Joh of all trades

From swim­mer to sports pre­sen­ter to TV show host and ren­o­va­tion queen. Jo­hanna Griggs has proved her­self the mas­ter of ca­reer ren­o­va­tion. DEB­BIE SCHIPP re­ports

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

JO­HANNA Griggs was just a teenager when she burst into the public eye as a cham­pion swim­mer with bronze at the 1990 Com­mon­wealth Games. At 19, af­ter a battle with chronic fa­tigue syn­drome and a long come­back, she swam the fastest 50m women’s back­stroke in the world for 1993, hit the wall, and knew she had no more to give as a swim­mer.

“It had been so tough to get back to that point. I knew I couldn’t do it for a job any­more. I made the Aus­tralian team, but I re­tired the next day,” Griggs says.

The fol­low­ing day she had job off ers from three diff er­ent TV net­works, and went with Seven.

More than two decades on, she pre­sides over one of Australia’s most popular re­al­ity shows House Rules and the long- run­ning life­style pro­gram Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens.

On the eve of a new sea­son of House Rules, Griggs, 41, re­lives some of the high points and the hats she has worn over those 22 years on the box … and one she’d pre­fer to for­get.

1then I got put on the ten­nis. And it was live, I’d start say­ing some­thing then start again and re­alise I couldn’t. There were sev­eral ‘ don’t ever do that again’ mo­ments.

“I hosted Sportsworld with Matthew White on Sun­days from 2001 to 2006.

“That was an ab­so­lute rip­per of a time. If you love sport – and I do – that’s the per­fect show.”

2“HOST­ING fi ve Olympics [ sum­mer and win­ter] and be­com­ing the fi rst fe­male solo host of an Olympic Games [ the 2002 Win­ter Games in Salt Lake City] is an­other high­light.

“I did Syd­ney Olympics Sun­rise [ with An­drew Daddo], then hosted Salt Lake City solo, then went up un­til Bei­jing.

“Seven has the Olympics back next year, so I’m hop­ing I get a gig for Rio.”

3laugh­ing and went, ‘ Well here’s a fun fact… it’s true. And it’s bad’.

“We all agreed to throw me un­der the bus be­cause it’s so hi­lar­i­ous.”

4“I HAD a break with the kids and came back to Seven to do sport, but they asked what else I like do­ing, and ren­o­vat­ing was it. Auc­tion Squad evolved out of that and was great fun for four years, and House Calls to the Res­cue was next.

“Then Noni Hazel­hurst ( for­mer BHAG host) was go­ing back to act­ing and I got off ered the BHAG gig in 2005. At fi rst I thought it was daggy, but we changed it up a bit and we all adore the show.

“We only have peo­ple who gen­uinely be­lieve in it and feel like it’s a bit of a gift to work on it.”

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