Herald Sun - Hit - - COVER STORY -

LUKE Ja­cobz knows a thing or two about ho­tels — for the past few years he’s ba­si­cally been liv­ing out of a suit­case. No won­der Seven had him in mind to host their new re­al­ity TV for­mat, In­stant Ho­tel, which sees 10 teams of two open up their homes to strangers to com­pete to see who can have the “best in­stant ho­tel”.

The show taps into a world­wide trend of home­own­ers rent­ing out their homes as hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion through sites like Airbnb — some­thing Ja­cobz has done while try­ing to crack it in the US.

“I was based there for the whole of last year, but I’ve been back and forth (to Aus­tralia) a lot this year with the show,” he says.

“I’ve done Airbnb a few times. I’m rent­ing with a cou­ple of friends in Bondi, and when I’m gone, and de­pend­ing how long I am gone for, the guys will rent out my room.’’

Ja­cobz, who first found main­stream ac­claim as the host of

Pop­stars Live in 2004, has also en­joyed a suc­cess­ful act­ing ca­reer, be­gin­ning with a small role on

Heart­break High, fol­lowed by stints on

McLeod’s Daugh­ters and Home and Away. For seven sea­sons he also hosted The X Fac­tor.

Last year he de­cided to give Hol­ly­wood a proper crack, re­lo­cat­ing to au­di­tion lo­cally. “I’ve been au­di­tion­ing for a lot of ac­tion/drama stuff,” he says. “It’s been really fun. But it’s hard to do au­di­tions when you’re run­ning away from a car chase — and the room you’re in is 3m x 3m.”

Ja­cobz is a part of an in­creas­ingly large con­tin­gent of Aussie ac­tors in LA, although he says he made a pact with him­self when he first moved to try to meet lo­cal peo­ple. “I wanted to have new ex­pe­ri­ences and make new friends,” he says. “But I do catch up with the Aussie crowd as well. “I hang out with (ex-Home and Away

ac­tors) Kim Cooper and I saw Es­ther (An­der­son) the other day.”

Ja­cobz, who made head­lines ear­lier this year when he popped up on a dat­ing app in Aus­tralia, is now happy to ad­mit he’s off the mar­ket.

“I do have a lady,” he ad­mits. “She is Amer­i­can and her name is Ray­chel. I’ve known her for a while — we met at a trivia night a while ago.” /CLARE RIGDEN

WATCH IN­STANT HO­TEL, Chan­nel Seven, tonight, 7.30pm

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