Andrew Winter admits he was more “shocked” than anyone when he found his name in the top category for this year’s TV Logie Awards – but he came dangerously close to having to miss the ceremony at the weekend.
The Selling Houses Australia host suffered an episode of Bell’s Palsy just weeks ago, leaving half of his face completely collapsed. It was so bad in fact, he feared he was having a stroke.
Now, opening up in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60, Andrew has confirmed he will attend the awards ceremony after making a full recovery in top speed time.
“One Friday afternoon I was off and having lunch with a friend. I felt my top lip go a bit weird, before I finally noticed in the afternoon that one eye was wide open,” he explained. “I did panic, I thought I was having a stroke. You hear your wife call an ambulance and you start to panic. I laugh about it now, but that first 24 hours was pretty revolting.”
He added: “The thing was, the diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy as opposed to stroke was given almost within a couple of hours, but then they spent the next 24 hours making sure they’re correct.”
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While Andrew has now made an incredible recovery, he was forced to watch his face get progressively worse for the first few days after his diagnosis.
“The only problem was they didn’t know how long it would stay. While you notice it within 24 hours, it actually gets progressively worse over the next few days,” he said.
“You have to sit there watching yourself get worse, while my bottom lip was sort of hanging on the floor. It wasn’t great! It stopped getting worse after around four days.
“It affects your speech too, because half your mouth is down. Your ability to eat and drink in civilised society is gone too! Of course you also have to be very careful with your eye because one is permanently open, it doesn’t blink unless you manually do it. You can make it close, it just won’t operate on its own.”
Andrew has become a household name on Australian TV, after moving over from the UK in 2005. Now he will compete with the likes of Amanda Keller, Tracy Grimshaw and more for the Gold Logie.
While he was “shocked” to find himself up for the top gong, he said he’s over the moon to just be nominated, as he’s the first from Foxtel – a none free to air programme – to be named for the gold.
“I was surprised to say the least!” He joked. “But you know, I’m not really worried and that’s because I got the first – I am the first none free to air person to be nominated, as the Logies lands on my home territory and enters its 60th year. It’s ironic. Even if I don’t win, I’ll get remembered!”
Having seen his own show soar to success on Foxtel, he has insisted it’s a sign of the times – and while many miss the old, nostalgic feel of purely broadcast TV, Andrew said it’s time to embrace the change.
“This is a whole new brave world and ratings are up 15 per cent. I do think it’s for its accessibility,” he said. “Imagine if there’s a retiree couple on the road, and they decide to go off and do the whole grey nomad bit for a couple of years, they wouldn’t be watching Foxtel. But they can now.”
Andrew is up for the Gold Logie this year, alongside Amanda Keller, Grant Denyer, Jessica Marais, Rodger Corser and Tracy Grimshaw. To vote for him, visit the official online voting site here.