Andrew O'Keefe

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Andrew O'Keefe
Andrew O'Keefe.jpg
O'Keefe in 2006
Born (1971-10-01) 1 October 1971 (age 46)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Other names A.O.K
Education Saint Ignatius College, Riverview
Years active 2003–present
Employer Seven Network
Known for
Spouse(s) Eleanor O'Keefe
Children 3

Andrew Patrick O'Keefe AM (born 1 October 1971) is an Australian entertainer and former lawyer, best known for being the host of the game show Deal or No Deal. He was also the co-host of Weekend Sunrise alongside Monique Wright between 2006 and 2017. In 2015, he was announced as the host of The Chase Australia.

Legal career[edit]

O'Keefe worked as an intellectual property lawyer with Australian law firm Allens Arthur Robinson and, for a short time, with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney.

Television career[edit]

O'Keefe first started his television career in 2003, starring in Channel Seven's AFI-nominated sketch show Big Bite. Late the same year he began hosting Deal or No Deal.

In 2001, he was a member of the Australian Theatresports team that won the Just for Laughs Improv Tournament at the Montreal Comedy Festival. He played Theatresports most Sunday nights at the Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney, winning a Cranston Cup series with two-man team Dirty Harry's Bathwater.

In 2005, O'Keefe co-hosted the historic tri-network tsunami appeal Reach Out with fellow presenters Eddie McGuire and Rove McManus on three commercial networks Seven, Nine and Ten. The appeal raised over $20 million for tsunami relief efforts around Asia. The event was such a success that the three teamed up the following year to host the Logie awards. In that same year, he hosted the short-lived Dragons Den.

From 2007 until 2009, O'Keefe hosted the quiz show The Rich List and, between 2006 and 2017, took the helm of Weekend Sunrise, which he presented on Saturday and Sunday mornings with journalist Monique Wright.[1] In addition he regularly substituted for David Koch on Sunrise. He presented the program for two weeks whilst Koch was on holidays during the summer period of 2013 alongside his former Weekend Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage. He no longer fills in on weekdays due to his commitments with The Chase Australia.

On 31 May 2013, O'Keefe commenced playing the role of King Herod in the Australian tour of the Jesus Christ Superstar arena show[2] and received "rave" reviews.[3] However, on 14 June 2013, he was admitted to hospital with a serious neck injury requiring surgery, and was forced to relinquish the role for the rest of the tour. O'Keefe believed the injury was aggravated during a performance of the show.[3]

In 2015 O'Keefe began presenting Seven's new game show, The Chase Australia, which replaced struggling game shows Deal or No Deal which he hosted, and Million Dollar Minute in the 5:00pm timeslot.[4]

In December 2017, O'Keefe announced his resignation as co-host of Weekend Sunrise after 12 years with the show.[5][6]

Criticisms and accusations of bias[edit]

O'Keefe has frequently faced criticism of left bias in his interviews and moderation of debates. Tensions erupted when former Australian Labor Party leader Mark Latham accused him of having "a bet each way" during a heated debate about feminism and domestic violence in 2016. He has also been criticised by other notable individuals such as journalist and conservative commentator Miranda Devine and Senator Pauline Hanson. The most recent example being the 2017 controversy surrounding O'Keefe's Sunrise interview of The Red Pill producer Cassie Jaye. The interview was posted on Sunrise's Facebook page, but was removed shortly after due to a negative response to O'Keefe's interview tactics. O'Keefe was accused of ignorance and poor journalism after he failed to view The Red Pill in its entirety before accusing Cassie Jaye of being sympathetic to the views of Paul Elam.[7][8]

Community and charity work[edit]

O'Keefe is a past chairman of the White Ribbon Foundation in Australia, an organisation dedicated to the prevention of violence against women.[9] He was one of the founding members of the campaign in Australia and has been an ambassador since 2004. The campaign is active in schools, workplaces, sports clubs, councils and other community organisations, and seeks to rally men and boys as leaders in the fight against violence.[10]

As a result of his work with the Foundation, O'Keefe was appointed to the inaugural National Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, which drafted the report Time for Action: Australia's National Plan for Reducing Violence Against Women and their Children on behalf of the federal government.[11]

Personal life[edit]

O'Keefe is one of five children.[12] His father was Barry O'Keefe, a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He is a nephew of the Australian rock and roll singer Johnny O'Keefe and brother of University of Cambridge international lawyer Roger O'Keefe.[13][14]

He attended Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, and then studied arts and law at the University of Sydney,[14] where he was heavily involved in theatre sports and faculty revues.

He has an AMusA diploma in classical singing (baritone), was the frontman for several Sydney bands in the 1990s and plays trumpet and piano.

He is also a keen swimmer and swims most days "to clear the cobwebs".[14]

O'Keefe is married to Eleanor, a social worker, and together they have three children.[12][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seven Network's Andrew O'Keefe | The Telegraph 22 November 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  2. ^ Australian tour of Jesus Christ Superstar kicks off in Perth | WA Today 27 February 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013
  3. ^ a b Andrew O'Keefe pulls out of Jesus Christ Superstar with serious neck injury | News Ltd 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013
  4. ^ Knox, David (18 July 2015). "Media gets on board with AOK to host The Chase". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Hornery, Andrew (2017-12-08). "Andrew O'Keefe quits Weekend Sunrise". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-12-08. 
  6. ^ Knox, David (8 December 2017). "Andrew O'Keefe quits Weekend Sunrise". TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 December 2017. 
  7. ^ Callaghan, Greg (29 July 2017). "Cassie Jaye's film on the men's rights movement shocked Australia. Why?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 
  8. ^ Chung, Frank (15 June 2017). "Seven forces Facebook to remove Sunrise interview with The Red Pill director Cassie Jaye". news.com.au. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  9. ^ Appointment of a new Chair of White Ribbon Australia | White Ribbon Foundation 15 May 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013
  10. ^ Members of National Council to reduce violence against women and children announced | Australian Government 26 May 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2013 Archived 16 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ White Ribbon Foundation
  12. ^ a b Chris Beck talks to Andrew O'Keefe | The Age 12 January 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  13. ^ Ten questions: Andrew O'Keefe | The Australian 19 November 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  14. ^ a b c Changing Channels: Andrew O'Keefe on Allens to showbiz | Lawyers Weekly 11 August 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  15. ^ "The Chase Australia" (PDF). Seven West Media. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Chris Reason
Weekend Sunrise
Co-host with Monique Wright

March 2006 – December 2017
Succeeded by
Basil Zempilas