Entertainment TV House Rules star Johanna Griggs’ style makeover
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House Rules star Johanna Griggs’ style makeover

Jo Griggs House Rules 2019
Joh Griggs (centre) with the 2019 cast of Seven's House Rules. Photo: Instagram
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At Johanna Griggs’ 1.83-metre height, it is hard to find pants that reach your ankles, let alone look stylish.

The House Rules host will always stand out in a world of sample-sized, petite TV types.

So it hasn’t gone unnoticed by viewers of Seven’s Logie-nominated renovation show that Griggs, who has also hosted the network’s Better Homes and Gardens since 2005, is rocking considerably more chic looks than in past seasons.

Happily admitting she is “so hopeless with fashion”, Griggs was thrilled when “uber-talented” stylist Rosie Trindall took a different approach to her wardrobe, adding designer dresses from the likes of Peter Pilotto, and Scanlan Theodore.

“I’m not a size eight, I’m six feet tall. I’m not your standard television size,” Griggs tells The New Daily.

“Every stylist I’d had up until that point dressed me like it was grab-a-granny night at the RSL.”

She may not dress like one, but remarkably Griggs, 45, is a grandmother after Jo Sweet, one of her two sons to former husband Gary Sweet, became a dad to baby boy Jax last year.

When not travelling for work – between her two reality shows, she’s on the road for much of the year – her style is considerably more laid back.

“I don’t dress up or wear make-up away from work. I appreciate fashion, but it’s not me,” says the 1990 Commonwealth Games backstroke bronze medallist.

Her favourite outfit is the one she wears at home at the Hunter Valley farm she shares with husband Todd Huggins: “An Akubra, jeans and a ‘flanny’.”

Having been in the public eye for so long, Griggs good-naturedly accepts criticism about her appearance is an industry hazard.

But she draws the line at colourful magazine stories, such as a Woman’s Day piece last year that claimed to share her weight-loss secrets.

Griggs spoke out, labelling the piece “100 per cent inaccurate” and saying it deserved the “moronic award for made-up sh-te”.

As she tells The New Daily, “I’ve been having a crack at the mags for years and the rubbish stories that they write.

“Sometimes people ask why I react, but they’d be amazed at how many people in my life will believe what they’ve read. Even something ludicrous.”

Joh Griggs House Rules
On House Rules in April. Photo: Instagram

She recalls that “about six years” after she married Huggins in 2006, “there was an article saying Gary Sweet and I were back together. It’s so disrespectful to my husband, and to Gary’s partner.

“They’re still going to write it. But I will call them out and that’s where we sit.”

For the record, Griggs says her personal life has never been better.

“I’m 45, [sons] Jess and Joe are 23 and 22, and just very happy and settled in their lives. As far as little Jax, I can’t even describe the love you have,” she said.

“When you can just put all that energy into a little grandchild and know you can get the very best out of it, but you don’t have to have those sleepless nights and all the hard bits … it’s been really special for both Todd and I.

“I feel like I’m the biggest baby-stalker in the world, always have been. But Todd is a very close second. We’re just madly in love with him. He’s just a gorgeous little boy.”

Joh Griggs grandmother
“Proud grandparents … Poppy and Nanna,” posted Griggs (with husband Todd Huggins and Jax) in January. Photo: Instagram

Having managed a demanding career as her children grew up, it’s little wonder Griggs feels a motherly responsibility to the teams on House Rules, with whom she is constantly swapping messages.

“I feel like I have a duty,” she says.

“Anyone who has been a contestant on a reality show will tell you it’s very intense, then they get eliminated, do a bit of publicity and that’s it. They’re dropped.”

As a board member of mental health charity Beyond Blue, “I’m a little alarmed at the treatment in the past and on some other shows. People seem to forget it’s real life and they’re real people,” Griggs says.

“They give me a lot. They make my job easy. It’s a really small way I can say thank you to them.”

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