Kelli Underwood

Kelli Underwood (born 1977) is an Australian radio and television sports journalist and sportscaster specialising in Australian rules football, netball and tennis. She is notable as being the first woman to call an Australian Football League match on television[1] and radio.

Kelli Underwood
Sports commentary career

Underwood is currently host of ABC's Offsiders and a regular panelist on the Fox Sports program Back Page Live. She spearheaded the coverage of the inaugural AFLW season for Fox Sports, calls AFL games for ABC Radio and is an accomplished tennis commentator.

Radio career

Underwood is part of the ABC Radio Grandstand team, calling AFL games and tennis. She currently hosts The Sunday Session on Sundays from midday on ABC Radio around the country[2][3]

Underwood's work began in regional radio at Murray Bridge, South Australia. She worked at Geelong station K-Rock before moving to 3AW in Melbourne as a sports reporter and AFL match day reporter.

Television career

Underwood's move into television began in 2006, when she joined Network Ten as a sports reporter for the 5pm Ten News bulletin and Sports Tonight out of Melbourne. She joined Network Ten's AFL coverage in 2009, replacing Christi Malthouse as a Boundary Rider.

Underwood made history becoming the first woman to call an AFL match on television, joining Tim Lane in commentary of the 2009 NAB Cup game between Geelong and the Adelaide Crows. She 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. [4]

Underwood was a host and commentator of ANZ Championship Netball from 2008 until 2016, calling for Network Ten and later Fox Sports.

In 2013, Underwood joined the revamped Fox Sports panel show Back Page Live, which she continues to appear alongside host Tony Squires. Her work on Back Page Live and her interview program Breaking Ground earned her two Astra Awards, including the 2015 award for Most Outstanding Female Presenter[5].

In February 2018, Underwood replaced Gerard Whateley as host of Offsiders after he resigned from the ABC.

Personal life

Her partner Georgia Spokes is a senior editor at ABC News. They have a daughter.


  1. Devlyn, Darren (23 February 2009). "Kelli Underwood a worthwhile punt for Channel 10". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  2. Hutchison, Craig (11 January 2009). "Kelli Underwood calls Aussie Rules". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  3. Hinds, Richard (29 November 2012). "That's why the lady is a champ". The Age.
  4. 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.
  5. "Finalists & Winners | Astra: Subscription Television Australia". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
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