Jamie Durie

Life as a trav­eller has lost some of its sparkle as love and fam­ily pull in the other di­rec­tion, writes Deb­bie Schipp.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -


JAMIE Durie’s re­turn to Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion is a labour of love – in more ways than one.

The 42-year-old land­scaper, horti-cul­tur­al­ist and pre­sen­ter has teamed up with Chan­nel 9 and his fi­ancee, Queens­lan­der Lisa Christie, to over­haul a com­mu­nity cen­tre as part of Nine’s Easter With the Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly spe­cial.

It’s a re­turn to the fa­mil­iar for the former Back­yard Blitz host, who ditched a stint in Man­power to study land­scap­ing and hor­ti­cul­ture in his 20s, and es­tab­lished him­self as a TV pre­sen­ter be­fore mov­ing to Los An­ge­les.

And it’s a sign that he’s home to stay.

‘‘I have been bounc­ing back and for­wards (be­tween Aus­tralia and LA) but I think I have fi­nally landed,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m call­ing Aus­tralia home again, ab­so­lutely, and it feels really nice.’’

Manly-boy Durie and in­te­rior de­signer Christie, 33, met while film­ing the ill-fated re­al­ity in­te­rior de­sign se­ries Top De­sign, in 2011.

She was one of the con­tes­tants, and Durie was host and main judge. But love didn’t blos­som un­til well af­ter film­ing 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 firm that the sparks flew,’’ 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 fin­ished 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 Back­yard Blitz off­sider Nigel Ruck to sort the out­doors.

The spe­cial also features Great Aus­tralian Bake Off 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 a 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, is rel­ish­ing the sim­ple things – such as driv­ing to work to­gether.

‘‘It’s been great. The kids are off to 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 – ‘‘we were think­ing spring but the year is bar­relling away from us’’ says Christie – and are al­ready talk­ing more chil­dren.

Durie’s move home is in no small part due to Christie.

‘‘Travel – while it used to be a lit­tle more ex­cit­ing – it’s now kind of hard to drag my­self away from my life here,’’ he says.

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