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Why Australia’s Got Talent host Ricki-Lee Coulter is shutting down the baby chatter

“I don’t want kids!”

By Helen Vnuk with Gabrielle Tozer
Ricki-Lee Coulter doesn't want to have children. End of story. Yet she hasn't always been able to say that out loud.
"It took me a while to get to that point of being that blunt about it," the Australia's Got Talent host reveals to TV WEEK. "You worry if people will judge you or try to talk you around. But now I just say how I feel. There's no story, there's nothing to talk about with them. Generally, people are all right with that."
Ricki-Lee believes in being honest and straight-up, as does her husband, Rich Harrison. It's one of the reasons they enjoy such a strong relationship.
"When Rich got my number, there were no games," Ricki-Lee, 33, recalls. "It was around the time when He's Just Not That Into You [the 2009 film] came out, so everyone was confused about how keen to appear. We met, exchanged numbers and as I was driving away, he texted and called me straight away and said, 'We're not going to do this waiting-around thing.' I thought, 'That's so cool. I love that.'"
Ricki-Lee and Richard married in France in 2015.
In September, the couple will celebrate 10 years together. Ricki-Lee, who was previously married to Jamie Babbington, says she and Rich, who's also Ricki-Lee's manager, felt like they knew each other from the moment they met.
"It just felt right and got better and better," she says. "He was everything and more that I ever thought I wanted and needed. When you meet the person who's right, you know straight away. It's just easy, which is the way love should be."
The couple are clearly happy without kids. But Ricki-Lee does have a strong maternal instinct, and that's come out in her role as AGT host. The former Australian Idol singer says she forms a "nice bond" with contestants at auditions.
"They often need encouragement and wisdom," she explains. "When they head out on stage, I'm with their families. Their mums are crying on my shoulder and I'm crying on theirs. I'm just a mother hen. I like to make sure everyone is OK, have food and drink and are comfortable. I remember I didn't have anyone like that when I went through it."
Ricki-Lee shares a "nice bond" with the AGT contestants.
It's 15 years since Ricki-Lee tried out for the second season of Idol. She finished seventh, but still scored a record deal and had a string of hits, beginning with "Hell No!"
"Hearing it on the radio for the first time was amazing," she admits. "Even now, when I hear my song on the radio… do I sing along with it? Of course – it's my song!"
Ricki-Lee is hoping AGT will launch someone's career, as Idol launched hers – and she'd love it if that someone could be 15-year-old Olina Loau.
"I want her to win so bad it hurts," she says. "She's a superstar. I've never heard someone that young sing so well."
The star says she's grateful to have the career she has.
"I feel so lucky that people give a damn, still come to my shows and stop me in the street to tell me they love me," she says. "It means a lot to me. I'll never forget where I came from, and how I used to dream about doing what I get to do now."
Ricki-Lee with the AGT judges.
Australia's Got Talent airs Monday, 7.30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, on Channel Seven.

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