Jo Beth Taylor

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Jo Beth Taylor (born Joanne Guilfoyle on 29 May 1971 in Perth, Australia) is an Australian television personality most well known for hosting three weekly programs on the Nine Network at the same time between 1993 and 1997: Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, What's Up Doc? and Hey Hey It's Saturday, before taking a hiatus from television for more than two years.

Taylor returned to television in 2000 as the host of StarStruck, another Nine Network program, which was to be her last role until Dirty Jobs in 2007. Taylor also had a music career in the early 1990s with the release of an album and four singles.

Life and career[edit]

1971–1993: Early life and music career beginnings[edit]

Taylor began singing when she was five years old, and at the age of 13 began performing professionally when she started her career with the television program Perth's Young Entertainers. When she was 17, she joined a band named Street Cafe and played regularly around Perth.

Alan Laguda from Street Cafe was originally from Melbourne and talked Jo Beth and the band and crew into moving there. Jo Beth recorded a demo tape, which found its way into the hands of Molly Meldrum, who immediately signed her to Melodian records.

In 1990 Taylor toured with Indecent Obsession as the support act for Debbie Gibson. The two became firm friends and Gibson invited Taylor to go to New York, where she then lived for a year. Gibson wrote and produced five tracks on her debut album 99 Reasons.

While in New York she also worked with Jelly Benetez who produced five tracks on her album.

Taylor began a pop career in the early 1990s, releasing the single 99 Reasons in 1991. The song hit the Australian Top 40, peaking at #31. Taylor's debut album was also titled "99 Reasons".

"You Don't Own Me" was released as the second single, whilst 1993 also saw the release of the song "A Prayer For Jane". The lyrics of the song were about a friend of Taylor's who committed suicide. The song reached #61 on the Australian Charts.

1993–1998: Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, Hey Hey It's Saturday and nervous breakdown[edit]

In February 1993, Taylor took over the hosting role of the top-rating Nine Network program Australia's Funniest Home Video Show. This made Taylor not only the sole woman to be hosting a prime-time show in Australia, but at just 22 years old she was the youngest.

Taylor also sang the opening theme song to Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, titled "The Funny Things You Do".

In 1996, whilst still hosting on Funniest Home Videos Taylor earned the role of co-host on the long running variety program Hey Hey It's Saturday following the departure of Ernie Carroll's Ossie Ostrich.

On a number of occasions Taylor would host the entire Hey Hey show on her own if Daryl Somers were away, and would regularly perform music on the program. She was with the team when they celebrated their 25th Anniversary of the show at Disneyworld.

1996 also saw Taylor make a brief return to music with the release of I Love My Dog, a single for the 101 Dalmatians Movie soundtrack; reaching #95 on the ARIA chart.

During this time, Taylor hosted a number of specials for the Nine Network, namely the 40 Years of Television special which was filmed on the set of Taylor's sometime day job, What's Up Doc?.

In mid-1997 Taylor's time as host on Funniest Home Videos and co-host on Hey Hey came to an abrupt end when she suffered a nervous breakdown. Taylor finished both programs without warning, prompting emergency replacements.

Getaway presenter Catriona Rowntree was called to replace Taylor on Funniest Home Videos, whilst Livinia Nixon replaced her as co-host of Hey Hey It's Saturday.

Taylor moved to California and remained out of the public eye for more than two years, before returning to Australia in mid-1999. Upon her return she revealed in an interview with Ray Martin that her disappearance from television was due to a nervous breakdown.

1999–2001: Return to television and Happy Days: The Arena Mega Musical[edit]

Taylor made her return television appearance on In Melbourne Tonight in 1999, singing I Want You Back. Taylor also returned as a guest for the final episode of Hey Hey It's Saturday in November 1999.

Also in 1999, she joined the cast of the Australian stage production, "Happy Days: The Arena Mega Musical". Taylor played Laura, a character created for the stage show, who was in cahoots with Jon Stevens' Frank (also an original character) to put the famous diner out of business.

The music selected for the Happy Days production was almost entirely from the 1960s. Taylor's songs included "Stand By Me", "You Don't Own Me" and "Tell Him".

In 2000, Taylor hosted Starstruck, an Australian Saturday night talent quest show, in what was her final television role for more than seven years.

Taylor married tennis player Thomas Muster in Austria in 2000. They had one child (Christian; born 2001). Taylor and Muster separated in 2002 and divorced in 2005.[1]

2002–2009: Further hiatus, radio work and minor television roles[edit]

Since 2002 Taylor made minimal television appearances; besides as a guest on Greeks On The Roof in 2003 and on Australia Unites: Reach Out to Asia in 2005, a joint venture by the Seven, Nine, and Ten networks to raise money for the Boxing Day Tsunami.

In 2006, she moved to Queensland and joined Noosa's radio station Zinc 96.1 FM morning crew with Jamie Dunn and Agro. As of mid-2007 she no longer appears on the Zinc FM website. There has been no official announcement regarding her departure.

Taylor co-hosted an Australian version of Dirty Jobs on the Nine Network with Ben Dark between October and November 2007.

Taylor has made at least one appearance on Mornings With Kerri-Anne in 2009 during a travel infomercial segment. Taylor returned for the second Hey Hey It's Saturday reunion show on 7 October 2009.

2010–present: Dancing with the Stars and second television return[edit]

Taylor was amongst the line up of celebrities competing in the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars on the Seven Network. She was eliminated in the fourth week.

On the 13 November 2010 episode of Hey Hey It's Saturday Jo Beth returned to the show as a contestant during one of the game segments. She returned again on 27 November 2010 to judge Red Faces on the series finale.

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Show Role Notes
1993–1997 Australia's Funniest Home Video Show Host Became the youngest female to present on prime time TV in Australia
1995–1997 Hey Hey It's Saturday Co-Host Returned for the final show in November 1999
1996–1997 What's Up Doc? Host Filled in for the regular hosts on occasion over this period
1996 40 Years of Television Host Nine Network Special Presentation
2000 StarStruck Host Hosted first season only
2003 Greeks On The Roof Herself Appeared in one episode, interview and performance
2005 Australia Unites: Reach Out To Asia Herself Joint venture between Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten
2007 Dirty Jobs Presenter First regular television role in seven years
2009 Mornings With Kerri-Anne Presenter Infomercial presenter for travel segments
Hey Hey It's Saturday: The Reunion Herself Returned for the second reunion show on 7 October
2010 Dancing with the Stars Contestant Eliminated 3rd

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Australia
1991 99 Reasons -

Singles[edit]

Year Single Australia
Certification Album
1991 99 Reasons 31
-
99 Reasons
You Don't Own Me
-
-
1993 A Prayer For Jane 61
-
single only
1996 I Love My Dog 95
-

External links[edit]

References[edit]