Key to success
Not taking anything for granted is Amanda Keller’s secret to longevity, she tells
DISCOVERING she’d lost a lucrative presenting job by reading about it in the newspaper was a character-building experience for Amanda Keller.
The veteran television personality learnt that day, more than a decade ago, to never take anything for granted in this often merciless business.
“You’d think someone could’ve given me a heads up,” the 53-yearold laughs. “I had to read the paper to find out my show Switching
Lives had been axed.” She can laugh now, with a long list of achievements notched up since that crushing moment.
As well as a top-rating breakfast radio show in Sydney, she’s one of four co-hosts on Network Ten’s hit lifestyle program
The Living Room,
alongside veterinarian Dr Chris Brown, builder extraordinaire Barry Du Bois and hyperactive celebrity chef Miguel Maestre.
“This job is easy, because it’s four friends enjoying themselves and having a laugh,” Keller says.
The laws of probability should mean at least one of “the four amigos” would clash with another in the group. But over the past few years Keller and the boys have only grown closer, she says.
“This table was designed by Barry, scribbled on the back of a napkin,” Keller smiles, running her hand over the cement-top structure on the deck of her home in Sydney’s east.
“Miguel has been right here with his family, making a giant paella on this very table. And Chris was over that day, playing with my sheep dog Minnie.”
Keller’s home is a shrine to quirky and eclectic. Every corner and available surface is adorned with a trinket that she and husband Harley have collected over the years.
Her favourite keepsake is a displayed box of Farrah Fawcett doll heads from the 1970s.
“Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all my stuff,” Keller admits.
“If I stay in a hotel, I’ll come back and just want to get rid of it all. But I couldn’t. Every little thing has a story or a memory.”
Her childhood home was vastly different. Her family didn’t have much stuff at all, with the exception of “a few nice things hidden away in a cabinet”. But that living room was still the heart of the home, the source of many happy moments with her mum, dad and brother, who relished the chance to make each other laugh.
It was an unofficial stage, where a young Keller honed her unique brand of humour – one she didn’t realise then could take her anywhere. “I would’ve never been slated for a job in TV or radio,” she reflects.
“No one would’ve recognised that sort of quality because I was quiet and a bit narky, I think.”
But take her places it did. Her road to stardom began with a TV research job, before she made the leap to presenting. Countless small screen and radio gigs followed.
Now according to the Encore Score, which ranks Australian celebrities by popularity, says she’s the eighth mostloved personality in the country – a spot ahead of Nicole Kidman.
“Where’s my Etihad commercial?” Keller laughs on hearing this. “But wow, that’s quite nice.”