Kerri-Anne steps up
Kerri-Anne Kennerley. Picture: Supplied.

The lights may have been dimmed on Kerri-Anne Kennerley's daytime TV career, but after more than 40 years in showbiz it's no surprise the effervescent 58-year-old still knows how to make a dazzling entrance.

Donning a silver figure-hugging knee-length gown and glittering heels to match, Kennerley looked every bit the part of a glamorous golden girl as she arrived for our interview at a Melbourne charity event, where she was a guest with a bevy of other TV stars.

"I'm channelling dancing already," she beamed, as she took a seat in front of me.

And indeed she was.

Despite her second slip-up with Perth-born dance partner Carmelo Pizzino on Sunday's episode of Dancing with the Stars, in previous weeks Kennerley made a notable impression on hard-nosed judges Helen Richey, Todd McKenney and Josh Horner.

Although the unfortunate stumble, which unfolded midway through the couple's jive routine, earned them their lowest score so far, Kennerley has survived her fourth week in the competition no doubt thanks to solid fan votes.

Speaking before her celebrity dancing debut, Kennerley said she was terrified of hitting the ballroom floor, mostly out of fear she would embarrass Pizzino.

"Apart from physically standing up to do this for three, four, five hours a day, you then have to remember the technique and the steps all in a row, so I sort of ended up spinning the wheel for a week and a half just thinking 'What have I done, this is never going to happen'," she said. "Yes, I did a bit of singing, a bit of dancing, but nothing to do with this discipline; it's completely different."

While it appears Kennerley has moved on from her public ordeal with Nine, which saw the end of her nine-year stint hosting Mornings with Kerri-Anne (which was replaced by Mornings hosted by Sonia Kruger and David Campbell), she admits to having reservations about jumping into another TV project so soon.

"I was a bit reticent - I knew how hard it was and I ummed and ahed a lot," she said. "I didn't want to rush into anything, but once you decide you're going to do something you've got to commit to it."

Former X Factor finalist Johnny Ruffo and Packed to the Rafters' Zoe Cramond may have emerged hot favourites to take out the coveted mirror ball trophy this year, but given how high she is in the popularity stakes there is hope yet for Kennerley and Pizzino.

"I know what a lack of talent I am, I mean look at Johnny, he's 23 and he's a little rubber band and I'm not, so I'm working harder," she laughed.

"I'm not a competitive person. The way I look at this competition is that you're not up against anyone else; you're only ever playing yourself. The only thing I can do is like the actors do - turn up on time and remember your lines."

That said, Kennerley still hopes to reach the finale for Pizzino's sake.

"Carmelo is just so wonderful, he's such a good dancer and I'd like him to do really well because he has got to the finals a few times but he's never won, so I'd love to be a part of that for him," she said.

While it remains to be seen what else the future will bring for the TV doyenne (rumour has it she will host another prime-time show on Seven) she is clearly relishing her new-found dancing venture with Seven.

"Just from the last few weeks of dancing, it's been fantastic for the body, back and legs," she said. "I know I will go out and do the absolute best I can and have as much fun as I can."

"I know what a lack of talent I am, I mean look at Johnny, he's 23 and he's a little rubber band and I'm not, so I'm working harder . . . Carmelo is just so wonderful, he's such a good dancer and I'd like him to do really well." <div class="endnote">

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The West Australian

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