WITH JEAN KITTSON
WHO IS JEAN KITTSON?
Hello, my name is Jean Kittson AM and I am a comedian, actor and author. I have written and appeared in lots of television shows, a number of films, and I have written three books.
What is your go-to look for a day at work?
If I am working at a gig, then it’s dress-up time; suits for conferences and glam silk tops and pants for night events. If I am working on scripts on my laptop at home, then whatever is comfortable - jeans, t shirts, jumpers. I tend to work-avoid by
cleaning the bathroom and walking the dog, so the older, the baggier the clothes, the better. More and more I like clothes with big pockets to know where my stuff is and free my hands.
We very appreciatively shot our spring summer campaign images at your gorgeous beach house at Whale Beach – tell us about the interior and what it means to have this beautiful destination in your life?
The interior came with the house when my husband bought it. The house and the furnishings are vintage 1948. We have added a few more comforts like soft cushions and rugs but it is very much an authentic, no mod cons beach shack. The clothesline is still a rope between trees and washing up is still hands on – rubber gloves optional.
What is your favourite look from the Winter ’23 collection?
I love my Iris and wool
jumpers, I have the Augusta jumper in the cream and the Winnie waffle polo, I have it in green, and it is soft and lovely to wear, and so is my navy Glenora Cable with the beautiful big sleeves.
I have two daughters so actually keeping my hands on these jumpers can be a challenge.
You are a stalwart in the media industry, Any tips for talking to media?
If you are pitching an idea or a media release, have a brief, interesting, relatable, re-tellable story. It is called the “Hook”. Which might have begun as an unpleasant
metaphor for reeling in fish, but I prefer to think of it as something to hold on to. What is the hook of your story - how does it relate to others?
You were a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice – for the entrepreneurs out there (including me!) what was that experience like?
I learnt that elite sports people, who are trained to be self-disciplined and self-motivating, who are goal driven and competitive have the advantage. They are organised but fair
and frank, and good at identifying opportunities. They are flexible and versatile when conditions change. They are, in brief, extremely effective team
members and excellent for business.
Lord Sugar and Janine Allis and Nick Bell were the judges and they looked for people who fulfilled the business objective, who didn’t get caught cheating, who worked hard and
worked well in a team, who identified opportunities and would flex with the sitch (flex with the situation). People who pivot not panic.
How do you produce your book ideas? What is your process for writing a book?
‘You’re still hot to me, the joys of menopause’ and ‘We need to talk about mum and dad – a guide to parenting our ageing parents’ both came out of my own need for factual, reliable, easy to access information. I wrote the books I needed. When I hit peri menopause, myths and misinformation were everywhere, dominating the internet, confusing and misleading women about menopause. I wanted to know what was going on and how to manage it in the best way possible.
It was the same with ‘We need to talk…’ I was going through menopause, working full time, kids still at home, and looking after my ageing parents. And it wasn’t the teenagers or the hot flushes causing the most sleepless nights, it was how to best support my parents as they aged; where and how to get the support we needed so that Mum and Dad could lead the best life possible; healthy, happy, safe and self-determining. Mum and Dad still live independently - Mum is nearly 99 and Dad is 96 - he is her toy boy.
As someone once said about writing a book, it consists of staring at a blank screen till beads of blood form on your forehead. My process is the same except with added interviews.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
What are you currently reading The Siberian Dilemma By Martin Cruz Smith
What are you binging on TV? The Bear. An absolutely stunning show on Disney.
Favourite flowers? There is not a flower I dont like.
What do you never leave the house without? Predictably and sadly, my phone.
Favourite scent? We have a very large old Magnolia Grandiflora in the back yard and when it blooms with flowers the size of dinner plates, the scent is intoxicating. Having said that, I am sitting next to a vase of Daphne and it is delicious too.
Your first fashion moment? To mind it was the late 1960's - and I had a pair of stonewashed Lee Jeans, a tie-dye t-shirt and a purple suede fringe vest. I was a walking Woodstock.
Dream Purchase? A ‘dream on’ purchase, would be a McLaren 750s Spider sports car. I am a petrol head. Actually, any model McLaren would be fine, thanks.
Summer or Winter? Winter, love rugging up.
Do you have a superpower?! Multi-tasking, one at
Photography Sophie Joyce