‘I was so angry’: Celeb who infuriated Julia

 

SHE is one of television's most recognisable faces but also one of the most down-to-earth.

Julia Morris turns 52 in 2020 and has been performing stand-up comedy since she was 19, acting in movies plus working extensively on Australian television and radio.

She says she has learnt a valuable lesson during her years as a public figure - the importance of gratitude.

Gratitude for an extraordinary job that takes her overseas every year with her comedian husband Dan Thomas and daughters Ruby, 13, and Sophie, 11, in tow, gratitude for working with exceptional colleagues like Dr Chris Brown who she has "complete admiration" for and gratitude for a job.

"I think the longer you last in the industry the more you realise you're not actually that important in the system, because if it's not you, it's going to be someone else," she says.

"A lot of the time it sounds like BS, but you get to the point in your career where you're like 'you know what? I really am lucky to have a job'.

"I haven't buried myself yet, considering I have been incredibly outspoken over the years."

Despite how glamorous it can appear from the outside, being a celebrity in Australia is actually a hard slog, Morris says.

 

Julia Morris wears a bright Bonita Collective kaftan. Picture: Nicki Connolly
Julia Morris wears a bright Bonita Collective kaftan. Picture: Nicki Connolly

 

"I'm constantly surprised by people's resilience; I also think Australian celebrities are tough," she says.

"If you are a celebrity in Australia you have been working hard for a long time to generate a lot of your own work, we try many different income streams to stay afloat.''

Morris is about to head off to the wilderness of South Africa for the sixth season of I'm A Celebrity.

She estimates she's spent a year of her life in the bush town of Kruger, where the show is filmed and says she feels lucky to call the region her second home.

She says the home - and the 500 crew who fly in each year over school holidays to put on the show - have become a part of her identity.

"Every time I leave it's definitely on my mind that it's so beautiful I want to go back again and again, it feels like a home away from home these days," she says.

"It feels like a once in a lifetime experience that I keep getting to experience time and time again.

"The thrill of is not lost on me."

Despite her accolades and fans aplenty, the outspoken comedian believes she wouldn't have a shot at being crowned Queen of the jungle.

"I would be voted out because I wouldn't stop whingeing. I would be whingeing from morning till noon till night, trying to convince people how hard it is for me," Morris laughs.

Year after year, people Morris predetermines will "spiral out of control" are often the ones surprising her by excelling.

"A lot of celebrities will say it's a pretty revolting experience at the time, and as they come towards the end and in the fallout of the months that follow they are so proud of themselves for doing it,'' she says.

"When I look back over all of the series I think about them eating that weird food every Tuesday and I'm amazed at the mind over matter that all of our celebrities have, because that stuff stinks."

 

Julia Morris wears a bright Bonita Collective kaftan. Picture: Nicki Connolly
Julia Morris wears a bright Bonita Collective kaftan. Picture: Nicki Connolly

 

Behind the scenes, Morris and Brown are offered Vicks VapoRub to mask the revolting smell of the food the contestants are forced to eat, but they never accept out of respect to the celebrities who are forced to swallow it.

Morris is "100 per cent all in" and "completely consumed" by the celebrities in the jungle, she celebrates their victories and feels their losses.

Tennis player Bernard Tomic, who walked out after 24 hours, infuriated her.

"I was so angry, anytime his name is mentioned I still get a little bit,'' she says.

"It wasn't that he walked off our show, it was that he didn't give himself a chance.

"If he had let go and accepted the experience then who knows - I think it could have really changed his life.''

Watching the celebrities struggle is even more unbearable for Morris, who says each year some of the contestants are "great mates" of hers and she wants to be there for them.

"I definitely say to anyone that I get any time with beforehand to speak to the Tok Tokkie (the cameras in the hut on the show) like they are speaking to their partner or bestie, because that's the most honest version of themselves rather than saying what people want to hear,'' she says.

"Once they are in the jungle we don't share with them any outside information in order for us to respect the experiment part of it.

"Any sort of information like 'watch out, you're being too bitchy' plays on their mind so much that paranoia creeps in and anything we say can really throw someone off course."

Despite plenty of rumours, Morris and Brown don't actually know who is going into the jungle until they arrive themselves.

"Chris and I go into a special cocktail party that the network hold specifically for us, and one by one they reveal who is going into the jungle,'' she says.

"It's obviously not because we can't keep a secret, we love getting swept up in the clues just like the audience.''

The sixth season of I'm a Celebrity goes to air on January 5 on Ten. Morris is also going on tour in 2020 with her comedy show and will be in Brisbane on September 25-26. Tickets at juliamorris.com