Sarah Bradley hostess with the mostest
Most single mums would struggle to hold down a demanding full-time job while raising an energetic five-year-old.
But bubbly Good Morning host Sarah Bradley not only juggles parenting with being one of the nation's most high profile TV personalities, she is an active skier, scuba diver and jazz singer and is also studying for a postgraduate degree.
The 43-year-old is part way through a masters in International Relations at Wellington's Victoria University.
"I'm someone who is motivated by being busy and I also need a goal in my life," she explains.
"It's quite a full-on degree, anytime my daughter is asleep I'm reading articles about politics.
"You do get exhausted, it is really hard being on your own, and my social life has probably taken a bit of a hit, but I love it. I'm a girlie swat."
Bradley meets Sunday News on the set of Good Morning at Avalon Studios in Wellington.
She has been there since before 7am, doing pre-records and preparation before the live show begins two hours later. She's typically working long after filming wraps at midday, planning the next programme and shooting segments outside the studio.
Off-screen she is a ball of energy, talking quickly and often breaking into song, putting on quirky voices and interrupting herself.
Giving a speedy rundown of her career, she explains that keeping order in her hectic life involves "routine and good babysitters".
Born in Auckland and raised in New Zealand and the UK, Bradley dreamed of being a movie star or a broadway singer as a kid, but ended up studying finance and economics at Waikato University.
After four years as a marketing associate with IBM, she went to New York and did a two-year diploma in musical theatre.
During her 10 years as a struggling actress in the US, she held down a variety of jobs, from acting as Blinky Bill at a toy fair, to dressing up as a koala bear, before getting a break in television.
"I had success in New York because I worked for CNN and ABC as a reporter, but I definitely didn't have anywhere near the success I dreamed of as an actress," she says.
"I was so obsessed with making it, that I didn't step back and enjoy my life there as much as I should have."
While she had several relationships and a brief marriage in the US, Bradley was single when she returned to New Zealand at the age of 35 and took up the role of business editor for TV3.
Admitting she "wasn't obsessed about having a child," she was nonetheless delighted a couple of years later when she had daughter Melinda with sharebroker Peter Stokes.
While the relationship didn't work out – "just one of those things unfortunately" – she maintains he's a great dad to their child, who Bradley has already got playing tennis, piano, skiing and swimming.
"I'm one of those old fashioned mums who has put her through all the traditional things," she says. "And I want her to be a doctor."
Admitting she is a sucker for romance, the petite brunette would like to find Mr Right, but isn't sure if he would be able to handle her. "I pity any men who go out with me, it must be awful," she giggles.
"I don't think a poor man who came to live with me could survive my fussiness. I'm fussy about manners and eating nicely. I say I don't like the way they're holding their fork and there's no second date!"
Despite having enjoyed a varied and colourful life, which she relates in a frank, open and endearing manner, more than once Bradley apologises for "sounding so boring".
While she has developed a thick skin against the criticism which invariably comes with a high profile job, she admits she is nervous of being portrayed in the wrong light.
She reveals that she prefers not to do women's magazine interviews and often worries that her comments may be misinterpreted.
"I think a lot about things and I take things quite deeply," she says.
"I am quite a sensitive person and I'm one of those people who wants everyone to like me.
"But the people who come up to you and tell you they like what you're doing, make up for hearing how `up yourself' you are or how poncy your voice is."
Bradley has had the coveted job of Good Morning presenter since 2006, and while joking she'd love to work in an embassy in France, she hopes to remain in the role as long as possible.
"I know I am the luckiest girl in the world to have this dream job," she grins.