But in the past two years, he had to review Selling houses in Australia. In February 2020, the show’s third co-host, gardener Charlie Albone, announced he was moving to Seven’s Better homes and gardens. A year later, Blaze, who was also judging on Nine’s The blockdecided to walk away.
“It wasn’t a rude awakening for me; it was more about thinking, “Oh my God, I hope this doesn’t end because I like it,” Winter says. “It was selfish, but when you lose two-thirds of your hosts, it’s a good time to ask yourself if it’s time to leave.”
For Moore, who had been an executive at Foxtel since 2019 after a career in publishing, managing upheaval on Selling houses in Australia was a baptism by molding. Winter, Blaze and Albone had real chemistry. Screen tests and Winter’s endorsement led former NRL player turned landscape gardener Dennis Scott to replace Albone, but the search for the new interior designer took an unexpected turn.
It was Moore’s boss, Foxtel chief executive Brian Walsh, who suggested he audition. Moore had spent seven seasons as a judge on Seven’s house rules, ending in 2019, and having turned 50, she never expected to reappear on screen. After the tests, she was kicked out of the process – and when she heard nothing, she worried that she had been terrible and no one had the heart to tell her. Eventually, Walsh offered her the part.
“I don’t think I have enough power to play the part,” Moore jokes, but she’s serious about the new hosts having to match Winter’s original team. “They knew each other so well. There’s something special when you start together and it builds. We can’t recreate that. We have to do something that feels real to us.
Based on the long-standing success of Selling houses in Australia, the best strategy seems to be to let Winter be himself. He’ll declare a room “awful,” owners will smile and viewers will nod.
By the middle of the year, he will also be an Accredited Buyer’s Solicitor on the Gold Coast, keen to brush up on his knowledge of the property industry. Winter can still proudly describe his last sale as a working agent, in 2008 – “it was a really good deal”. And he remains a real estate obsessive who just happens to have found his perfect second job.
“The very first shoot I did – in 2008 – was in Sydney, and I came back after three or four days away and my wife was like, ‘How did it go?'” Winter recalled. “I said, ‘It’s either going to be absolutely terrible or it was awesome, because I had so much fun and it was so relaxed’. All I heard was, ‘It’ is great, let’s go.
Selling houses in Australia (new season) is on Lifestyle, Wednesday, March 30 at 8:30 p.m.
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