It was 9pm on Father's Day when Osher Günsberg finally got home to his family in Sydney in 2020. His stay in Melbourne had stretched on for longer than planned, due to the COVID outbreak on the set of The Masked Singer.
But now he was home, with wife Audrey Griffen, stepdaughter Georgia and baby son Wolfgang. Wolfie, as Osher calls him, was already asleep.
"I wanted to go and have a look at Wolfie, and he stirred a bit when I walked in," Osher, 46, tells TV WEEK.
"I got totally busted. Audrey was watching me on the baby camera. I went to give him a pat, but I might have patted him just a little too hard and he woke up: 'Oh no – now I'm going to have to pick him up and settle him down!' So I got to have a bit of a cuddle."
Wolfie celebrated his first birthday in August 2020 with Audrey and Georgia, while Osher was in self-isolation in Melbourne following the outbreak.
"I was able to join them and sing him 'Happy Birthday' on Facetime," he says. "Audrey's parents were stuck in Queensland, so she was holding the fort by herself.
"It was really tough getting on the phone and hearing her trying to deal with both kids and two barking dogs."
In a different city, not able to do anything to help out Audrey, Osher says he felt "in awe" of his partner.
"She's just an extraordinary human being," he says. "I mean, she raised Georgia as a single mum. It's a bit tough that she's gone back into that mode, but now with two kids."
Throughout his time filming The Masked Singer, Osher didn't feel the touch of another human, due to COVID restrictions on set being so tight. When he did get home to his family, he admits it felt "pretty weird" at first.
"Because I'd been so solitary for so long, it took a bit of getting used to, to actively reconnect with Audrey, because we hadn't been apart for that long in years," he says.
Osher met Audrey in 2014 when she was doing his make-up on The Bachelor, and they married in December 2016. He thinks Wolfie totally takes after his mum in looks.
"Audrey's got some powerful genetics on her side," he says. "Between the Chinese and the Fijian heritage, I don't think I got much of a look-in."
"I guess the only thing that would be like me would be when he crawls across the floor he always has both hands full. I'm that kind of guy. I tend to be very busy."
As for Georgia, she's now 19, and Osher says the teenager is "incredible" with her little brother Wolfie.
"It's so lovely watching him and Georgia together," he says. "It's just the nicest."
For Osher, parenting a teen has been a learning experience. He's had to learn that a parent's teenage choices are not their child's teenage choices, and Georgia won't necessarily repeat "all the dumb things" he did.
"Audrey really had to remind me of that," he explains. "That once G started going out to parties and things, like, 'She's not you growing up in Brisbane in the '80s, she's herself – she comes home safe as houses on curfew time; she's making good choices.'"
Osher has experienced plenty of television magic this year. He hosted The Masked Singer finale with him and Jackie O in Sydney, Urzila Carlson in Auckland, and Dave Hughes, Dannii Minogue and the singers in Melbourne.
He describes what the show's technical team pulled off as "absolutely incredible".
"Nothing is ever going to replace the vibe you get when you get 800 audience members packed into a room and you're going live and the whole thing's just humming along," he says.
"However, I think with Masked Singer this year, we got pretty damn close. If that's what TV's going to look like for a little while, I think we'll be OK."
Filming of The Bachelor Australia was also shaken up by the pandemic, with Bachelor Locky Gilbert's search for love going online. That didn't stop him from falling hard for more than one of the girls, using the word "love" with both Bella and Irena before choosing Irena.
"It was a bold strategy in the moment and I think we definitely saw him realise the gravity of what had happened," Osher says. "For me, the really fascinating part about making this show is that you watch these grown men have these transformational experiences on camera."
Although it might seem like Osher is constantly on TV these days, especially following his 2023 TV WEEK Gold Logie nomination, he's realistic about the industry.
"Eventually, every show you're on is going to get cancelled," he says. "This is the time of year I work on the shows I'd like to do next if I do get a chance."
But as for what is next for the television star, he is never too specific.
"As long as I can keep paying the mortgage and the school fees doing something I love, I'll consider myself the luckiest man alive," he says.
He adds that if there's one thing he's learnt from the global COVID crisis this year, it's that "everything can change tomorrow".
"So the only thing we can really do is try to enjoy today and try to be as present as possible," he says.