‘WE’RE LIKE HUSBAND AND WIFE’ Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur toast a decade of laughter on The Morning Show.
Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur toast a decade of laughter, tears and camaraderie on live television
Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur are proud of their longevity. “As a 10-year partnership we have outlasted many marriages,” says Gillies, 50, who co-hosts Seven’s The Morning Show with Emdur, 52. The pair, who mark a decade on air on June 18, looked back on their friendship and the highs and lows of live breakfast TV with WHO’S Karina Machado. Occasionally, “things go wrong,” concedes Emdur. “But we’ve both been doing this long enough to know that’s Ok—it’s probably fantastic television.”
What do you remember most about your first day on air? Kylie: Oh, God! [ Laughs] I was wearing this really high-necked frilled blouse and I look back now going, “What was she thinking?” Larry: I thought, “Ninety-year-old nun meets librarian.” Kylie, your first impression of Larry?
Kylie: How did I end up here with this hunk of a spunk? [ Bursts out laughing] How has your relationship changed over time?
Kylie: It changes on the hour, depending, you know, on whether Larry’s had his cup of tea ...
Larry: Or if Kylie’s picked the meds up. No, it’s what we like to call a very flexible relationship and that’s the beauty and the strength of the relationship, that is has no boundaries, it has no bottom or top. We’re there for each other. Kylie: It’s a genuine and true friendship with everything that entails—the love and the ribbing and the care. I think we are each other’s greatest caretakers for those two-and-a-half hours on TV. He’s got my back and I’ve got his back. What about annoying habits?
Kylie: I think what you hate about me, Larry, is my attention to detail and strong work ethic.
Larry: Kylie’s got an elephant-like memory, and that really annoys me. I just wish she had a bad memory like me. You sound like a married couple! Kylie: It’s like a husband-and-wife relationship without the good bits! Larry: With a contractual obligatory divorce at 11:29 AM every day. Moving on—favourite stars you’ve met?
Kylie: Susan Sarandon was just an awesome chick. Joan Rivers was a personal favourite ... Matt Damon! He even spoke to my girlfriend on the phone. Larry: Robin Williams. That was so incredible, to get to spend six-and-a-half-minutes with him. Did any celebrity disappoint? Kylie: I may have met Hugh Grant when he was having a bad day. Larry: Mark Wahlberg had just arrived that morning and he was doing press all day. During the interview, you could tell he wasn’t even partly engaged. You were on air as the Lindt siege unfolded. What has stayed with you about that sad day?
Larry: We’re living in a new world and we saw Australia changing that day. We look out that window every day into the windows of the Lindt café. It was horrifying.
Kylie: It was very scary but when you’re in a live-tv situation, you have to keep going. At the
end of the day, it wasn’t about us, and isn’t. It’s about those poor people in the café. What feedback do you receive from viewers?
Kylie: Two weeks ago, a woman came up to me at the supermarket and said, “Thank you for everything you do every morning.” It gave me pause to reflect and think, “We really are part of people’s lives every morning.” It meant a lot. Larry: There’s a great rule in television: be a companion. It’s a show that’s part of people’s households. Your most unforgettable moment?
Larry: The two-minute countdown before the first episode. I’ll remember that as the scariest and happiest moment of the past 10 years.
Kylie: I’m going to go the other end of that. I thank my lucky stars every time I come off air and think, “That’s another one done—how lucky are we to still be doing this after 10 years and still be having fun?”
“What we bring to the telly between 9 and 11.30 every morning is actually what our relationship is like,” says Emdur (with Gillies). “Excited, emotional and nervous,” Emdur (with Gillies) says of how he felt on June 18, 2007, the show’s debut.
“Nobody knew what was going on,” recalls Emdur, of being live on air during the Sydney Lindt café siege on Dec. 15, 2014. “If we’re having fun, hopefully the audience is as well,” says Gillies, who is often playing dress-ups or filming parodies with...