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Jo Beth Taylor: Why I turned my back on fame

Monday, November 16, 2009

She walked away from the spotlight a decade ago. Now the former TV presenter talks to Patrice Fidgeon about her physical and emotional collapse, her recovery, and the lack of single men in her home town.

Jo Beth Taylor was Australia’s favourite television presenter, hosting three hit shows at once in her heyday, until she disappeared from our screens in 1997 suffering from “sheer emotional and physical exhaustion”.

But when the bubbly blonde recently returned to television for a Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special, her glowing grin was a far cry from the exhausted figure she cut when she retired from the popular variety show.

Now Jo Beth has opened up to Woman’s Day about life out of the spotlight, explaining the mental and physical collapse that saw her retire from television. She also confesses she’s facing a new challenge in finding that “special someone” to share her new life with.

“It was just a case of, ‘I don’t want to do this any more. I’m out!’” Jo Beth says of the distressing time when, at only 21, she was the busiest TV personality in Australia, hosting children’s cartoon series What’s Up, Doc?, co-hosting Hey Hey It’s Saturday, helming Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show and, at the same time, establishing a career as a pop singer.

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