Sonia Kruger is one of the country’s busiest TV presenters, with The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Big Brother, Academy Awards Red Carpet and back to the Logies Red Carpet this Sunday night.
No wonder she is nominated for the Gold Logie.
“This is the second time I’ve been nominated,” she tells TV Tonight. “But it’s funny, because the other nomination which rarely gets mentioned is the Bert Newton nomination. I mean, yes, to win a Gold Logie would be amazing and just beyond your wildest imagination. But I have a really special relationship with Bert.”
“Those acts of kindness are so rare”
When Kruger’s father was in hospital, it was Bert Newton who reached out to her.
“They didn’t know each other but dad was a huge fan of Bert. Dad was in intensive care and Bert must have seen a New Idea story or something about it.
“He sent me a text message and said, ‘Pass this on to your dad. Get better soon mate, we’re thinking of you.’ It was just a lovely message. He didn’t have to do that. It just made me think, ‘Wow, those acts of kindness are so rare.’
“So I would be more than happy to take the Bert Newton award. I don’t know why but there’s just a personal connection for me, with him.”
Also in the running for the Bert Newton Award for Most Popular Presenter are Hamish Blake, Julia Morris, Scott Cam, Shaun Micallef and Tony Armstrong.
Before the ceremony, Kruger will be working the Red Carpet with co-host and new Seven recruit, Dr. Chris Brown.
While there’s little means of rehearsing the event, Kruger will draw upon plenty of Red Carpet experience and production meetings.
“We’re about to do a production meeting on exactly that: how we’re shooting the opener to the show, looking at the different interviews that we’re doing, people who are pinpointed to talk to across the night, how much time you have with each of them….
“You also want to be able to have a decent chat with them that goes beyond what they’re wearing.”
“The Red Carpet show is generally about half an hour, and you want to see as many people as you possibly can. You also want to be able to have a decent chat with them that goes beyond what they’re wearing.
“Fashion, of course, is a major part of the show, but just to hear from people about the night, what they’re expecting, the fact that it’s in Sydney, it’s on Seven ….it’s just got a different vibe to it this year.
“Everybody’s talking about Barbie the movie. I feel like the other thing they’re talking about is the Logies -or maybe that’s just because I’m in right in the thick of it!” she laughs.
Hosts have scripted producers questions but Kruger loves to head off script and draw upon her own connections with talent. Of course in the frenzy of the country’s biggest Red Carpet there’s potentially the risk of blanking and failing to recognise new -or even seasoned- talent too.
“You should have seen the look that he shot me!”
“It’s the worst feeling in the world!” she admits. “The first time I did the Academy Awards, it was for Today Tonight and I managed to score an interview with Alec Baldwin. He chatted with me for quite a while. And as he walked away, instead of saying ‘Alec,’ I second guess myself about his name and I called him ‘Alex’. You should have seen the look that he shot me!”
Although the Red Carpet takes place mid-afternoon at The Star and is pre-recorded, the quick turn-around means Kruger works largely As Live. With so many stars approaching, there’s little room for second takes.
“I remember doing an interview with Seal. It was supposed to be 30 seconds on the Red Carpet. He spoke for about three minutes. Then they stopped and said, ‘Sorry, Seal, we’re gonna have to do that again.’ He was like, ‘No, we’re not’ and he just walked away.”
It’s also her first gig with Dr. Chris Brown, whom she describes as intelligent, generous and sharing a similar sense of humour.
“I’ve heard these rumors”
If the chemistry works on screen, there are already rumours of a possible collective gig on a certain Dancing show for the network too.
“I’ve heard these rumors, I wish I could shed some light on it. But unfortunately, I can’t,” she insists.
“I think with the network, you know, Chris is obviously going to be very much in demand. He’s a proven prime time performer, and I’m sure they’ve got a lot of different plans for him. So I don’t think the decisions will remain to be closer to Upfront which is around October.”
“I think Hamish should pay it forward”
Meanwhile there is one very big event to get through, a long day / night and hopefully a trophy to take home.
But if not, who is Kruger tipping? Competing with her for the Gold Logie are Hamish Blake, Julia Morris, Leigh Sales, Mark Coles Smith, Osher Günsberg and Shaun Micallef.
“I love the fact that there’s an actor, a journalist, presenters, comedians,” she says.
“I think Hamish is still the red hot favourite to take it out. But I think Hamish should pay it forward to me because we’re buddies! Somebody said to me they think Hamish voted for me, which is really funny. We haven’t had a woman win the award for seven years, it would be great to see one of the girls take it home. Any of the girls because I love Julia and Leigh’s extraordinary.”
Voting for the TV Week Logie Awards continues here.
63rd TV Week Logie Awards Red Carpet 7pm / Ceremony 7:30pm Sunday on Seven