Garden guru returns home
FULL BLOOM: Garden guru Jamie Durie and his fi ancee Lisa Christie.
JAMIE Durie’s return to Australian television is a labour of love in more ways than one. The 42- year- old landscaper, horticulturalist and presenter has teamed up with both Channel Nine and his fi ancee Lisa Christie to overhaul a community centre as part of WIN’s
special. It’s a return to the familiar for the former host of 42, who ditched a stint in Manpower to study landscaping and horticulture in his 20s, and established himself as a television presenter before moving to Los Angeles. And it’s a sign he’s home to stay. “I have been bouncing back and forwards ( between Australia and LA) but I think I have fi nally landed,” he says.
“I’m calling Australia home again, absolutely, and it feels really nice.”
Manly- born Durie and interior designer Christie, 33, met while fi lming the ill- fated reality
the Australian Women’s Weekly
SCREEN TEST design series in 2011. She was one of the contestants, and Durie was host and main judge. But love didn’t blossom until well after fi lming had wrapped.
“It wasn’t until well after the show, when we ended up working on Hayman Island, which I redesigned after Cyclone Yasi, and Lisa came to do work experience with my design fi rm that the sparks fl ew,” Durie says.
The pair were engaged at the start of this year, and have set up a love nest on the Northern Beaches, where Durie’s recently- fi nished dream house has become a dream home for the couple, Christie’s son, Brayden, 8, and daughter Charlotte, 5, and Durie’s beloved dog, Rhodesian ridgeback Bodhi.
Durie’s daughter, Taylor, 18, remains in the US where she’s hoping to study in New York.
For the Easter special, Christie makes over the interior of the Croyden community centre, while Durie teams up with his former offsider Nigel Ruck to sort the outdoors. The special also features
hosts Shane Jacobsen and Anna Gare and judge Dan Lepard in the kitchen working on Easter dishes, and Easter craft and home improvement ideas.
For the loved- up renovation dream team, appearing on television together second time round has been both a novelty and a breeze.
Durie concedes this time “the territory is little more even, and she’s having quite the giggle about it”.
“They say we are going in as equal partners, and I’m going to go with that,” Christie says. Durie, long used to a life of travel and being based in the US, is relishing the simple things like driving to work together.
“It’s been great. The kids are off to
Great Australian school in the morning, then we head off to the set together. I’ve never done that before,” he says.
Durie says it’s all part of a new stage of life, as he and Christie build their lives together. They’re yet to set a wedding date but are already talking more children.
“I have always been open to having more children,” says Durie.
Christie adds: “Certainly there’s plenty of room in the house for more.”
Durie says the television special is the perfect way to come back to Australian television.
“This is where I cut my teeth with Channel Nine. We did for seven years, and then I went on to host for a couple of years and then I went overseas,” he says.
“It’s so nice to come back to Nine and work with my old family and in the community and feel like you are creating something that doesn’t just give back to the community, but also gives viewers tonnes of ideas for their own houses.”
Durie seems to be easing himself back into the Nine stable – he is also booked to fi le travel pieces for lifestyle show Getaway this year.
“I’m really keen to get back to my roots and work on some shows that fall right into my comfort zone,” he says. “I think that’s where most people want to see me too. You know, in the garden, in makeover shows, excited about giving back and excited about fresh ideas.”
Durie’s move home to Australia is in no small part due to his and Christie’s love. “It’s given me a lot more reason to be home, certainly,” he says. “It’s a completely different feeling. Travel while it used to be a little more exciting it’s now kind of hard to drag myself away from my life here.”
Turns out home just might be a person, not a place. Backyard Blitz