Chezzi Denyer talks red carpets, farming and being a mum

THE Logie Awards may look glamorous on the outside, but for Cheryl ‘Chezzi’ Denyer it was a moment of terror, sweats and chewing gum.

Mother of two young girls, a “wannabe farmer”, wife and all too often tabloid magazine fodder, Chezzi (as she prefers to be called) has a life is full of contrasts.

To many people she is the wife of race car driver and television presenter Grant Denyer, but to her friends the Bathurst-born woman has enough ‘Bridget Jones’ moments to keep anyone laughing.

Reading her blog, The Chezzi Diaries, feels like sitting down with a friend to have a cuppa.

When she started writing it last November, she said she never imagined it would become so big.

“I told myself if 100 people read my stuff in six months and they said it’s OK, then I’ll be OK,” Chezzi said.

Her blog is fun, casual and honest, and has gathered thousands of subscribers in just a few short months.

One of her first blog entries was written about last year’s Logie Awards and was called ‘My Wobbly Bottom on the Logies Red Carpet’.

The star-studded night is full of Australia’s television royalty, and last year her husband Grant had been nominated for the coveted Gold Logie – the top award of the night.

She may have been to the Logies before in her role as a producer for Channel 7’s Sunrise program, but to be invited as a guest with her husband was, she said, terrifying.

“You have to stand next to Jennifer Hawkins and all these leggy, beautiful people. I was panicking,” Chezzi said.

“I was awkward and really nervous, I was sweating and I had trod in chewing gum that got stuck to my dress.”

Since that fateful night, Chezzi said her friends kept asking what it was like for an ‘ordinary person’ to attend such a glamorous night.

“I’d not long had a baby and I hadn’t been in the spotlight for a while and all of a sudden I was invited to the Logies,” she said.

“I’m just a mum and just a housewife.

I was awkward and really nervous, I was sweating and I had trod in chewing gum that got stuck to my dress. - Cheryl 'Chezzi' Denyer

“A lot of people were saying they felt like they were there with me on the night [thanks to the blog].”

Her next blog was about breastfeeding – it is a brutally honest account of how hard it can be.

She had mastitis 12 times, and sometimes expressing was so painful that she would cry.

“It was incredibly painful. At times I was crying when I was breastfeeding,” she said.

“I felt that my failure at breastfeeding was a failure as a mother.”

Chezzi said being brutally honest was important to her in her blog about breastfeeding.

“I was nervous about it, nobody spoke about it … I really felt at a loss during that period,” she said.

“I felt like I owed it to people to say what I’d been through. I just felt I was a real phoney if I didn’t put it out there.”

Since then she has written about a wide range of topics including her family’s life on a 27-acre farm “at the back of Mount Panorama”, rogue cows, chickens, motherhood and weight loss.

This week’s blog was about the latest addition to the Denyer family – an eight-week-old Cavoodle puppy that her daughter Sailor has named Princess Popcorn.

“It’s just a mishmash of the seemingly glamorous life on TV,” she said of her blogs.

While the couple call their Bathurst farm home, Chezzi said Grant is in Melbourne up to six days a week filming for his role as host of the Family Feud television show.

“Sometimes Australia sees him more than I do,” she said.

Chezzi and Grant have hit the headlines many times over the years, and she said their lowest point was when one women’s magazine labelled them as drug addicts. Another labelled them as alcoholics. Both accusations, she says are not true.

“All the glossy magazines are not reality,” she said.

As a former journalist, Chezzi said she was well aware of how negative some people can be online, and admitted this did weigh heavily on her mind before her first blog was posted.

“I was really nervous. We’ve had a bad run, especially with the media,” she said.

Those fears were unfounded.

“I’ve had the most amazing feedback. I’ve not had any negative feedback whatsoever,” she said.

“The fact that I’m very self-deprecating [in the blog], there’s not a lot to make fun of.”

In the months since her blog was launched, Chezzie feels like she has built an online community of support.

“They tell me how reading this stuff has helped them feel better about themselves,” she said.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Chezzi is already planning her next move – a YouTube channel.

She will host the program, which is due to go live later this year and will target mothers.

“I’ll be talking to mums and being open. I want to make it real; it’ll be a group of mums sitting around. It’ll be honest and informative,” she said.

“There’s a lot of people out there who are frightened to ask for help and hopefully this [her YouTube channel] will help.”

Until then, Chezzi’s a regular Joe (as she calls herself) who has got a lot on her plate and will keep blogging about it.

“I don’t just know about being a mum, I’m also a wannabe farmer and a wife,” she said.

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