Dannii Minogue: ‘I thought I had an expiry date’
SINGER Dannii Minogue on celebrating her 48th birthday, why Lindsay Lohan is a great asset to The Masked Singer and texting her ex Kris Smith to find out if he was on the show.
It's your birthday today. What are your plans?
Nothing wild. I just want a family day. If [my son] Ethan makes me a birthday card I'm already happy before the day's even started.
You're now 48. Is it crazy to think you've been working since you were seven?
Not only that, but I've been a part of so many big TV shows and formats over all those decades. When you start off in the industry as a child, it's difficult for people to accept you transitioning or moving on in your career. Now I've got my grandma [Millie], who turns 100 in December, who watched Young Talent Time, down to the kids who are watching The Masked Singer. It's a huge audience.
What's your grandma Millie like?
She's hilarious. Every birthday we ask, "How are you feeling?" "Same as yesterday." We go around the dinner table - "What are you thankful for today?" She says, "That I got out of bed and I'm still alive." Ethan absolutely cracks up.
We've seen Lindsay Lohan's blank face when Australian celebrities on The Masked Singer were unveiled. Have you had to explain who some of them are?
Absolutely. The same if we were doing the show in another country. But Lindsay studied really hard. She came up with some great guesses. She's generated enough column inches and interest about the show to get people interested enough to watch.
Even though the show's been a hit overseas, you must have been relieved when the first night's ratings cracked the magic million mark.
Australians are a tough audience. They'll let you know what they think. There's still an element of confusion from some people who haven't watched it; they don't understand what the hell it is. And confusion from some people who are watching; they don't know why they like it so much. On paper, it shouldn't work. But it does.
Some of the guesses raised eyebrows - and there was a lot of talk about your ex Kris Smith...
I was texting him: "I'm at work, they've guessed your name - I think it could actually be you." It was driving me nuts. We were looking at everyone's Instagram accounts to see where they were. It was a definite possibility. Ethan reminded me that Daddy's always singing. So there was all sorts of awkwardness for me and the audience when it could have been him, but in a good, fun way. There's no drama there.
How have you noticed things changing for women in the media since you started out?Globally, in film and TV and acting, there's so many women of different ages being featured now. There's not that fear of an expiry date. I definitely had that thought at age 16 when I left Young Talent Time. I thought, "That's it, I'm done." I'd have to get a normal job. You keep working, wondering how long it will go on for, but I'm feeling more positive about the acceptance of women of all ages.
You've had recent experience as an executive producer. Is there more work behind the scenes in your future?
There'll definitely be a day when I don't want to put on the false eyelashes and high heels and do that side of the job and go behind the scenes. Or I can do a bit of both.
The Masked Singer Australia finale airs 7.30pm tomorrow on Network 10 and WIN.