SINGER, TV PERSONALITY
Dannii Minogue opens up about family as she unveils a new look.
You were a judge on several TV talent shows both here and the UK. Was the competition between judges as fierce as it appeared on camera? Nothing’s scripted. If I’m pulling someone up on something, that’s what we would be saying in a room backstage. The X Factor really was the first show that brought that energy in front of the cameras. We’re trying to find out what style suits [the contestants] and what they’re good at. Some weeks you try things and it fails. And the other judges are going to have a go at you, and you get protective because you’re personally invested in it. Your The X Factor mentee Dami Im is now a household name who came second at Eurovision in 2016. Does she still come to you for advice? We do keep in touch, and there are things she’ll contact me about: “What do you think about this?” or “I’m feeling this way…” I got up early to watch Eurovision. I totally cried [when she came second]. I think she’s sung the national anthem at every event you could possibly sing at. And every time, I am so proud. You have gone “metallic grey” as part of your L’oréal Professionnel Australia’s Ambassador role and as the face of their new campaign. Be honest: is this also just a great way to hide any greys? [Laughs.] Well, I haven’t gone grey yet! I have one near my ear that pops out occasionally. L’oréal and I work well together because we decide what is going to suit me and what I feel comfortable in. If you’re comfortable with your hairstyle, then you’ll rock it. You’ve also released new songs after a bit of a sabbatical. What is your impression of the music industry for women in 2018? I think the digital age has helped everybody; it’s opened the way for newer and smaller artists who don’t have big promotional budgets. And if you look at the charts last year, women dominated. They were taking most of the spots in the top 10. It was so good to see. I did most of my music before I had a child. I didn’t want to miss those early years with him because you never get them back, so I had to put certain things on hold. Coming back to it now, I can see there’s a lot more freedom and control for everybody… but particularly mums, which is awesome. You have said your sister Kylie demands you make your risotto when she comes home to Australia. Did you whip some up when she was promoting her new film Swinging Safari here earlier this summer? No, because it was so hot! Normally I see her when I’m back in London and staying at her house. She doesn’t tend to eat a lot of pasta or rice, but when it comes to my risotto, she breaks all the rules. We did mostly barbecues when
“How could you forget about being dressed up as toast? But you do so many shows and songs that some of it becomes a blur” “I didn’t want to miss the early years with my son; you never get them back”
she was here. And I’ve introduced her to my Taco Tuesday. We make everything from scratch. When you do it that way, it’s super healthy. That’s her second favourite, I would say. Your ex-husband Julian Mcmahon was also in Swinging Safari, and has laughed off the rather awkward moment he kisses Kylie onscreen. Did you find it hilarious, too? [Laughs.] Well, Kylie’s told me so much about Stephan [Elliott, the director]. She said you go into these projects and you have just got to go with the flow because he’s going to try to push all of the actors to the limit to get the craziest stuff. But it’s such a powerful cast. Julian is fantastic, and Guy [Pearce], and all the other actors. How could it not be great? Your son Ethan is now seven, the age when you first appeared on Young Talent Time. Is he showing signs he’d like to be a performer like his mum? When I was that age, I was so driven. That’s all I wanted to do, the only place I wanted to be – on that stage. Ethan’s not like that. He sits back and watches people. I really wanted to be on Young Talent Time. My sister keeps finding old clips online and sending them to me. One week I’ll be dressed as a pineapple, the next a piece of toast. How could you forget about being dressed up as toast? [But] you do so many shows and songs, some of it becomes a blur. But I never forget that feeling of being so driven. You moved back to Australia from the UK in 2010 to take care of Ethan closer to family. Any regrets? No. When I went to London and met other Australians and asked “how long are you here for?” the common answer was, “I’m happy here now but if I have kids I’m going home.” Because you look at the schools – and they are brilliant schools there, but you have a small patch of concrete ground, while here you have a big oval of green grass and space to run around. Once you’ve grown up with that, you want that for your kids as well. Plus, I’m always bouncing back to the UK to do work. So I get the best of both worlds.