Michele A’Court, by her own admission, talks a lot ! She is a household name in New Zealand, and thousands of people have obviously enjoyed listening to her, and probably laughed quite a lot, as she was awarded ‘Comedienne of the Decade’ at the 2010 NZ Comedy Awards. Her entertaining memoir of motherhood, ‘Stuff I Forgot to Tell my Daughter’ is a rollicking good read – even for those who are childfree.

We asked her a few questions to get an insight into what makes her sparkle –


What do you love about the age you are right now?

I love being able to walk down the street without attracting unwarranted commentary from men. Though if anyone accidentally wolf-whistles at me (it happened in Timaru one night last year,) I love having the confidence to shout: “Are you kidding me? Go home to your mother, and apologise to her for disrespecting women.”

What motivates you?

Finding the joy in whatever it is I’m doing – mostly it’s about connecting with people. None of us wants to feel alone. Also, making the world a better place for my granddaughter.

What is your dream holiday? 

New Orleans is my favourite town – holing up in an apartment in the French Quarter, spending every day listening to jazz and blues, eating crawfish and fried chicken.

Give your teenaged self some advice:

Never go to bed with your mascara on.

Which item of clothing can’t you live without?

I have a black and orange cardigan that I seem to wear all the time – the orange is exactly the same colour as Aperol Spritz, my favourite Italian cocktail made from Prosecco and an orange liqueur.

What talent would you most like to have?

Singing. People occasionally mistake me for Jackie Clarke and ask me to sing. It is a terrible mistake. I’m ok in the shower.

What is the best thing you have brought back from a holiday?

Our house is filled with treasures gathered up in other places. Some of them are on the shrine I keep to “Stroppy Women”. I’m very fond of my collection of Wonder Woman figurines and my New Orleans voodoo doll.

Your dream guest list for a great dinner party:

Joan Rivers, George Carlin and Christopher Hitchens (if we could get them back from the other side); Barack and Michelle Obama; and Adele. Also, my husband, Jeremy Elwood, because he’s a terrific cook and no meal is any good without him.

If you could only keep five possessions what would they be?

  1. The external hard-drive that has all the family photos on it.
  2. The gold locket my grandfather gave my grandmother when he was called up in WWII.
  3. My wedding ring
  4. The custom-made orthotics that stops my knee hurting when I walk
  5. Our cat, Satchmo, who isn’t a possession – he owns us – but he needs to be on the list because he brings me endless joy.

How would someone else describe you?

Stroppy, opinionated, and endlessly amused.

What is your favourite Annah Stretton garment, and why?

The Fix Bit Slip – it works under so many dresses, including the Flip It. Great sleeve, great neckline.

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