‘I Knew I Had To Be There For Him’: Alex and Mike King’s Dear Moments

The father and daughter duo always keep each other safe. Photo/Michael Heslop

Alex King was just a little girl when her famous father, Mike King, was battling addiction, depression and a life-changing stroke. She didn’t fully understand the turmoil he was going through, nor did she realize that she too would continue to experience mental health struggles, but she wanted to do anything she could to help her “best buddy”.

“I’ve been there for him through a lot of tragedies, like when he had a stroke,” Alex ponders.

“I was about eight when everything was really bad for my dad, so I didn’t understand what was going on, but I knew I had to be there for him. He was open and honest with us, and gave us ways to help him. My way was to get him a cup of tea— I still do that, to this day.”

These days Alex, 24, does more than make cups of tea to help and honor comedian turned mental health advocate Mike and other Kiwis who are struggling with mental issues. She puts her own struggles aside to appear on Celebrity Treasure Island, in a bid to win $100,000 for a youth initiative that is part of the Mike mental health organization I Am Hope.

It’s a brave move given the anxiety struggles the musician, actress, and former radio host faces when it comes to being in the spotlight.

“It’s been a struggle and you’re learning to grow up really fast.” Photo/Michael Heslop

“I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life,” shares Alex, whose mother is Mike’s ex-Nathan Rosemary.

“It’s been ups and downs constantly, especially working on radio for six years and experiencing the spotlight outside of my dad. It’s been a struggle and you’re learning to grow up really fast.

“And working on radio, you have to be very honest. Going through breakups and personal struggles, and having to air that, some of my friends might say, ‘Why are you telling the nation that?’” “But if someone else is struggling, they will find it related to it.”

Alex adds that pursuing a different career path and lifestyle than her peers has also increased her anxiety.

I don't see that coming!  With her Celebrity Treasure Island castmates.  Photo/TVNZ
I don’t see that coming! With her Celebrity Treasure Island castmates. Photo/TVNZ

“I’m still young, older and learning, but compared to my classmates it’s different because they don’t do the same, so I feel isolated from my friends. They have normal nine-to-five jobs and they’re done uni, and I did all the things you do when you leave high school, but I I did just the opposite – I ended up talking about a living!”

Among the people who have always stood by Alex is Mike, and after she was taped to Treasure Island, the producers invited him to join in the fun, which means Alex is now competing against her father to win the series, which is filmed in Northland. Although there is an “unspoken alliance” between the two, they can be fiercely competitive.

“If he wins something, he’ll come and go, ‘Loser! “And rub it in my face, but I’ll be back again. We’d love to blend in together on the show. It’d be fun to see us working together, as well as working separately. It’s exciting because we’re the first family dynamic on the show.”

Alex and Mike hope to win prize money that will help those with mental health issues — Mike chose Gumboot Friday, an initiative launched by I Am Hope, while Alex chose the charity’s Youth Ambassador Program, which sees young people navigate schools to give their mental health ideas. Healthy conversations.

Alex and Mike will not tolerate each other.
Alex and Mike will not tolerate each other. If he wins something, Alex says, it will come and go ‘loser! Photo/Michelle Hislop

“It’s different when you see my dad talking because he’s an adult, so for kids, it’s like watching the type of dad, and it’s less connected to him. With the Youth Ambassador program, they see kids or teens or youngsters going through similar things to themselves, so they can communicate better” .

Continuing on her own journey to find confidence and fulfillment, Alex left the radio to pursue her dreams of acting and music.

Being “pure perfect” with her music, she teases that she works with “really great” producers, as well as Kiwi artists.

Having previously released the song When It’s Over, inspired by getting over an abusive relationship, she hopes to release new music in the next three months.

Alex, who is single but looking for “Mr. Right,” was also hitting the audition circuit.

“Lots of auditioning and I hope some projects come up that I can’t say yet, but it’s very exciting!” She is excited.

Celebrity Treasure Island airs Monday through Wednesday at 7.30pm on TVNZ 2.

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