TV

Game of Games star Ash London opens up about her flourishing career

The presenter talks about her celebrity encounters and finding her "happy place" with husband Adrian.

By Tamara Cullen

Few people are fortunate enough to meet their idols. Yet Ash London has made a career out of it.

Sitting comfortably on the couch in her trendy apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, the radio personality casually names her celebrity encounters like it's a weekly shopping list.

From singers Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber to screen icons like Robin Williams, Ash, who is currently a guest presenter on 2Day FM's Breakfast With Grant & Ed, has been in the presence of greatness. But one talent consistently stands out.

"I have so many happy experiences [with celebrities]," Ash, 32, says.

"But I've interviewed [British singer] Ed Sheeran four times now, and there's no difference in the way he treats people. There's no aura of fame around him; he's a legend."

Meanwhile, Ash's husband Adrian Brine, who works at Melbourne's Fox FM, happily recalls US actor Matt Damon as his most memorable encounter.

"He was so generous with his time," he calls out from across the room. "A genuine guy."

But as the TV WEEK Close Up team takes a look at photos on the walls around us, there's no A-lister or music icon in sight. Instead, the couple have filled the frames with images of family, friends and their beloved greyhound, Honey, who lies at our feet.

Ash may have a passion for entertainment, but family has her heart.

"Adrian and I have a real understanding that life is good, and we love what we do," she explains.

"But whether I'm on a red carpet in LA, attending glitzy events or standing on TV sets, I'd instantly trade it all to be at home with Adrian and Honey."

"Not many people can honestly say that. I feel incredibly lucky."

The former host of Hit Network's Ash London Live is now a familiar voice on Australian radio. But on the television circuit, Ash is still feeling her way.

She's about to dive into the deep end for Network Ten's Game Of Games. The new series, based on a US format by talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, sees Ash reunite with her breakfast radio co-host Grant Denyer.

The TV WEEK Gold Logie winner was recruited to host the show after his weeknight game show, Family Feud, was cancelled.

"It was a phone call out of the blue," Ash reveals.

"The producers asked if I'd like to come on as a sidekick to Grant, and I was interested straight away. I've always loved him and it was a pleasure to watch him work."

Ash on *Game of Games*.
Ash on Game of Games.

As Ash walked the halls at Network Ten, she was reminded of just how far she's come.

As a pop-culture-obsessed teen living in the Philippines in the '90s, she quickly became part of the MTV fanbase. She idolised the varied artists and dreamt of joining the network one day.

With stars in her eyes, Ash went on to pursue film and television at university – not radio.

"I thought radio was so boring," she laughs.

"I planned to do journalism or writing, but always kept that TV dream in the back of my mind."

After graduating from uni, Ash experienced a serendipitous moment that set her plan in motion.

"My friends and I won $30,000 as contestants on Deal Or No Deal," she explains.

"And after the show, [host] Andrew O'Keefe came up to me and said, 'You've got the gift of the gab. You should do this for a living.'

"I think he was joking, but I took it on board and went on to do it!"

With renewed ambition, Ash auditioned for a role on music video show The Loop. She got the job and co-hosted alongside Scott Tweedie from 2012 to 2015. She then discovered her passion for radio, and the rest is history.

"It's funny the way life transitions you…" Ash says with a smile. "But just the other day, Grant said to me, 'This is the best gig in the world.' And he's right."

Ash has made a career out of meeting her idols.
Ash has made a career out of meeting her idols.

Although Ash is in the midst of her busiest year to date, she's showing no signs of flagging. In fact, she's positively beaming. Not only is her career on a high, but she's more confident than ever.

"Once you get into your 30s, a lot of things clear out of your life," she explains.

"You have to back your choices and trust yourself; it's exciting."

Meanwhile, Ash and Adrian still exude the newlywed glow. Talk soon turns to their beautiful outdoor wedding in May this year.

"We only met a year before we got engaged – we just got it done," Ash says. "As soon as I saw him, I thought, 'Yep, I'll take him.'"

Pointing to Adrian, she adds: "See? He has a smirk on his face – he loves it!"

As for what the future holds, Ash insists they aren't mapping it all out.

"Whenever things stop being fun for us, we'll know it's time to change it up," she says. "We're both travellers and would love to end up in Italy one day. But whether that's in a few months or 10 years, who knows?

"We just try to live each day with gratitude and ride the wave. Sure, it can be hard sometimes, but everything we do is to have a great life together."

"I have no idea what will come next – and, to be honest, that's just the way I like it."

To see more pictures from TV WEEK's photo shoot with Ash London, pick up this months issue of TV WEEK Close Up. On sale now!

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