BELLA TAYLOR SMITH “Every time she sings I get goosebumps,” Kruger explains of the 23-year-old. “Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard her – it’s like an immediate reaction from her voice.”


“I think he’s just such a unique artist,” the TV host gushes of the 19-year-old singer. “He’s so talented. He needs to go on and have a recording career – he really does!”

MICK HARRINGTON “What a find! From mowing lawns to The Voice stage,” she says of the 32-year-old. “And I don’t think he can quite believe it either. I think he’s a little bit stunned by the fact he got there.”


“If anybody would know a good girl group, it’s Rita,” Kruger says of the singer’s final contestant­s. “Look at the groups that have come out of Britain – Spice Girls,

Little Mix.”

Walkley Award-winning journalist Marc Fennell has reported from Hong Kong’s democracy protests and interviewe­d climate activist Al Gore, but says facing a classroom of eager primary school students, aged 9 to 11, “terri ed” him! However, it was all for a good cause as Fennell is hosting a new three-part series that looks at ways of addressing racism. “The show is about giving kids a toolkit, with the help of experts, to talk about racism,” the 36-year-old explains. The fact he has two young children

(aged 7 and 5) and his own experience of growing up mixed race (with Indian Singaporea­n and Irish parents) drove him to participat­e in the program. “As a kid, I heard racist taunts and didn’t know sometimes where I belonged.

I genuinely wish now I’d known how to talk about how that feels.”

How does the program attempt to end – or tackle – racism?

Racism is a scary word that we don’t really know how to navigate but if you break it down, it’s actually solvable. The reason we’re doing this show with children is that many of those participat­ing have already faced blatant and subtle racism. I certainly had by their age. But those ideas, and we know this from research, are already embedded by adolescenc­e. So if we can help kids deal with racism and recognise inequality, you’re giving them something to help them through life. The saying goes “Never work with children or animals”. How did you find the students? They were so smart! There was de nitely a future prime minister amongst them. What did you take away from the experience?

Without wanting to get all Whitney Houston about it, by the end I was like,

“Wow, children really

are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way!” I’m not a crier but I was emotional, as you’ll see, especially by the end of the series.

(The School That Tried to End Racism premieres Tue., Sep. 21, 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview)

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