Kim was born and raised in Shropshire, the English county bordering Wales, but her father was actually Irish - a veterinarian - and her mother was Scots, a physiotherapist and nurse. The family used to spend their holidays in Ireland, until an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease in England prompted her parents to emigrate to New Zealand. Kim was just 15 when the family arrived in Otorohanga - and for a while, it was a bit of a culture shock. Gradually she adjusted, taking a BA in French and German at university (Massey and Otago) and then becoming a masseuse. A what? Those were the days when it was legit, therapeutic, she once explained in an interview. Nobody believes me! Kim was working as a barmaid, at the Sir George Grey hotel in Tairua, when she learned she'd been accepted for Canterbury University's Postgraduate School of Journalism.
Off she went - joining Radio New Zealand in Gisborne after completing the Christchurch course. A stint in Greymouth followed - as did a period writing for the Nelson Evening Mail - before Kim arrived in Wellington to brandish her acerbic skills on the current affairs show, Checkpoint. Next came Morning Report, with Geoff Robinson, where she quickly gained a high profile for her probing, persistent style of questioning. When Kim became the host of the daily morning programme Nine to Noon in 1993, it quickly became essential listening. In the nine years she was host, she interviewed thousands of people, and probably read as many books. Among her guests were the famous (the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela) and the infamous (Jeffrey Archer, Monica Lewinsky).
Kim began hosting the Saturday Morning Show on April 20, 2002. This programme gives her the opportunity for expansive interviews with her guests - be they scientists, historians, theologians, psychiatrists, novelists, or just characters or high achievers - while also taking in some leisurely interests: food, classic literature and poetry, children's books and music. After quick forays in television in the early 1990s (on the long-running consumer affairs show Fair Go, and the short-lived Counterpoint) she began hosting the one-one-one interview programme 'Face to Face With Kim Hill' in March, 2003. Kim still hosts her Saturday Morning with Kim Hill radio programme on Radio New Zealand National from 8.00am to midday.