Neale Whitaker, from Love It Or List It Australia, has floored fans with an emotional tribute on Instagram.
The much-loved TV star wrote a lengthy message celebrating 21 years of living in Australia after moving here from the UK back in 1999.
Although the interiors expert explained he only planned to stay in Sydney for a year or two, he soon fell in love with the country and quickly found success working in the media
Before Neale worked in TV he was as an editor on a number of British magazines, before he was offered a job Down Under.
"So 21 years ago today - on October 11 1999 - I arrived in Sydney from London with two suitcases. One full of clothes, the other full of dreams," he wrote before thanking some of the people who have helped him along the way, including his partner David and some of his pets!
Neale also posted a photo taken 21 years ago during a shoot with Donna Hay which is still one of his favourite portraits of himself.
He wrote, "Already in my 30s, I thought I’d stay a year, maybe two. But I stayed forever and called Australia home, permanently. What an incredible journey it’s been - and continues to be. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful career and shared both good and bad times with friends and colleagues I will remember for the rest of my life
"@davidnovakpiper came into my life, as did a family of dogs (add horse, chickens ??) that taught me to love and be loved unconditionally. I couldn’t have asked for more."
He ended his emotional post saying, "More than two decades on, I’ve gained a few kilos and wrinkles, but I’m still wearing black T-shirts and loving this amazing, inclusive, embracing country more with every passing year. Thank you for having me Australia."
Neale is currently filming a new season of Love It Or List Australia with his good friend and partner-in-crime, Andrew Winter.
The pair are navigating COVID restrictions to ensure that viewers get their fix of the show where we follow the plight of homeowners who are struggling to decide if they should renovate (with help from Neale's Team Love It) or sell up (with help from Andrew's Team List It).
“People love Love It Or List It Australia," says Neale citing one simple reason. "You get a full-on renovation that you watch taking shape and plus a lot of real estate porn. You can dip in and out of it, because each episode is self-contained so it’s not like The Block or House Rules where you have to keep watching."
While there's no date for the new season to hit our secreens on LifeStyle, Neale says that he couldn't be happier to be back filming.
"It's just wonderful," he says. "Apart from spending time with Andrew!"
And that sense of humour is just one of the reasons we are so glad that Britain's loss has been Australia's gain for the last 21 years! Here's to the next 21, Neale!
Love It Or List Australia is part of LifeStyle's Property Month, Thursdays, 8.30pm on LifeStyle
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