The face of the all-new StyleTV, Andrea Allen effortlessly embodies the glitz and glamour of the small screen, but also with an array of unexpected personal pursuits when the camera stops rolling.
Andrea says: My career before television began in hotels and hospitality. I started out working at the Hermitage in Mount Cook and continued working in hospo in Queenstown, before becoming a concierge at the Park Royal, Christchurch. Between raising a family and my career in television I have dabbled in all kinds of jobs, from marketing to floristry and even auto glass repairs!
I liken my role as host to driving: my job is to steer the show in the right direction – keeping it on track and avoiding any head-on collisions wherever possible! My ultimate responsibility is to ensure my guests are relaxed and are the stars of the show. Every show that goes to air must be special and memorable.
I love this business; it has so many different aspects. Television is a honeypot for creative souls and I am very fortunate to have worked with some incredible people along the way.
I am so excited about hosting the brand new StyleTV (launching this month). Although my role as host remains the same, as in I will still be the driver, instead of it being my 1971 Falcon 351 GT it may be the 2007 GT Porsche! An incredible amount of planning has gone into producing a new look to mirror the fabulousness of the magazine and the stunning new set is testament to this new direction. There will be new personalities that have to be kept hush-hush for now, but you can expect a real who’s who of Canterbury with cutting-edge fashion, style advice for your home, and helpful hints for your heart and health.
There’s not really a typical work day, as it tends to change from week to week depending my family schedule. My children’s time is shared between their father and my partner Brett and I, and when we have the boys, life is blessedly filled with school runs and sport, very typical to most Cantabrians.
However, with three young men I have a regular routine that involves getting up every morning around 5.30 to prepare the school lunches and have some quiet time to myself. Once I’ve had breakfast and watched Paul Henry, the mad hour begins when the boys get up and I get myself ready for the studio with a shower, hair and makeup – and no, sadly, I don’t have a hair stylist or makeup artist!
I don’t have a regular stylist or wardrobe assistants, but on occasion I’m very lucky to be dressed by Angela Stone, who also happens to be one of my best friends. A lot of my clothes that tend to be very tailored I’ve collected on my travels and online. Some of my favourite designers are Zimmerman, Camilla & Marc, and for something cheap and cheerful you can’t go past Miss Selfridge.
I love dressing up on set, but in the weekends it’s definitely more casual. Unless I have an event you’ll often find me in jeans. My style is completely individual. I don’t buy into fads or trends, however, I have to say I’m loving bodysuits at the moment and for summer I am totally embracing the penny loafer!
Family is of huge importance to me, so no matter what everyone’s doing Monday nights are always reserved for a family dinner when we all come together to reflect on the week that’s been and what lies ahead. My evenings are usually spent doing some form of compulsory exercise and juggling the boys’ sporting commitments and our own engagements. Otherwise you can find me indulging in one of my favourite secret pastimes. It’s something not many people know about me that’s become an addiction… “Hi, my name is Andrea and I am a Real Housewives addict and it’s been six hours since my last episode.” Orange County, Melbourne, Beverly Hills – it doesn’t matter, I love it! Some people have glass of wine to wind down, well mine is Real Housewives!
People may also be surprised to discover that I love unwinding at the end of a long week by playing my electric bass and enjoying motorsport. Yes, I’m a proud middleclass bogan! I’ve been into motorsport ever since I was a child – the bug taking hold at Teretonga in Southland. My partner, Brett and I have a nice collection of cars, but my favourites have to be the beautiful diamond blue Falcon 351GT 1971 and my latest acquisition, a 1983 Alfa Romeo. This year I’ll be hitting the racetrack for the first time with the Alfa. Fingers crossed you will see me at the SKOPE Classic at Ruapuna. I can’t wait!
The new year promises exciting challenges as Brett and I are building a new home on the waterfront in Pegasus. We’ve been busy working on the design and putting a lot of our personality into it, so it’ll be great to finally see it come to fruition!
We live in paradise, here in Christchurch. How lucky are we to be able to jump in our car and, within an hour, be surfing the beaches, hitting the snow, embracing nature with our various tracks whilst taking advantage of our incredible eateries? We are spoilt for choice. I am passionate about the rebirth of our city and would love to see the addition of an international water facility on the Avon River – extending the Kerrs Reach rowing facilities. I am a committee member for the St Andrew’s Rowing Club, and my eldest son (who is away at rowing camp as I write) is entering his third rowing season. It’s really enjoyable being a part of such a hardworking and committed committee.
Once the children have finished their secondary education, a big personal goal is to stand for the City Council. I love the emotional and cultural aspect of Christchurch and adore the forward-thinking energy that is thriving. To be a constructive and dynamic “doer” within the council team would be amazing – watch this space!