It’s funny how things happen…like the call I got from central casting at Channel Seven, out of the blue, inviting me to step in front of a camera and talk about my life for five minutes. Next thing I know, I’m plunged into the world of reality TV, which, by the way, bears little resemblance to any reality I have ever known.

So, for about 12 weeks I put my real life on hold and go on walkabout around Australia crashing in on people’s homes and judging them!

I met all kinds of folks who have been plucked from their sane, calm lives to get in touch with their competitive streaks. I suspect that some of them – normally mild-mannered – shocked themselves at how filthy they could become when
criticised by total strangers.

We had ten home hotels, ten couples to defend them to the hilt, a sexy prize, a friendly host and me, the slightly scary hospitality design expert…Instant Hotel was born.

Lots of friends asked me afterwards: “Was it fun to do?” There were fun moments, for sure. Mainly behind the scenes with the very blokey crew and less blokey, Luke Jacobz, who, by the way, is a delight to know. Sometimes the tension ‘front of house’, between the more highly-strung contestants, was quite wearing; like being in a conflict zone were the only safe place was the loo!

I actually bumped into one of the more testy contestants months later and had to resist the temptation to duck for cover in a shop doorway. But, to my surprise, we had a pleasant chat. He was a different person to the one I remembered and clearly a little embarrassed and bemused by some of the on- screen antics, as if he’d been having an out-of- body experience.

“I needed to detox afterwards and so I went away for a few weeks,” he said sheepishly.

As I say, it’s funny how things happen in TV land.