Natalie Barr: ‘I got fatter and fatter but no one cared’
Last week was one of the biggest in Natalie Barr's life. On Monday, the journalist and presenter started her new role as co-host of Sunrise alongside David Koch, replacing Samantha Armytage. Then on Friday of that week, she celebrated her 53rd birthday.
So how does she feel about the suggestion that women working in the visual medium of television have a use-by date and aren't allowed to age like their male counterparts?
"People have mentioned to me in previous years, that [as a woman in television] you're put out to pasture. You have an expiry date. But I've just got the biggest job of my life the week I've turned 53. So I guess that's not true, is it?" Barr tells Stellar On Friday.
"I've always said the Seven Network has supported me. I've put on 20kg with my two pregnancies. I got fatter and fatter and no-one cared. They've been supportive with everything I've needed with having two kids and working.
I think there's a view that it's a big bad TV station, it must be terrible for women. But I've had nothing but support from this company. I guess I'm living proof."
Barr started at the network in 1995 and has been the newsreader on Sunrise for the past 18 years.
While she's also very familiar with the co-host role, having regularly been asked to fill in whenever Armytage took time off, Barr describes the intense media attention that her appointment generated as a "whirlwind".
"For the past 18 years, I've been happy with half a step back, half a step to the left. I've been really comfortable with that. I've loved my newsreader job," she says. "I know there's more attention being front and centre. That's why I've liked being a newsreader - I was quite happy back there.
"I know this [co-hosting] job brings with it more publicity and more attention, and I think I'm kind of prepared for that but I'm also a little bit daunted by all that."
Originally published as Nat Barr: 'I got fatter and fatter but no one cared'