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Radio host Polly Gillespie's autobiography an emotional rollercoaster of self-reflection

Polly Gillespie is one of New Zealand's best-known radio hosts who, alongside her ex-husband Grant Kereama, fashioned a long-running breakfast show on ZM and The Hits.

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Polly Gillespie is one of New Zealand's best-known radio hosts, but last year she dropped the mic and started writing an autobiography. Source: Seven Sharp

Last year she dropped the mic and started writing an autobiography, which caused an emotional rollercoaster of self-reflective honesty.

Gillespie described her book to Seven Sharp as "quite Barry Crumpish in that respect, like lots of individual stories - there's no ongoing thing". 

"But you're right - it is a reference book." 

Gillespie says she got her start in radio after the station’s preferred choice got mumps.

She and then-husband Kereama hit the big time in the 90s with the first syndicated breakfast show in New Zealand. 

“I think I was the first female in radio not to be the sidekick. Yeah, so up until then, the women giggled and laughed and went, ‘Oh, you're so funny.’”

“I would get up at 4am, breastfeed, then go to work, express during the news - it was constant. I don't know how I did it, now I find it difficult to feed a cat.”

She also revealed that music mogul Simon Cowell had asked her to be a permanent phone sex girl.

“I interviewed him and at the end he said, 'Could you stay on the line a little bit longer?'”

Gillespie, Kereama and 130 others were let go by Mediaworks in the middle of last year, but she said she’s nowhere near done.

She continues to stir the pot on her live breakfast show podcast, Polly 24/7, and in her newfound writing career.

Her book is, like her - to the point.

"It's a bit spicy in places and very honest. It's really honest.”