EXCLUSIVE: Why Jamie Durie is “a better dad” after becoming a father for the second time in his 50s

''A lot is going on, but life is amazing. I've never been happier.''
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Beautiful chaos is the term Jamie Durie uses to describe his new life with a baby back home in Australia.

“A lot is going on, but life is amazing. I’ve never been happier,” he tells Woman’s Day from his Sydney property.

On top of his numerous TV projects and product lines, a mammoth build of a new “environmentally sophisticated” home in the city’s Northern Beaches and running his international design business, Jamie, 52, has also become a dad for the second time.

“I’m a dad again! I always knew I’d have more kids.”

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

Fiancée Ameka Jane gave birth to daughter Beau in July last year.

“I’m a dad again! I always knew I’d have more kids, I guess it just needed to happen with the right person,” he admits.

Talking of fatherhood in his 50s, Jamie admits that he’s now in a better position to raise 10-month-old Beau after becoming a young dad to daughter Taylor at just 23.

“I had a suitcase in one hand and a baby in the other,” he says of that time, which occurred while he was touring with Australian dance troupe Manpower.

“It was just absolute craziness. So at this point in my life, I think I’m probably a better dad now than the first time around. Taylor’s still my number one girl, but being able to be home now and spend quality time with Beau created a bond that’s like nothing I’ve felt before.”

Jamie has more time to be present with his daughter this time around.

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

Usually dividing his time between Australia and Los Angeles, Jamie admits that his newborn has made him re-evaluate his work-life balance, and despite boasting an enviable résumé – which includes more than 18 shows in the US and a five-year contract with Oprah Winfrey back in 2008 – it’s his new “tight-knit” family back home that’s given him the most nourishment.

“Being with my family is like a different level of happiness. It’s like warm hot chocolate. It’s sweet and warm and sustaining and nurturing,” he says.

“My agent actually asked if I wanted to do another show in the US and I have to say, I’m not really as motivated as I was before. I just don’t want to be away from my family that much any more.

“I feel like I’ve scratched that itch now and I’m happy being home in Australia with my family.”

“Being with my family is like a different level of happiness.”

(Image: Instagram)

However, he says a trip to the US is on the cards – so he can introduce Beau to Taylor in the flesh. “They FaceTime twice a week, but it’s going to be quite amazing to get them in the same room together. Taylor cried the first time she saw her,” he says.

“It’s interesting because now when we call each other, we call each other as a family whereas before it was just Taylor and I. But Ameka and Taylor have become so close, they write to each other constantly.”

Jamie adds that it’s been remarkable to see Taylor, 27, flourish in Los Angeles, and while she’s chosen her life all on her own, it’s not hard to see Jamie’s influence.

“She’s seeing a young architect in LA and she works in the green sector as well – she’s a floral designer,” he says. “She’s super creative and I’m just so proud of her.”

Jamie with his eldest daughter Taylor.

(Image: Instagram)

Fiancée Ameka hails Jamie’s dad instincts, saying it’s been amazing to watch the bond grow between both of his daughters.

“I think Jamie is an amazing father,” says the 35-year-old singer-songwriter. “He’s a beautiful dad to Taylor, and then seeing the bond that he has with Beau, it makes you fall in love and appreciate someone in a whole new light.

“Watching him through her eyes has been beautiful to watch too, she’s a daddy’s girl for sure. Mum is just coming along for the ride, but that’s OK,” she laughs. “It’s never a dull moment in the Durie household. I will spend my entire life chasing after the two of them.”

Both Jamie and Ameka – who are making sure they expose Beau to as much nature as possible – agree that the cute tot is fast taking after her green-thumbed father.

The couple are planning to wed this year.

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“She’s such a spirited little thing,” says Jamie. “She’s got an incredible sense of adventure about her – she’s a lot like me in that sense, she bites off a lot more than she can chew… and chews like crazy!”

And much to the envy of parents everywhere, she also doesn’t cry.

“She’s constantly happy and always laughing. She never cries,” Jamie confesses.

“We’ve been on a couple of flights with her recently and every time we get off the plane pretty much everyone around us says, ‘What an incredible baby’ – she just never cries. And it’s a testament you know, you put your love into your child and it’ll come back in spades.”

Ameka echoes that while she’s “cheeky and mischievous just like her dad,” Beau also takes after her songbird mum with her love of music.

“She’s got an incredible sense of adventure about her.”

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“She likes to play the bongos and piano,” she says.

“We’re big fans of The Voice as well and whenever we put it on she literally crawls up to the TV and sits in front of it and dances,” Jamie adds.

However, the TV host makes sure to point out that it’s not all songs and laughs.

“The only real tough part is she doesn’t like sleeping,” he laughs. “Ameka and I have been in a constant state of jet lag for the past 10 months – it’s been tough.”

As if the pair haven’t got enough on their plate already, Jamie and Ameka also have a wedding to plan after the global pandemic halted their plans following their engagement in February last year.

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“That’s been a journey. But we’re thinking around April next year,” Jamie reveals, adding that they’ve also picked “one of the best gardens in Australia” to hold the ceremony.

“We’re so excited to celebrate that, but at the same time we feel married already,” says Ameka.

Jamie is also readying for a big return to TV – he’s currently filming two top-secret projects in Australia, which combine his passions of sustainability and landscaping, and even hints at the comeback of a much-loved reality favourite.

“I’m hearing rumours that House Rules might be coming back as well,” he teases. “Hopefully it does. I love filming it and Australia loves it. So watch this space.

“I’m just grateful that at this point in my career I’m still as busy as I am.

“There’s so much happening for me here in Australia but above all of that, Ameka and Beau are the reason why I’m planted here.

“And I couldn’t be happier about that.”

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