Career building and the sex factor

Never say never ... Sharon Osbourne.
Never say never ... Sharon Osbourne.

When did you join The Talk?

From the beginning. I have known Sara [Gilbert, who created the show] a long time. She asked me to do it. I really admire her as a woman. We do it five mornings a week. But they realise that everybody on the show has other things going on in their lives, so we are able to work on other projects as well.

Does it owe much to The View?

It was ground-breaking. Barbara Walters had a great vision and she knows what she is doing. We can all thank her for paving the way for us.

This year Howard Stern joined America's Got Talent and production moved from LA to New York to accommodate him. Was that a big deal?

Of course. Having to go to New York for three days a week and then go back to LA for four to do a TV show every morning was a lot of work.

It must have been hard not to resent Howard, then.

There's always somebody more important than you. There's always somebody who earns more money than you. And there's always someone more famous than you. So resentful? No. I consider Howard a friend of our family. We have each other's backs.

Why did you end up leaving the show at the end of this season?

Because of NBC, not Simon [Cowell] or Howard.

Is that because you felt NBC was discriminatory towards your son, Jack?

They were, absolutely. They discriminated against my son because he had MS. I had huge fights with them over email. They told me never to contact them directly ever again. I can only ever contact them through my agent. Meanwhile, I was still on their No. 1 show at the time, which I have been on for six years. It was hideous.

How did you first meet Simon Cowell?

On American Idol. Simon is an unbelievably talented guy. A great entrepreneur. I love him. And I dislike him. But he has done so much for me.

In both yours and Simon's books, there was talk about his affair with Dannii Minogue, who was a judge on the British X Factor with you. Have you made peace with that?

You have to. It was a situation I was uncomfortable in. And so I chose to leave. Dannii didn't do anything to me. I just didn't feel comfortable working with her. I couldn't say anything at the time. How do you say, 'I'm leaving because she's sucking his d---!' I couldn't say why I was leaving. It was very uncomfortable.

I imagine it cost you a huge salary to leave the show.

Oh, yes! Massive.

It's rumoured you will return to the show next year. Would you do the show again?

You never say never in this industry. I don't hold grudges.

The Osbournes was a ground-breaking show but looking back, there were some dark elements to it. You guys were going through a lot.

That's what we were. We were thought of then as a dysfunctional family. Now we are thought of as a family people can relate to. We had problems but the same problems everybody else has. Everyone has some sort of addiction, whether it's eating, drinking or collecting stamps. Everybody fights and everybody makes up.

How long did it take to unwind from it and not feel like you were under that pressure?

Probably four years. It took a long time to wind down. MTV kept rerunning the series, so it wasn't like it was just off. It took a while to realise we have gotten our lives back.

The Talk

Weekdays, Ten, 9am


This story Career building and the sex factor first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.