We’ve all played the celebrity dinner party game. One evening, one room, filled with an imagined assembly of inspirational or even just entertaining people.
Well, Jamie Durie has lived it.
In 2007, the Australian television horticulturalist/designer was among the guests at a pre-election campaign for Barack Obama. The future President and First Lady were to his left, and across from him were Cindy Crawford, Steven Spielberg, legendary actor Sir Sidney Poitier and Stevie Wonder.
“Stevie holds your hand while he talks to you; it helps him communicate, I guess. So he held my hand for a good hour or so while we were talking,” Durie told Mamamia.
“I was like, ‘What? What’s this little Aussie gardener doing here?'”
That table of entertainers, changemakers and luminaries was a long way from Durie’s life in Australia hosting Backyard Blitz. Further still from his childhood in Tom Price, a remote mining town in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
But it was also a product of it all. Watching his mother planting roses in the dusty soil as a boy; his horticulture and landscaping studies at age 24; the magazine story about his garden design business that caught the eye of Don Burke’s team; the resulting television career; his stint on The Oprah Winfrey Show. All of it.
“It was a pinch-yourself moment, for sure.”
Jamie could easily have rooted himself into that world. He had the CV, the charisma, the talent. But though he's appeared on 54 shows internationally, the 48-year-old never wanted to walk away from what he'd built in Australia, both on and off screen.