EXCLUSIVE: Julia Morris has lashed out at media reports which published photos of her Sydney home, following a recent relocation with family from Melbourne.
Multiple print and online publications printed photos and personal details, but Morris tells TV Tonight she has not bought the property and her name is not on the lease.
“They said ‘It’s a matter of public record.’ But I thought ‘I smell bullshit.’ Isn’t that interesting, a matter of public record for a lease that I’m not even signed on?
“Then they printed photos so you can see exactly where it is. Anyone who has ever followed me on Instagram knows I don’t leak any of that stuff about myself. I feel like I am super-honest, in lots of ways, but when it comes to the privacy of my family -who don’t work on television- I never publish them anywhere.
“If I had bought the house then yes it would be on the public record, but I reckon someone is leaking. I don’t want to point fingers at the real estate agencies but someone is making a big deal about where I live.
“Do they have access to who rents what, all around the country? Is that right? With Sales yes that’s printed. But how do you know where I’m renting? I call bullshit on it.”
“The thing I’m most scared about is the sacrifice of my children’s privacy”
Photos of interior furnishings belonged to previous owners and quotes from other interviews gave the impression she had participated in articles. But Morris is most upset at what the breach of privacy means for her family.
“It’s a poisonous part of my job. The thing I’m most scared about is the sacrifice of my children’s privacy,” she says.
“Thank you for making it a little less safe for my children.”
Thankfully being pursued by paparazzi is not frequent for Morris, but her shows such as I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Her, Blind Date and Sunday Night Takeaway are fair game.
Sunday Night Takeaway, which she hosts alongside Chris Brown, has been the subject of reports for its low ratings. But the network is right behind it she insists.
“They are big believers in ‘Build it, they will come'”
“It feels to me like this network has put their heart and soul behind different TV this year. In fact not just this year, it feels like it has been building for a while. They have assured us they have no intention of changing what this show does. They are big believers in ‘Build it, they will come,'” she explains.
“I think 10 has always had a cool edge for programming that others wouldn’t go near. I don’t want to disparage other networks because I have drunk the Kool Aid at 10, but it’s a beautiful place to work and everybody feels it.
“They feel like they are doing something worthwhile and different. Different can be niche or take a while to grow, but 10 have a history of putting their back into shows to let them grow, and when they do the rewards are strong.
“So I’m really hoping that happens for us.”
But Live television and big shiny floor shows do not come cheap. Ratings for the show have languished under 300,000 viewers and numbers crunchers in network offices can wield power without emotion.
“I very rarely have anything to do with the numbers,” Morris explains. “In fact when I’m in Africa, I ask everybody not to tell me, which sounds like I’m shirking responsibility a little bit. But it definitely helps my performing space to just get out there and bring it, rather than thinking ‘I wish there were more people watching!’
“The good news is we forget all of that when we step on the studio floor and have an absolute ball.
“Everybody knows when they are working on a dud…. this is not that show”
“In television everybody knows when they are working on a dud. The feeling is unmistakeable and you can’t wait for it to be over. But that is not this show.
“Every week when we are about to start, and right through to the end, it feels like 2 million people are watching it. It has such a sense of excitement, it feels like a nice break from all the toxicity.
“We give away more stuff on this show than most shows give away in a season.
“A lot of the people getting prizes are at a point where they can really do with some help. And that’s a really different kind of television for me to work on.”
Based on the UK’s Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, the ITV show consists of multiple and rotating segments with Brown, field presenter Beau Ryan, a guest announcer, pranks, giveaways and surprises. But an incident on the second show led to an injury that has caused the Chris vs Julia Battle to be rested for now.
“That particular evening I got hit by the ‘plane’, and have been in the physio ever since. I didn’t make a big froth of it on the night because we were about to do The Happiest Minute. So I didn’t want anyone to know that I’d been hurt,” she reveals.
“Had we been on the correct side as we’d rehearsed, the plane wouldn’t have been anywhere near me. It did make a very funny GIF though which made me not mind.
“I think (the battle) is resting for now, but there are lots of Chris vs Julia battles coming. But as with Ant vs Dec it’s not all physical challenges.
“There are segments we haven’t even done yet.”
“There are segments we haven’t even done yet. So they are all still to come. And there are loads of segments in the can we’ve already done. So just when you think you know the show, the entire thing changes.
“We do all of these, going from one to the other, Live, and we’re loving it. I can’t believe we get to use all those skills in one show.
“That doesn’t happen very often.”
Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway airs 7:30pm Sunday on 10.