Kelli Underwood

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Kelli Underwood (born 1977) is an award winning radio and television sports journalist and sportscaster specialising in Australian rules football, netball and tennis. She is notable as being the first woman in history to call an Australian Football League match on television[1] which is seen by many as a landmark for women[citation needed] in Australian media for such a male dominated sport.

Underwood is co-host of The Back Page on Fox Sports and appears regularly on the ABC's Offsiders program. She hosts and commentates the ANZ Championship on Fox Sports and has her own program Breaking Ground, which features in-depth interviews with some of Australia's top female athletes. Underwood has won two Astra Awards, including the 2015 award for Most Outstanding Female Presenter.[citation needed]

Radio career[edit]

Underwood is part of the ABC Radio Grandstand team, calling AFL games and tennis. She currently hosts The Sunday Session on Sundays from midday on ABC radio around the country[2][3]

Underwood's work began in radio, starting out on a local radio station at Murray Bridge, South Australia. She moved to Melbourne and worked at Geelong station K-Rock before moving to 3AW as a sports reporter and AFL match day reporter. There she joined Rex Hunt commentating a match among much media fanfare.

Television career[edit]

Underwood's move into television began in 2006, when she became a sport reporter at Network Ten, working for the 5pm Ten News bulletin and Sports Tonight out of Melbourne.

She joined Network Ten's AFL coverage in 2009, replacing Christi Malthouse as a Boundary Rider. During the broadcast of the 2009 NAB Cup game between Geelong and the Adelaide Crows, Underwood made history becoming the first woman to call an AFL match on television, joining Tim Lane in commentary. She called her first AFL premiership season match on 18 July 2009 – the Round 16 match between Geelong and Melbourne at Kardinia Park with Anthony Hudson. Underwood commentated for matches for Network Ten throughout 2009–10, both in the commentary box and at ground level through until the end of 2011. [4]

Underwood continued to commentate netball and work as a sports reporter for Ten until taking a voluntary redundancy in December 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Her partner Georgia Spokes is a senior editor at ABC News. They have a daughter.


  1. ^ Devlyn, Darren (23 February 2009). "Kelli Underwood a worthwhile punt for Channel 10". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  2. ^ Hutchison, Craig (11 January 2009). "Kelli Underwood calls Aussie Rules". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. ^ Hinds, Richard (29 November 2012). "That's why the lady is a champ". 
  4. ^ Ralph, Jon (19 January 2011). "Channel 10 flicks switch on Kelli Underwood, first female to call football on TV". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 January 2011.