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Griggs THE GREAT!!!

Think Local

Johanna Griggs is thrilled to have hosted Australia's number one lifestyle show, Better Homes and Gardens, for the past 10 years, not least because she gets to be the ultimate voyeur when it comes to homes of the rich and famous.

   “The biggest highlight for me is that everyone is so happy to have Better Homes and Gardens in their home," she tells Peninsula Living. “It's such a trusted brand so you always feel very welcome.”

    Apart from Better Homes, Johanna also returns to another season of hosting House Rules. "It's my favourite season yet with some really interesting teams who for the most part, have quite a different approach as they are at a completely different stage of their lives to many of the teams in seasons gone past.

   "Our viewers will see what I believe is the most stunning makeover that's ever been done before out of all the seasons." Johanna enthuses.

   Before her successful television career, Johanna represented Australia in swimming, winning bronze at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990, and silver at the 1991 World Championships.

She joined Channel Seven in 1993 after announcing her retirement from swimming and is now one of the network's most iconic faces, being involved in an array of shows, including Seven's Summer of Tennis. Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Seven Weekend News, Sydney Weekender, Auction Squad the Olympics and blockbuster renovation series, House Rules.

   A longtime resident of Sydney's north shore and nonhem beaches, Johanna and builder husband Todd Huggins, run a succussful construction company, and have built and renovated dozens of homes in the area. "The key to a good home is functionality, practicality, space for everyone to have their own time and a main hub where they can all be together," she says.

   Surprisingly, juggling multiple production schedules doesn't allow for much relaxation but when time permits, Johanna says she finds it therapeutic rustling up a feast for friends and family.

"I find it so relaxing," she admits. "I'm happiest when I'm in the kitchen knowing that I'm preparing great food and entertaining people. I have learnt so much from Fast Ed and Karen Martini over the years, they inspire so many of my dishes.

"I love nothing more than cooking up a nice meal for the family. My faves are caramel chicken and roasted lamb shoulder.”

The TV host is a proud mother-of-two sons, Jesse, 20 and Joe,19, who have just finished their studies at Freshwater Campus and have been recently travelling around Europe. Her family live in Collaroy and can often be spotted walking the dogs along the headland at Long Reef or Narrabeen Lakes.

A highly-valued member of the local community, in 2009 Johanna received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Honoris Causa, from Macquarie University in NSW for services to swimming, media and charity fundraising. She is a board member for Beyond Blue and works closely with the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, McGrath Foundation and House with No Steps.

   Aren't we lucky to have her as one of our locals?

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