Osher Günsberg is one of the country’s most well known and well-liked celebrities. He is a beloved icon, known for hosting Australian Idol, Channel [V], The Bachelor Australia and The Bachelorette Australia, among other things.
His warm demeanor and infectious smile have endeared him to the nation. What many people don’t know, however, is that Günsberg has been living with complex mental illness – a fact he discusses in depth in his powerful memoir, Back, After the Break.
“Life is far too short to wake up every day and be afraid.” – Osher Günsberg
Knowing more about Osher Günsberg and his struggles may lead you to question what was really going on behind-the-scenes, behind the smile, behind the lens? Has his easy charm and affable nature always been an act?
No. In fact quite the opposite. “The smile was always real,” Günsberg assures us. “The only thing that stopped the fear was being on stage.”
In front of the cameras is one of the only places Günsberg has always felt comfortable and in control. It was when the cameras switched off that things began to spin into dangerous chaos. But, as with many people dealing with complex mental illness, it took a time for him to recognise that he wasn’t alone and that he needed help.
“I am so grateful that I had the chance to publish this,” he continues. “It was only through hearing another person’s story that I saw … it doesn’t have to be this way. That’s the reason I wanted to tell this story, to be as authentic as possible… what happened to me didn’t just turn up from a vacuum. It’s an entire life that lead to these points in my life where things broke down.”
The goal behind Günsberg’s memoir is to let people know that they are not alone. Complex mental illness affects 1 in 4 Australians and Günsberg is adamant that is doesn’t need to be that way.
It’s hard to remember a time when Osher Günsberg wasn’t on TV. He has always been such a driving force behind the popularity of every show he has hosted over the last few decades.
Learning that he has gone through so much pain and upheaval in his personal life is shocking, and highlights the fact that we really never know what goes on behind the scenes of anyone’s life. His story is both enlightening and truly inspiring – in part because of the challenges he has overcome but also because of his extraordinary insight and powerful charm. Nobody but Osher Günsberg could write a memoir quite like Back, After the Break.
So what does it take to have a career in television? How does one deal with complex mental illness? How does it feel to write such a personal memoir? John Purcell and Sarah McDuling chat with Osher Günsberg about all this and more in our podcast below …
Back, After the Break
Osher Gunsberg, one of Australia's most loved celebrities, opens up in a powerful, dark, funny and heartwrenching memoir about life, love and living with mental illness.
It's hard to remember a time when Osher Gunsberg (or Andrew G as he was then) wasn't on TV - he's just always been there, looking at ease in the spotlight, beaming a big smile, with a questionable haircut. He was there hanging out with The Offspring backstage at the Warped Tour on Channel V; announcing to a national audience of three million people that Guy Sebastian was our first Australian Idol; and later capturing the heart of the nation by hosting every season of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and now Bachelor in Paradise...
About the Contributor
Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmand) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.