Dannii Minogue is a judge on Channel Seven's Australia's Got Talent. Here, she talks to Kate Minogue about the joy of coming home.Australia's Got Talent is just so much fun.
There's the great reward of giving these kids a chance to start. For me it's a dream job. We shoot it in Melbourne, so I'm able to catch up with friends and family. Doing an entertainment show — which is what I started with at Young Talent Time and working with some of the same crew — it feels like I've come full circle. The show really makes me laugh — and laughter is always good medicine.
I'm doing The X Factor in England, and as judges we're in mentoring roles. It's been a huge learning curve for me because I've never mentored anyone before.
Two major things have been life-changing for me. I got married and divorced when I was very young. Looking back, I guess I was naive that everything would be perfect and like a fairy tale, and it didn't work out that way. That kind of shocked me because I didn't expect it to happen to me. I think I was a bit of a scaredy cat for a long time after that. My friends tell me I had barriers up around me because I was scared of getting hurt again.
When my sister [Kylie] was dealing with breast cancer — and the whole world was involved — that was hard. My main goal was to get her better, and I understood why people were interested and grateful that they cared, but it was tricky because at the same time, as a family, we needed some level of privacy.
I was happy to give all of myself, whatever it took to make her time and space clear so she could deal with what she was going through. She needed family and friends to support her and give her energy to get through it, and everybody was there and happy to do it. But it was difficult because it seemed the world's media wanted to be involved.
Since then, life has not been the same. I can't walk out the door without someone recounting a story: “my mum had cancer”. I care for anyone having to deal with cancer, so I am participating in The Great Walk To Beijing with Olivia [Newton-John] to raise funds for a cancer ward, but I don't want cancer to be part of everyday life.
London is where I live, and Australia is home. Initially, I went to London for a three-week trip, and now I'm in my 18th year there. My mum is Welsh, so there is a family connection. I never intended to stay that long.
A lot of performers have a career plan but I don't. Work has kept me in the UK. My only clear idea is that I don't want to be in the UK forever. I always want to come back to Australia for part of the year. And now I have got this itch that I want to go to the US.
I am single right now, and I know I don't want to be a single parent. It looks way too hard. I have never had that maternal urge. I have got my nephew, my brother [Brendan] has a baby son and I'm godmother to two friends' children, and that keeps me going. You see women having children at an older age and it gives you hope that it might be possible if I wanted to at some point.
To keep fit I love to walk — it's my favourite thing. I'm walking everywhere at the moment to get ready for Olivia's walk. I love swimming too but you don't get to swim much in London. I'm also doing some yoga but I'm only at the beginners' stage.
I love cooking for friends. I cook risotto and now I can make lasagne too, and last night I stuffed zucchini flowers out of our garden.
When people meet me they are surprised that I'm so tomboyish. My sister is the eldest, then there's my brother and I'm the youngest. I was always trying to keep up with him. I still have daredevil instincts. I'm into car racing and I've swum with sharks at the Melbourne aquarium.
For the full story, see the May 2008 issue of Good Health & Medicine magazine.