“And I think this is one of the things with Cecile getting married at 23 – we are so happy that she has found someone she wants to spend the rest of her life with.”
Of course, the couple admit that their 30 years of marriage hasn’t always been easy.
“In the context of our marriage we have had tremendous highs and we have had tremendous lows,” says Laurence. “And we have worked very hard to build something together.”
As for the secret to their long-lasting union?
“Husbands need to learn if they do what their wife wants the first time round they won’t get nagged,” jokes Jackie. “But, it’s actually about friendship and it’s about commitment.”
“You can have a s--t week, a c--p month or an irritated year, but in the context of a 30-year marriage, that’s nothing. You have to be patient and realistic," adds Laurence.
“And blondes are always right,” he laughs.
Life could have been very different for them both if it hadn’t been for a mutual friend.
“We were set up on a blind date by one of my oldest friends,” reveals Jackie. “She was at art school with Laurence and she had been saying for a number of years, ‘oh you must meet Laurence, you will get on really well.’ And she was quite right.”
“She was indeed very right,” adds Laurence.
“I think one of the things that I really look back on in life is the fact that we have had so much time together – we’ve grown up together, we’ve made up all of this together. I know the girls see our marriage and our relationship as a very strong role model.”
In the years since they first met, Laurence and Jackie have built themselves a great life. But with Laurence’s career taking him all around the world, it can take a toll on the family.
“It is difficult with him away, says Jackie. “Even when the children were very small he might be away up to four nights a week filming. We are kind of used to it now and I do have the distraction of a 2-year-old grandson at home who is my world.”
And in his latest role Laurence, already a regular fixture on our TV screens, is headed back Down Under to host the second season of Instant Hotel.
As both a host and judge, Laurence will travel the nation and stay at some of the country’s most unusual home vacation rentals.
“It gives the audience the opportunity to see more of Australia and that’s something that has struck me since I’ve been here – the diversity of Australia,” he says.
“It is armchair travel as well as being a reality program, and I think that people are going to enjoy the combination – of the contestants who are as mad as a box of frogs, and these extraordinary locations.”
While Laurence has loved exploring Australia for the show, he has also relished being able to bring Jackie on her first trip Down Under. “It was so poignant being on the plane together because for so much of this year I have been getting on that plane and it’s been the moment I’ve said goodbye to Jackie and you feel so flat,” he admits.
“So this really has been a wonderful opportunity. We haven’t spent this much quality time together for a long time.”
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