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says they don’t hang out con­stantly. “I learn from him and I’m sure he has learnt from me. I think the past has helped us both stand on our own feet. If he has a prob­lem, I am there for him and I know he is there for me. I love my son.”

If Camp­bell lacked an an­chor as a child, he has found one in adult­hood and his mar­riage. He and Lisa laugh con­stantly, riff­ing off each other on ev­ery­thing from TV shows to par­ent­ing. As well as run­ning a pro­duc­tion com­pany, Lisa is the chair of Syd­ney’s Hayes The­atre Com­pany and the cre­ative force be­hind the fam­ily’s elab­o­rate an­nual Hal­loween cos­tumes. When asked re­cently to con­trib­ute to an homage to Magda Szuban­ski, it was Lisa’s idea to dress their daugh­ter Betty as Szuban­ski’s Kath & Kim char­ac­ter Sharon Strz­elecki. Re­splen­dent in a net­ball uni­form and bowl-cut wig, Betty, who is also Szuban­ski’s god­daugh­ter, is hi­lar­i­ous in her video mes­sage mim­ick­ing the use of “it’s noice” and “unusual”.

Asked what makes her mar­riage seem so solid and shiny, Lisa doesn’t miss a beat: “Both of us think we got the bet­ter deal.” Camp­bell con­curs: “I def­i­nitely mar­ried up. She’s my best friend and I go to her first when I need to make de­ci­sions.” The sup­port runs both ways. Lisa, an only child, lost her mum to can­cer when she was just 17 and was dev­as­tated by the re­cent death of her fa­ther. “He was such a big part of our lives and we miss him ter­ri­bly,” says Camp­bell, who cred­its Lisa with urg­ing him to build a re­la­tion­ship with his own fa­ther.

Yet be­ing the son of an Aus­tralian leg­end brings its own pres­sures. “My dad is iconic – they’ll never make an­other one like him. Him and [John] Farn­ham, that’s it,” muses Camp­bell. “I of­ten won­der where’s my value in that, and I feel I have to prove my­self more to keep what I have so I don’t lose ev­ery­thing.”

Such a fate is un­likely. Camp­bell and Kruger are head­ing into their eighth year as co-hosts, he won best ac­tor this year at both the Help­mann and Syd­ney The­atre Awards for two dif­fer­ent roles, and there’s ev­ery chance Baby It’s Christ­mas will match the sales of his pre­vi­ous plat­inum-sell­ing al­bums. Camp­bell is also one of the fron­trun­ners be­ing touted to re­place Karl Ste­fanovic if and when he even­tu­ally leaves To­day. Asked if he would take the gig were it of­fered, he replies diplo­mat­i­cally, “Karl’s not go­ing any­where. It’s Karl.” But if the role did come up… “I haven’t thought about it – I’m too busy think­ing about ev­ery­thing else on my plate.”

That Camp­bell has bal­anced such pro­fes­sional suc­cess with hands-on par­ent­ing and a ded­i­cated ap­proach to his health and fit­ness – he’s 25kg lighter than in his 30s – is all part of be­ing a bet­ter man. As Kruger quips: “In the time we’ve worked to­gether, he’s given up drink­ing, taken up run­ning and be­come a ve­gan. But I still like him.”

Camp­bell points out that un­like most host­ing part­ner­ships, she’s the “al­pha” of the duo. Kruger says it’s only be­cause she’s worked in tele­vi­sion for a long time. Be­sides, when it comes to par­ent­ing, she says, he’s the al­pha and she’s the beta. Plus there are the jokes. “He’s one of the most tal­ented peo­ple I’ve ever known, but be­yond that it’s his abil­ity to make me laugh on and off air that I en­joy most,” she tells Stel­lar. “If I had a dol­lar for ev­ery time he’s left me in stitches af­ter say­ing some­thing to­tally in­ap­pro­pri­ate dur­ing a break, I’d own a tele­vi­sion net­work.”

Ide­o­log­i­cally, how­ever, they couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent – as ev­i­denced when Kruger called on Aus­tralia to ban Mus­lim im­mi­grants dur­ing a de­bate on To­day in 2016. While Camp­bell dis­agreed, more than two years on he has no in­ter­est in reignit­ing the firestorm that en­sued. “Friends are al­lowed to dis­agree on things and friends also have to sup­port each other

In­ter­view by SASKIA TILLERS

Be­fore you be­gan bal­let at 13, we’ve heard you had a thing for mak­ing up dance rou­tines to Mariah Carey songs in your bed­room. So which was your favourite? It’s true. There’s a song called ‘Look­ing In’. It’s funny look­ing back on that song be­cause it’s very deep. Mariah Carey did a great job writ­ing amaz­ing lyrics to re­ally make you feel things. You had a spe­cial friend­ship with Prince. What’s your favourite mem­ory of him? Oh, so many. I felt we were very sim­i­lar in the way that we were con­fi­dent in who we were, but at the same time both kind of in­tro­verts who don’t re­ally be­come ev­ery­thing we can be un­til we are on the stage do­ing what we love. The first time I per­formed with him, it was maybe 2010 – at this point I’d only known him as my friend and had never seen him per­form. See­ing him trans­form into this mag­i­cal, myth­i­cal crea­ture, I was like “Oh, that’s why he’s Prince!” You made his­tory when you be­came the first African-amer­i­can fe­male prin­ci­pal dancer with the Amer­i­can Bal­let The­atre. Were you sur­prised by the at­ten­tion? Grow­ing up as a bi-racial woman, be­ing raised with my five sib­lings by my bi-racial mother, it was at the fore­front of con­ver­sa­tions that we had at home. I had an aware­ness of how the world would see me. En­ter­ing the bal­let world, I felt like I had a leg up on a lot of dancers who haven’t em­braced that they’re not like ev­ery­one else. I still ex­pe­ri­ence dis­crim­i­na­tion; I don’t think there’s a black per­son in the world, es­pe­cially in Amer­ica, who say that they don’t. [But] it’s some­thing that’s made me stronger. You ar­gue that dancers shouldn’t suc­cumb to body-im­age pres­sures…

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