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Kelli Underwood

Kelli Underwood (born 1977) is a 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 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 Netball Championship on Fox Sports, is an AFL commentator with ABC Radio Grandstand, and is a regular on ABC News Breakfast and Grandstand Digital Breakfast with Francis Leach.. [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.

Underwood's move into television began when she became a reporter for Ten News and Sports Tonight. During the Network Ten broadcast of the 2009 NAB Cup 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.

Channel Ten claimed her debut was a success,[4] however that she would be used only on occasional matches during the NAB Cup.[5]

Underwood 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 when the network relegated her to the position of boundary commentator.[6]

Underwood continued to commentate netball and work as a sports reporter for Ten until taking a voluntary redundancy in December 2012. She signed off by finishing presenting Sport for Ten News – Melbourne with anchor Mal Walden thanking and praising her.

Her partner is ABC Producer Georgia Spokes and they have recently given birth to a daughter Tessa


  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. L, Larry (23 February 2009). "Plucky Kelli butters up". The Age. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  5. Sheridan, Nick (23 February 2009). "Caller passes first test but still on bench". Real Footy (The Age). Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  6. 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.