Celeb interview that still gives Amanda Keller nightmares
AMANDA Keller has opened up about the question she once asked a celebrity that still haunts her years later.
Keller, who is up for the Gold Logie this year, has met thousands of stars during her TV and radio career, but it's the interview she was most excited about that went spectacularly wrong.
"You know what was terrible was when I met my hero, Barry Manilow," The Living Room star told news.com.au.
"I was in Vegas because my girlfriend and I, we'd loved him since we were at school and we thought when we were in our mid-40s that we should go to Vegas and see Barry for the sake of clinking a glass on our 30-year friendship."
Keller somehow managed to arrange an interview with the Copacabana singer while she was in town and took her girlfriend along for the big chat.
"I had an out of body experience," Keller recalled. "It was terrible. I've got my head in my hands as I tell you this story.
"We were talking about fans going out of their way for him and I said, 'what's the weirdest thing a fan has given you?' But then I said, 'apart from herpes'. My friend looked at me like I'd gone insane and Barry looked at me with a face of disgust. I thought, 'What's happened?' I've loved this man since I was 16 and I've just said the word herpes'.
"It's like the devil spoke," Keller said. "It was so terrible. I tried to recover from it but not very well and it was just dreadful. I still have nightmares about it."
There have been a few other interviews with Hollywood A-listers that Keller hasn't enjoyed over the years.
"I've had the best and worst interviews with Mark Wahlberg," the WSFM breakfast host told news.com.au. "The last one was great, the one before was terrible. You never know which Marky Mark you're going to get.
"Ashton Kutcher at the beginning of his career was the best interview and Will Smith too. They were both just brilliant. And they came out recently for movies and I just was disappointed because they'd been so great the time before. They just weren't giving much.
"At the ripe age of 56 it feels dismissive because you think, 'I'm not here as an elderly fan. I'm not here on pension day to get a biscuit off you. I'm here to do my job and if you could look me in the eye and answer a question, how hard can that be?'"
One celebrity that Keller had an absolute ball with was The Brady Bunch star Florence Henderson who passed away in 2016.
"I interviewed her on the radio and did a Living Room story with her and we filmed it in my house," Keller said.
"For some reason she was here promoting tinned tomatoes which was weird to start with. But Mrs Brady, I grew up watching her and I had to pinch myself that she was in my house and she was the nicest woman.
"She invited my husband and me out to dinner that night. She swore like a trooper, threw back about five vodkas and then insisted on paying for dinner. And she even wrote me the loveliest note when she went home."
News.com.au caught up with Keller just two weeks out from this year's Logies which are being held on the Gold Coast on July 1.
At the recent nominees announcement ceremony, Keller found out she's up for the Gold Logie, the silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter and her Channel 10 show The Living Room is up for Most Popular Lifestyle Program.
"It's nothing I ever expected," Keller said about the Gold Logie nomination. "I've been blown away by it actually."
"The [announcement] ceremony was on a weekend where my husband was away on a hike and I was at home with my eldest son. And they [Channel 10 publicity] said, 'You need to go to the Gold Coast.' And I said, 'Oh look, it's really hard this weekend.' And they said, 'We think you SHOULD go to the Gold Coast.' And I thought, 'That's unusual.' I thought to myself, 'Obviously I'm up for Best New Talent!'"
In a career full of highs, Keller said winning a Gold Logie would "be right up there" in terms of her biggest achievement.
"I've had a couple of big things in recent years," she said. "The Order of Australia Medal and the Radio Hall of Fame meant so much to me and look, imagine the trifecta. Then I can just retire and maybe run a fish and chip shop."
Win or lose, you can bet that Keller will be putting in a solid effort at the Logies afterparties this year because her breakfast radio show will be on holidays at the time and she won't need to be on air the following morning.
But the parties aren't as wild as they used to be, Keller said.
"It is a little bit monitored now," she told news.com.au before recalling one of her favourite afterparty stories.
"I remember one year I was watching A Current Affair [the day after the Logies] and they had a thing that said, 'Logies Shock!' and there was a picture of me and Rebecca Gibney wearing feather boas. I thought, 'What the hell's that?'
"The story was that someone had been booted out of the Logies and it had nothing to do with us but they'd used our picture in the promo. I texted Rebecca and I said, 'I don't know what tonight's story is but keep your eye out!'"
You can vote for Amanda Keller and The Living Room when Logies voting reopens on Friday, June 29 online. It will finish at the end of the Logie Awards red-carpet telecast on Sunday, July 1.