Bryce Holdaway reveals the stories behind some of his favourites

0

- Advertisement -

Bryce Holdaway at home in Torquay. Pictures: Chris Groenhout

He’s become well-known as the face of TV property shows including Foxtel’s Location Location Location Australia and the ABC’s Escape from the City.

But Bryce Holdaway admits he had “zero ambition” to be on TV.

“I’m an introvert in an extrovert’s world. The first season (of Foxtel’s Relocation Relocation Australia) was enormously difficult for me because I’d been thrown into one of the most extroverted situations there is,” he said.

“There’s nowhere to hide when a camera is thrust into your face. But then I realised that if I messed it up, life would move on and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Now, I actually enjoy it.”

But when the ABC approached him in 2018 to become one of the presenters of its new lifestyle show, Escape from the City (which, like Holdaway’s earlier Foxtel shows, is based on a successful British format), he initially turned it down.

“I didn’t think I had any time in my schedule. But they persuaded me to do a screen test and when I was offered the opportunity, I thought: this could be a great thing to be part of. And it was a terrific show to make.”

Perth-born Holdaway, 44, first became interested in property while studying accountancy at university.

“I stumbled across (property-investment guru) Jan Somers on Ray Martin’s Midday show and it was like she had invented the wheel. I remember thinking: this is my future,” he said.

He’s now a buyers’ agent and a partner in a wealth-advisory business based in Melbourne, plus the co-host of successful podcast The Property Couch, which has now notched up more than four million downloads.

He and his The Property Couch co-host Ben Kingsley have also co-authored best-selling book The Armchair Guide to Property Investing, plus their latest, Make Money Simple Again (Major Street Publishing, $29.95).

Holdaway recently moved from Melbourne to Torquay with his wife, Andrea, and young sons, Jack and Samuel. “It’s our very own escape from the city,” he said with a laugh.

Holdaway says he’s “an introvert in an extrovert’s world”.

Typical Saturday morning

My career is quite demanding, so we try to spend time as a family on a Saturday. We might go down to a local cafe and have breakfast together, go fishing or, if the weather’s good, go down to the beach.

Emergency snack

A banana. I’ve got some food allergies, so I try to go for something that’s natural.

Signature dish

I love roasting a pork or lamb shoulder on my little Weber. I usually serve it with roast potatoes made with duck fat and a side of green beans with roasted beetroot and feta cheese.

On my bedside table

A few books, such as The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. I usually read nonfiction, although I’ll read a John Grisham novel because that’s about as close as you can get to nonfiction with fiction. He’s done his research and you learn a bit about the American legal system.

Fantasy place to live

I’m drawn to the ocean, so living in Torquay is pretty much perfect.

Chill-out music

I grew up in the 1970s, so love a bit of old-school Australian music. I also like listening to an acoustic covers playlist on Spotify.

Happiness at home

Being with family and friends, enjoying good food and conversation.

Secret domestic skill

We’ve adopted a paleo lifestyle as part of helping my youngest son with his gut health. So, for the past two-and-a-half years, my role has been to cook breakfast for everyone so they’re getting eggs or some form of protein into their bodies.

My favourite things

Guitar

I’ve been learning how to play the guitar for about 15 months now and I’m really enjoying it. It’s an outlet for me where I’m learning another skill and tapping into my right-brain creativity. I’ve pretty much been teaching myself. Tim Ferriss is an (American entrepreneur, author and) podcaster who I absolutely love and he wrote a blog about learning to play the guitar and which four chords to focus on. Basically, he said that if Justin Bieber can overcome the pain in his fingers from learning to play, then anyone can! So, I’ve been teaching myself those four chords, although I think the key to it is having an accountability partner to interact with rather than practising on your own. My eldest son, Jack, is also doing guitar lessons, so my goal is for us to be singing and playing Kumbaya around the camp fire at some point in the future!

Play time: learning guitar is an enjoyable outlet.

Chess set

Jack is a thinker who likes to connect either by just hanging out with me or playing a game together. His favourite thing is to say, “Shall we just smash out a quick game of chess?” Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to play chess when he first said that so I’ve had to quickly learn. He’s read all the books on chess strategy, and his Scottish uncle is a chess champion, so the two of them are conspiring to make sure they beat me every time! For me, it’s a beautiful means of connecting with him in a way he likes, rather than me trying to impose something on him such as kicking a footy around.

Game on: the chess set connects Holdaway with son Jack.

Bike

I bought my cargo bike to enable me to ride with my boys. I was getting a bit frustrated because I wanted to go for a ride and work up a bit of a sweat, but that wasn’t happening when I went out with the boys on their bikes. We’d ride about 70 metres before we stopped at the park. But with this, I’ve got the best of both worlds. I can actually do a longer ride and get some exercise, but am still connected to them on the back. It’s been a game changer in that I’m also more relaxed about doing short rides with them, because I’m getting the longer rides in, as well. Now we’re in Torquay, we’ll often throw the towels in the basket and ride down to the beach.

All aboard: the cargo bike is good for both short and long rides.

Photo

This photo of me cuddling my boys is one of my favourite shots. I’ve been making television for about six years now and I’m indebted to my wonderful wife who has supported me while doing that. As the shows have involved a lot of travel throughout Australia, my wife always makes an effort to make sure that the kids come and greet me at the airport. This photo was taken after I’d just got home after a long trip and I love their unconditional embrace. It reminds me of the importance of making time to spend with my boys. I’m a recovering workaholic and my kids help me to get a little more balance in my life that I probably didn’t have earlier in my career.

Group hug: the boys embrace their dad.

Football

I connect with my youngest son, Samuel, through sport, particularly footy. AFL is his obsession. He’s forever wanting to kick a ball around, check the highlights to see who is winning and put his tips in. He takes that ball everywhere and it gets hundreds of kicks a week. I’m a Perth boy, so my team is the Fremantle Dockers, but I couldn’t convince Samuel to support them as well, so he went for Richmond.

Good sport: the football gets “hundreds of kicks a week”.

Phone

The Audible app is my friend because it enables me to multi-task. I might be driving from Torquay to North Melbourne, where my office is, or vacuuming or washing the car, and I can listen to an audiobook at the same time. The commute to Melbourne is actually something I love and embrace because with two young boys and a demanding career it’s actually heaven to be locked in a car listening to an audiobook or a podcast. I have more to consume than I have time to consume! I like lots of podcasts but two favourites are Andrew Denton’s Interview, which is a companion to his TV series, and The Howie Games, where sports broadcaster Mark Howard interviews iconic sporting folk like Shane Warne and Nathan Buckley.

Switched on: the Audible app enables Holdaway to multi-task.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.