|Born||Sonia Melissa Kruger
28 August 1965
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
|Spouse(s)||James Davies (m. 2002–08)|
Sonia Melissa Kruger (born 28 August 1965) is an Australian television presenter and media personality. She is best known for co-hosting the popular Australian version of Dancing with the Stars and for the role of Tina Sparkle in the hit 1992 film Strictly Ballroom. She currently hosts Today Extra and The Voice Australia.
Born in Toowoomba, Queensland, she attended Beenleigh State High School, completing Year 12 in 1982. Kruger has also completed an Arts Degree at the University of Technology, Sydney and taught dance at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney.
In 1992 Kruger came to prominence in her acting debut as "Tina Sparkle" in the AFI Award-Winning film Strictly Ballroom. She also served as a ballroom adviser for the film. This remains as Kruger's only acting role to date. Following Kruger's film debut she hosted the Children's Variety Show Wonder World on the Nine Network. Kruger has been an Entertainment Reporter for both Seven Network shows Today Tonight, Sunrise and 11AM. Kruger previously hosted the Morning Program on the Sydney-based radio station Mix 106.5 with Dancing with the Stars Judges Todd McKenney and Andy Grace.
In 2004 Kruger joined the Seven Network reality dance competition television series Dancing with the Stars, the Australian version of the UK BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing. She co-hosted the series with both Daryl Somers and Daniel MacPherson over the course of the eleven seasons in which she appeared. In September 2008 Kruger was confirmed to host the Seven Network makeover reality show 10 Years Younger in 10 Days. Despite high ratings for its series premiere, Seven Network did not renew the series for a second season.
In November 2011 Kruger announced she was leaving both Dancing with the Stars and Seven Network to pursue other opportunities. Spice Girls member and UK songstress Melanie Brown replaced Kruger for the series' twelfth season which premiered in April 2012.
Kruger then signed a development deal with the Nine Network in November 2011. Kruger was confirmed to host her own daytime talk show Mornings with singer/actor David Campbell. The series was designed to replace Kerri-Anne which ended that same month. This new series premiered on 6 February 2012(and continues into 2016 rebranded as Today Extra). Kruger was also announced to host Nine Network's reboot of the competition reality television series Big Brother Australia. Kruger replaces Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O who hosted the series on Network Ten in its eighth season, which was cancelled in 2008. Big Brother Australia 9 premiered on 13 August 2012 to 1.6 million viewers, the franchise's highest ratings since the series' third season. Kruger's performance on the show received mixed reviews from critics and viewers. On 22 February 2015, it was announced that Kruger would be joining the fourth series of The Voice Australia as a co-host with Darren McMullen.
Kruger was married for six years to James Davies, a British-born banker.
After the marriage ended in September 2008 she began seeing her current partner Craig McPherson, executive producer of Today Tonight. She and McPherson had been trying for a child for years, through both IVF and natural methods. She became pregnant several times, but aborted all. In August 2014, she announced she was pregnant, having conceived via in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). In January 2015, Kruger gave birth to a daughter, Maggie.
In 2008, during an episode of Dancing with Stars, Kruger made a comment about a "sweat shop of illegal immigrants" working on her wardrobe for the Melbourne Cup carnival before referring to the show's musical director Chong Lim, the show’s Malaysian-born musical director with the words "How’s the family, Chong? All right?". Channel 7 later issued an apology for her statement.
On 18 July 2016, during an appearance on the morning show Today, Kruger called for a complete ban on Muslims entering Australia, in agreement with an opinion piece by commentator Andrew Bolt. Kruger defended her comments saying "I believe it’s vital in a democratic society to be able to discuss these issues without being labelled racist." The firebombing of a Perth radio station initially linked by media reports to the presenters disagreeing with Kruger's views was later determined by police to be "coincidental" and "nothing to do with the Islam discussion."
On the 1st of August, 2016, during an appearance on Today Extra, Kruger had referred to a disadvantage scholarship, which required the prospective student to submit their sexuality, as "reverse discrimination", arguing that is should only be rewarded on merit, and that being LGBTI does not hold discrimination.
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- "Sonia Kruger: the Truth Behind My Marriage Split". New Idea. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Mornings host Sonia Kruger loved up with Today Tonight Producer Craig McPherson". news.com.au. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Sonia Kruger: I'm struggling with IVF at 47". The Australian Women's Weekly. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Sonia Kruger gives birth to baby daughter". The Daily Telegraph. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Sonia's foot in her mouth again – couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Gavin Fernando (2016) "Television personality Sonia Kruger calls for Australia to ban Muslims" News.com.au, 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
Darren McMullen (Solo)
2015 - present
Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O
|Big Brother Australia
2012 - 2014
|Dancing with the Stars
2004 - 2011