Noni Hazlehurst laughs out loud when asked about her controversial nude scene in the Foxtel drama series The End, admitting that the kids, mums and dads who fell in love with her on Play School are sometimes shocked with her choices!
"I narrated a book a few years ago called Go The F**k To Sleep written by a father whose child didn't sleep," she recalls.
"I laughed like a dream when I saw this because my first child didn't sleep through the night until he was two... a lot of parents have this issue and they suffer in silence and it's very gruelling and draining. I think I trended on Twitter for a couple of days… 'Oh my God, Noni swears!'"
Noni, 67, doesn't set out to shock her fans, but she'd rather cause a few shockwaves than be typecast, as she approaches almost half a century on our screens.
However, there's one thing the acting legend vows she'll never do – star in a reality TV show.
"I have a low boredom threshold," she admits on a TV Blackbox podcast with Rob McKnight to promote her new show, in which she plays a lesbian hippie.
"[Reality shows] don't interest me in terms of my participation on any level. I don't watch them so why would I expect anyone else to? [Besides] I can ritually humiliate myself without any help, thank you!"
Noni took on the controversial role in The End after spending six years playing "stitched-up and disapproving" matriarch Elizabeth Bligh in A Place To Call Home.
"Life is mad, life is crazy and so to me the interesting stories are the ones that reflect that craziness," she says.
Noni first hit our screens in 1975, playing Sharon Lewis in raunchy soap The Box, before becoming a household name as Lil Duggan on The Sullivans. But it was Play School that made her a national treasure.
"It put me in an incredible position of trust with audiences," says Noni.
"When you do something like that for 24 years, that's a lot of two-year-old generations."
Noni says her Play School fans – and their parents – were a big part of her success in hosting Better Homes And Gardens from 1995 to 2005.
"A lot of kids started watching Better Homes And Gardens!" she says.
At the time she was raising her two young sons, Charlie and William, with her husband, Wolf Creek actor John Jarratt, who co-presented the popular lifestyle show with her from their Blue Mountains home – until the marriage imploded in 1999.
But the reality of shooting such a big show in a relatively small house proved difficult with a camera crew arriving at 6am and moving all Noni's furniture out onto the lawn – as she fed the baby and got her six-year-old ready for school!
"It wasn't all beer and skittles, but it was a fantastic, secure job for me for 10 years," admits the Logie and AACTA-winning actress.
"Primarily, it enabled me not to go away, but also my marriage broke up halfway through. It put us under a lot of strain. I did the last five years as a single mother and my hostings reflected that."
Charlie is now 33, living in Melbourne with his wife, and "talking about children", while William, 27, is also married and living in LA.
"It will be lovely to have some grandchildren," she says.
"Charlie's a drone pilot. He could have gone into showbusiness but chose not to – he has a wonderful singing voice."
"William's a musician/composer/singer. He goes under the name of Saint Rien [and is] moving to Nashville."