Dani Behr was an inescapable presence on ‘90s TV, appearing on popular shows such as The Word and The Big Breakfast throughout the decade.
While her TV career flourished though, Behr admits she didn’t enjoy her new-found fame as much as she should have. She told Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time that she didn’t fully appreciate what she had at the time.
“I was like a machine - I was just going and going and going,” she said.
“On a plane on Monday. Back on Wednesday for rehearsals. Show on Friday. Do it all again. I was almost like a mouse on a wheel – that's how it felt sometimes – and I was tired because it was non-stop.”
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The 50-year-old, who now resides in LA, was also a stalwart of the tabloids thanks to her high profile relationships with footballers Ryan Giggs and Les Ferdinand, who she was also engaged to. It’s a moment of her life, however, that she particularly hated.
“I think I had a really hard time with the UK press, with the pessimistic attitude of it all and the negative aspect of it,” she said.
“Always making everyone look the worst of themselves and talking about the worst. It was so negative. I hated it.”
“Those were the days of the paparazzi doing car chases with you and it was pretty dangerous when you think about it.”
The Word, which aired between 1990-1995, received much backlash from critics at the time for its outlandish guests and its inexperienced presenters – and Behr had to fight to prove she was more than just eye candy.
“I felt so responsible to be responsible,” she said. “I was trying to be the rule follower and not get in trouble and be professional. Then fighting the whole media thing of, ‘I'm not a bimbo’. At 16, 17, you don't know who you are.”
As she was so young, her parents told her that unless she behaved, she would be unable to carry on in TV, which added an extra burden to her shoulders.
“I was so concerned with doing the right thing,” she revealed.
She continued: “When you're in the public eye and everybody's watching you and you’re scrutinised and criticised, it's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure to make sure you don't say the wrong thing.”
In 2000, Behr left UK shores to move to America, signing a major hosting deal with a US network, and while she missed some things about her home country, she was glad to leave behind the public scrutiny, saying she “needed the anonymity”.
“I'm not a victim. I don't feel sorry for myself - that's just not my personality,” she stated.
“I always try and stay optimistic and positive and be grateful for what I do have. There’s an element of America, which is very positive, and people are much more, ‘Hey, have a great day!’ Like there's a positivity that does uplift you.”
While Behr is happy to be away from the spotlight, working as a successful realtor, as well as owning her own production company, she says she wishes she could go back and enjoy those days, as they were actually really amazing.
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“I wish I could go back and relive that and really enjoy a lot of it and really take in the moments,” she told Thornton.
“They were great moments! Just certain bands that were on The Word that I was like, 'Oh, another band'. You become a little bit nonchalant and a little jaded when it's all the time.
“It's only when you talk about it afterwards, where people go, 'Who was on your show?' and I'm like, actually when I think about it, they were pretty cool. It was great, but I was so young.”
Hear Dani Behr talk more about become famous at a young age and how she’s gone from TV presenter to successful realtor in this week’s episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.