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Celebrity Spotlight: Sonia Kruger
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 6, No. 6 - November/December 2014

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What did you want to be when you were growing up?

My friend in Year 1 wanted to be a nurse, so I thought she would be a nurse and I would have been a doctor. I still have a bit of a fascination of all things medical. I love the medical shows that are on TV now such as Dr. Oz. I am also a bit of a diagnosis queen, I love to "diagnose" my friends' illnesses.

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

Definitely not maths! Eventually English became my favourite subject. It wasn't until I was in late primary school, I had a teacher who said that I was very good at storytelling. He suggested to my mother that I become a journalist. At that stage I didn't know what a journalist was. I was always an avid reader as a child. I read all of the Enid Blyton books; my mother had the whole collection.

Please tell us about your family.

I have an older sister and a younger brother. My mother is one of 17 reared in a very big, farming family from Queensland. She is the second youngest. As they were quite a poor family, they didn't really have the opportunity for higher education. It was a privilege to go onto secondary high school, let alone university. So I was the first person in my immediate family, to complete a university degree. It's interesting to see how times have changed since then. Now we see a university degree as much more common.

What has been your most rewarding career experience?

It's what I do right now. I never expected to have a career in the media that was as far reaching as its become. I thought maybe I could etch out a living somewhere along the line. Once I left the showbiz world (after doing theatre, film and a bit of drama), I moved into TV as a journalist (working for 'Today Tonight', '11AM', 'MORNINGS'), I feel like I've found where I belong. I love the immediacy of television, especially live TV. I'm not very good at long term kind of projects. I tend to work well under pressure, which is why TV suits me.

What career would you have hated to pursue?

Probably accounting as I don't have that mathematical, analytical mindset. You either have a creative or logical brain. I am definitely lacking whichever the side of the brain relates to mathematics.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

When I was a lot younger I was an avid viewer of 'Hey Hey It's Saturday', like most in Australia. I loved it; I watched it every Saturday night. I remember watching Jacki McDonald, I loved her. She was an inspiration because she was such a happy person and loved what she was doing. Now there are other people that I find inspirational, both here in Australia and overseas. I am inspired by female journalists in America who work in their 60s and 70s, even 80s. If you love what you do, there is no need for retirement.

What advice would you give someone seeking a career in the media/television industry?

It's really important to put your hand up to do work experience, once you get to Years 11 and 12 when it's part of the curriculum. We have work experience people coming through all of the time. Some of them stay long enough to actually be offered a job. You have to be prepared to work for a few years for nothing, but it's really part time work and you're learning the ropes as you go.

Find your speciality within the media, it may be sports, finance or entertainment. Whatever the genre is, it is always good to have a speciality because it will set you apart from other reporters. We are always looking for experts to talk about certain subjects. It is always good to have a second string to your bow.

Finally, most importantly once you do get your foot in door, learn all of the trade. Learn how write, edit, and script a story, time code, write a promo - learn every aspects of the business.

A lot of school aged kids look at people on television and think 'I want to be like that person'.

Being a presenter is not enough these days. It won't give you a long term career in the media. You need an diverse skill base.

Tell us your most embarrassing on-air moment

I've had so many! I had one recently with Big Brother. It was getting towards the end of the show and I was feeling a little bit fatigued. I read an autocue instruction out. I was talking to the person who had been evicted and the instruction in the autocue was 'to the audience', in other words the next part had to be addressed to the audience. I actually read out 'to the audience'. I laughed my head off about it. It was such a rookie mistake to make. I have been doing this for a very long time now, and I've never done it before. I found it quite hilarious, that even at this point I can still make silly errors. It can be embarrassing, but nobody is perfect! You have just got to be able to laugh it off.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

In Australia, it's the Gold Coast. It's just stunning. I left there this morning, sun was shining, a nice 28ÂșC and the beach was beautiful. I've been all over the world and without a doubt the beaches on the Gold Coast are the best beaches in the world. We are very lucky to have the Gold Coast on our doorstep.

Internationally, I love a city holiday. I love going to New York in particular. There is such a vibe and buzz about it. I am a huge fan of Sex in the City. Every corner you stand on you feel like you've seen it in a movie or in a television series.

What is your most unforgettable personable experience?

When I was doing a story for Sunday Night, I visited the secret kingdom of Mustang in Tibet.

The only way to get to this village is by horseback. We rode for three days to get to this tiny little village that has a King. Tourists are limited, with a small number of people able to visit the village per year.

It is such a fascinating culture and such a trek to get there through the Himalayas. It was amazing to see. I'm very lucky to be able to see such amazing places.

Who are your favourite TV entertainers?

I have a lot actually. I'm a huge fan of Liz Hayes, Tracy Grimshaw and Lisa Wilkinson. These women are funny, intelligent and entertaining. At the moment, I'm really loving the work of Patrick Brammall, who is in a show called 'The Moodys' on the ABC. He's an Australian actor, funny and clever. It's very hard to pick a favourite, there are so many talented people on Australian television. I am also a fan of Shawn Micallef, Julia Morris and the past work of Steve Vizard. They are all funny, warm and engaging.

What are your future career plans

In TV you tend to work year by year, as it's a project based kind of career. For me, 'MORNINGS' is a great show to look at year in year out. It has such a variety - a little bit of news, fashion, food, all the things I like. Next year I will continue with 'MORNINGS', 'Big Brother' and whatever else may come along. I also have a baby girl arriving early next year. It's very exciting.

About Sonia Kruger

Sonia is a talented presenter, actress, dancer, interviewer and entertainer, and one of Australia's most recognised faces.

With co-host David Campbell, Sonia is seen every day on Nine's 'MORNINGS' show.

She has been the host of the 'Big Brother' journey in 2012 and 2013, as well as in 2014.

Sonia has a strong and proven track record of achievements in Ballroom and Latin American dancing. She landed the role of Tina Sparkle in the hugely successful Australian movie, 'Strictly Ballroom'.

In 1997 after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree through University of Technology (Sydney), Sonia joined Seven's long running morning and news show '11AM' as its entertainment reporter.

Sonia co-hosted 11 seasons of the Seven Network's prime time hit show, 'Dancing with the Stars' (2004-2011).

She has danced with Irish 'Riverdance' sensation Michael Flatley and the Flamenco troupe 'Paco Pena'. Sonia has interviewed famous stars including Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Beyonce Knowles and Kylie Minogue.

In her spare time, Sonia enjoys the cinema, sports, live theatre and dining-out with friends.

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Sonia Kruger

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Get Ahead Kids® Nov/Dec 2014

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