Kerre McIvor reckons she became an extrovert at school, where comedy was one way to get accepted. At Waihi College, before her family moved to Hamilton, she played the lead role in “a jazzed-up version” of Cinderella.
After school McIvor had the choice of becoming a management trainee at a roofing firm, or studying journalism at Wellington Polytechnic. She chose journalism. Afterwards, Radio New Zealand chose her. Having spent two years at varied North Island radio stations she began her first television job, reporting for The Video Dispatch, a news show aimed at the young.
When she was 21, producer Keith Slater suggested she audition for consumer rights perennial Fair Go. Starting in 1986, she would do five seasons on the show. Chris Harrington, who was producing Fair Go in 1990, found her a paradox. “When she was about seven she saw a Marilyn Monroe movie and was impressed. But when you get past that, there’s a very good journalist there. She also knows how to write and deliver a very funny script. She knows about timing — how to play an audience — and that’s a rare thing in a journalist.”
McIvor left Fair Go to take up a job on breakfast radio. Since then she has made appearances on a number of television shows, presenting everything from the yearly Hero Parade to food show Ready Steady Cook and TV3’s mad cap Nightline.
Worried that she was 40-something and increasing in girth, McIvor enlisted a trainer and set about getting in shape to run the Auckland Marathon. She followed it in 2008 with the New York marathon. Her bestseller Short Fat Chick to Marathon Runner, published under the name Kerre Woodham, includes training tips from co-author Gareth Brow. It was reprinted three times; follow-up Short Fat Chick in Paris proved another bestseller.
McIvor is a longtime host of the eight till midnight weeknight shift on radio station NewstalkZB. She also hosted the high rating Kerre’s Cafe for the network on Sunday mornings, reviewing weekend papers with the editors.
McIvor has an honours degree in History and Political Science. Aside from her radio work, she writes a weekly column for the Herald on Sunday. She began doing celebrity debates in her 20s, and is a regular event MC and after-dinner speaker. Following a stint reviewing books for TV One’s Good Morning, she also promotes and writes about books for the Paper Plus chain.
Kerre Woodham website (broken link). Accessed 28 September 2011
Douglas Jenkin, ‘Fair And Feisty’ (Interview) - Listener (TV Times pullout), 21 May 1990, page 41
‘Kerre Ivor (Woodham)’ (Profile). Speakerlink website. Accessed 28 September 2015