Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL -

Suzy Cato is a hug­ger. Does that re­ally sur­prise you? The ap­par­ently age­less chil­dren’s broad­caster, famed for se­ries such as Early Bird Show, 3pm, You & Me, Suzy’s World and Sing Some­thing Sim­ple, has been emit­ting kind­ness like a sig­nal, through screens and across air­waves, for the bet­ter part of three decades.

“For me it’s al­ways been about work­ing with that in­ner child,” the 50-year-old tells Sun­day. “One day I’ll grow up and get a real job, but un­til then I’m go­ing to have a heck of a lot of fun.”

Her perk­i­ness be­lies the fact she doesn’t drink cof­fee. The morn­ing we meet on Auck­land’s North Shore, she opts for a hot choco­late. “I was go­ing to have a hot wa­ter...” she muses. “You’re so whole­some,” I say. Twin­kling, she replies: “It’s too early for wine.”

This year, Cato, mum-of-two and host of early-morn­ing, multi-sta­tion ra­dio show Suzy & Friends as well as a YouTube chan­nel, ap­peared on screens as we’d never seen her be­fore: in skin-tight, back­less, span­gled en­sem­bles, foot­loose and fancy-free on Danc­ing With The Stars. Now, she’s re­leased a song, com­piled an al­bum, and has a book in the works, too – all aimed at kids. What is it about the de­mo­graphic that she’s been pas­sion­ate about all th­ese years?

“There’s some­thing very spe­cial about still see­ing through a child’s eyes and pro­vid­ing hap­pi­ness, and al­low­ing that child to re­main a child for as long as pos­si­ble. We grow up way too quickly,” she says.

“If we can pro­vide joy and an es­cape from the real world for as long as we can, I’m all for that.”

Far North / Deep South

Sing / Dance

Pri­mary school mem­o­ries / High school mem­o­ries

Nineties / Noughties On stage / On set Night in / Night out Jacinda / Win­ston Cof­fee / Cock­tails

The To­tally Awe­some Kiwi Kids Al­bum, com­piled by Suzy Cato, is out on Fri­day.

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