House Rules

Johanna Griggs on becoming a grandmother at 44: "He changed my life"

'I blubbered like a baby for 48 hours!'

After more than a decade of covering the biggest events on the planet, it's fair to say Johanna Griggs has seen a lot.

The swimming star turned TV host has witnessed the greatest Olympic and Commonwealth Games achievements, toured countries most of us only dream of visiting and met those who have done the impossible.

But nothing comes even close to the sight waiting for her three months ago when she arrived at the hospital to meet her new grandson, Jax, for the first time.

"When you see your baby holding a baby, 'surreal' is the best word to describe it," the 44-year-old beams to TV WEEK. "I blubbered like a baby for 48 hours."

On March 4, Joh's 21-year-old son Joe (from her marriage to actor Gary Sweet) and his partner, Katie, welcomed Jax Theodore Sweet into the world.

And Joh says her grandson's arrival was timed perfectly, because the House Rules host was "actually home for a change".

"Jax's timing was exceptional, because that was the one weekend I was home," Joh recalls.

"It was a Sunday and I was about to head off for the Commonwealth Games. I was beside myself that I was going to miss him being brought into the world.

"And then, as it turned out, it was great!"

Ever since that day, Johanna – or "Joh-nanna" as she proudly dubbed herself on social media – has been cramming in as much time as possible with the boy she says has changed her life.
"We've all gone Jax-crazy," Joh laughs.

From the moment she found out she was going to be a grandmother, Joh says she was over the moon.

"Oh, man – we were that excited," she recalls. "You've got to remember I had children young too [Joe was born when she was 22], so it was such a great thing and so exciting."

Joh admits she's not the only one Jax has wrapped around his tiny finger. Her husband, builder Todd Huggins, is smitten.

"We keep laughing about it, but we can all see how much Todd gets out of it and how thrilled he is," Joh says. "Todd and I couldn't have kids, so to see him with Jax is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in my life.

"He just loves that little baby."

How much? Well, Todd's already bought matching Manchester United soccer outfits for himself and Jax.

And that's not all. He's had T-shirts and hats printed, and Jax has even replaced Joh as his screensaver on his phone.

"I'm not even on his phone anymore," Joh laughs. "It's a beautiful picture of Jax."

Read more from Joh's interview in this week's issue of TV WEEK. On sale now!

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