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Long one of Melbourne’s most popular and respected TV presenters, Jo Hall is now beaming cross-country as one of the key faces of Channel 9’s new regional bulletins, but she’ll always come home to Hawthorn.
“I have pretty much spent my whole life here,” says the media star.
“My children went to the same primary school I went to, and every day I took them there I drove past the house I was born in.
“At one time I thought we needed more space, so we sold up and moved to a beautiful home in Donvale.
“We loved the house, but we were desperately unhappy away from our ’hood, so after just 18 months we ended up moving back.”
Since buying her picturesque but tiny freestanding Victorian cottage in Hawthorn a decade ago, Jo has renovated extensively, adding a lounge and bedroom upstairs and converting the office/studio into a teen retreat with en suite.
“Moving [away] was an expensive experiment, but I don’t regret it because we learnt what was actually important to us and, as a busy family, location was absolutely everything.”
Jo Hall presents a dedicated western Victoria bulletin for Nine News at 6pm weekdays.
(In top photo)
My middle son, Tysyn, did all of these drawings as cards for me. I am obsessed with Audrey Hepburn so there are four Audrey Hepburns, including one that is actually done with ballpoint pen and looks as realistic as a photo.
I am known for my love of fresh flowers. There are always cut flowers in the house.
This is one of my most precious pieces of jewellery. My youngest son, Fynn, saved up his pocket money to buy me this ring and had it engraved ‘‘I love you’’. He was only 14 or 15 at the time and it comes from Tiffany’s which, of course, I love because of Audrey.
Nero, our 14-year-old miniature Maltese, was actually very poorly and the vet gave him a dire prognosis, but then I changed his diet and he got a second wind. We hadn’t yet had our young dog, Willow (an Australian terrier with a drop of Staffy), desexed because she’s never in unsupervised contact with other dogs and we didn’t believe Nero capable … well.
In 1990, I was the first woman to win a Thorn-EMI award for journalism, for covering the Manresa Kindergarten siege. This man took four children hostage, held them in a toilet and doused the floor with petrol. The siege went on for eight hours. All these heavies – like Peter Harvey and Mark Burrows, who had been dodging bullets in Romania – were nominated and when I won I couldn’t believe it.
I love tea, tea is my thing. This is one of the most unusual teapots I have seen. There is no real story to it, but it is so beautifully balanced and I love using it. My favourite tea is English breakfast. I hate Earl Grey.
I do love hats. This one was $20 from an op shop and I can see myself at the races in that. By contrast I have a Prada handbag which I won at Crown’s Celebrity Mother’s Day Lunch which I’m too scared to use because it cost $3000.
I wanted a new dining table and a friend suggested Eltham furniture maker Zeb Walker, who created this beautiful setting for us. It was the centrepiece in our old house and, although it’s a little too big for this house, I couldn’t bring myself to have it cut back.
I love to read, and Me Before You, written by Jojo Moyes, is one of my favourite books of late. It is also now a movie.