tive com­ment out­weighs 1000 nice ones, and I’d rather sep­a­rate my­self from judge­ment ei­ther way. The big­gest com­pli­ment I get is when some­one says, “I feel like you’re my friend.” I live a very or­di­nary life and com­mon­al­ity is what peo­ple re­spond to.

The Liv­ing Room is in its sixth sea­son and I’m proud to be a 55-year-old wo­man on TV. To be this age and busier than I’ve ever been in my ca­reer is ex­tra­or­di­nary. When I was 20, I thought some­one who was 50 would be in a brunch coat with an egg stain down the front, do­ing the iron­ing and liv­ing like a shut-in. Luck­ily, you can’t see the egg stain on the front of my shirt to­day.

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