Fiona O’Loughlin now unrecognisable
Beloved Australian comedian Fiona O'Loughlin has debuted a drastic new makeover during an interview with The Project, looking virtually unrecognisable from the woman who has entertained audiences for the past 20 years.
O'Loughlin, 57, has ditched her usual brown locks for a shorter, blonde hairdo, complemented with dark-rimmed glasses. She admitted the new look allowed her to go "a bit incognito."
The comedian and mum-of-five was promoting her newly-released memoir, in which she opens up about her very public battle with alcohol addiction.
While some of O'Loughlin's alcohol relapses are well-documented - in 2009, she collapsed during a performance in Brisbane, and subsequently announced she was an alcoholic - others revealed in the book would come as a shock to fans.
O'Loughlin's 2018 season-winning appearance on Ten's reality show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! appeared to be a triumph from the outside. She now reveals she was so desperate for alcohol while in the jungle that she resorted to secretly ingesting hand sanitiser.
"I shouldn't laugh at that. Basically it was a relapse, and I kept having these relapses, and that's kind of what I wanted to really drive home, is part of this disease that people don't really understand, the cruelty of it is when you're in it is the relapsing," she said.
"I only knew about hand sanitiser because I'd been to so many rehabs because I wouldn't have known."
O'Loughlin told The Project hosts she was now sober - which led to one challenging question from Waleed Aly, who pointed out that O'Loughlin admits in the book she had been secretly drinking in the past at the same time she was performing comedy gigs riffing on her "newly sober" life.
"I don't mean to be offensive when I ask you this. You say you're sober now, should we believe you now?" asked Aly.
"It doesn't matter whether you do or not," O'Loughlin shot back.
"No, that's absolutely right, but should we?" asked Aly.
"As I said, it doesn't matter. I know my sober day is 17 December 2019. I wish I could say it was 17 December 2016, but it wasn't. That's when it ended for me."
O'Loughlin conceded she could see why Aly had asked the tricky question: "I am a bit the boy who cried wolf, first one to admit that."
Finishing the interview, O'Loughlin offered up one tongue-in-cheek reason behind her brand new look.
"I actually did change my hair colour because... I've never been a drunk blonde."
"Sadly, I have, Fiona," quipped host Carrie Bickmore.
Originally published as Fiona O'Loughlin now unrecognisable