Australian Idol host James Mathison now works at Amazon distribution warehouse


He was a household name in the 2000s, best known for co-hosting Australian Idol for six years alongside Osher Günsberg.

But James Mathison has turned his back on fame in recent years, and now lives a quiet life away from the spotlight.

The married father of two, 43, works a steady job at an Amazon warehouse on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. 

From prime time to Amazon Prime: Former Australian Idol host James Mathison now works at an Amazon distribution warehouse on Sydney’s Northern Beaches after turning his back on ‘hollow and dangerous’ fame. Pictured on Wednesday morning

He was pictured working at one of the retail giant’s distribution centres on Wednesday morning, alongside other casual employees.

Dressed in a hi-vis vest, hoodie, trackpants and baseball cap, Mathison pushed a trolley stacked with packages around the warehouse complex.

At one stage, he stopped so another worker could load several parcels onto the trolley before continuing with his duties. 

Fame: Mathison (left) was a household name in the 2000s, best known for co-hosting Australian Idol for six years alongside Osher Günsberg (right), then known as Andrew G. Pictured on September 9, 2008, in Sydney

Fame: Mathison (left) was a household name in the 2000s, best known for co-hosting Australian Idol for six years alongside Osher Günsberg (right), then known as Andrew G. Pictured on September 9, 2008, in Sydney

From walking the red carpet to pushing a trolley: The married father of two, 43, works a steady job at one of the retail giant's distribution centres

From walking the red carpet to pushing a trolley: The married father of two, 43, works a steady job at one of the retail giant’s distribution centres

Amazon warehouse staff typically arrive on site about 4am to begin sorting through thousands of packages before they’re shipped out to customers.

Mathison rarely discusses his personal life on social media and has not disclosed his employment at Amazon, which opened its first Australian ‘fulfilment centre’ in Melbourne in December 2017.

He instead uses Twitter to share his political opinions, including advocating for action on climate change and the legalisation of psychedelics.

Comfortable: Dressed in a hi-vis vest, hoodie, trackpants and baseball cap, Mathison pushed a trolley stacked with packages around the warehouse complex

Comfortable: Dressed in a hi-vis vest, hoodie, trackpants and baseball cap, Mathison pushed a trolley stacked with packages around the warehouse complex

Teamwork: At one stage, he stopped so another worker could load several parcels onto the trolley before continuing with his duties

Teamwork: At one stage, he stopped so another worker could load several parcels onto the trolley before continuing with his duties 

Early starts: Amazon warehouse staff typically arrive on site about 4am to begin sorting through thousands of packages before they're shipped out to customers

Early starts: Amazon warehouse staff typically arrive on site about 4am to begin sorting through thousands of packages before they’re shipped out to customers

Mathison’s career change comes after called fame ‘hollow’ and ‘dangerous’ in an interview before stepping away from the spotlight.

Reflecting on the cut-throat TV industry in 2017, he also told the You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere podcast there weren’t many opportunities once he quit Australian Idol. 

‘Say you’re a plumber or an accountant and you lose your job, you go to Seek and look for another job. Try doing that when you’re a radio [or TV] presenter,’ he said. 

Mathison went on to reveal his first job was working at a warehouse job in Frenchs Forest, not unlike his current position at Amazon.

He said he enjoyed the normality that comes with this type of work because fame always made him uncomfortable. 

Low key: Mathison rarely discusses his personal life on social media and has not disclosed his employment at Amazon, which opened its first Australian 'fulfilment centre' in December 2017

Low key: Mathison rarely discusses his personal life on social media and has not disclosed his employment at Amazon, which opened its first Australian ‘fulfilment centre’ in December 2017

Covid-safe: He took safety precautions by wearing a shield and face mask

Covid-safe: He took safety precautions by wearing a shield and face mask

Staying connected: Mathison gave instructions to his colleagues via a walkie talkie

Staying connected: Mathison gave instructions to his colleagues via a walkie talkie

He also said of his Idol days: ‘Every time I left the house, people would be like “oh my god” and want to talk about the show, which was amazing.

‘I reckon for about two weeks, you’re like, “How s**t hot am I?” Then very quickly you’re like, “This is messed up”. It’s a bit of a head f**k, all of a sudden people knowing who you are.

‘I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining about it, because it was an extraordinary experience, but it’s also something that I’d never encourage anyone to want. You feel like you’ve got a deformity.’

Gear shift: Mathison's career change comes after called fame 'hollow' and 'dangerous' in an interview before stepping away from the spotlight

Gear shift: Mathison’s career change comes after called fame ‘hollow’ and ‘dangerous’ in an interview before stepping away from the spotlight

'Freak': Mathison (left, in 2007) confessed fame made him feel self-conscious and, ultimately, insecure. Pictured with Idol co-stars Marcia Hines, Mark Holden and Osher Günsberg

‘Freak’: Mathison (left, in 2007) confessed fame made him feel self-conscious and, ultimately, insecure. Pictured with Idol co-stars Marcia Hines, Mark Holden and Osher Günsberg

Mathison confessed fame made him feel self-conscious and, ultimately, insecure.

‘It makes you feel like a freak. I was just on a popular show. I hadn’t earned anything, I hadn’t created anything,’ he said.

‘I think the idea that any of your self-worth is tied to your success in this industry is vacuous and so dangerous.’

Household name: Mathison began his television career as a reporter for the now defunct music station Channel [V] 2001. He was appointed co-host of Australian Idol in 2003, alongside Günsberg, then known by his stage name Andrew G, saying until 2009. Pictured in 2005

Household name: Mathison began his television career as a reporter for the now defunct music station Channel [V] 2001. He was appointed co-host of Australian Idol in 2003, alongside Günsberg, then known by his stage name Andrew G, saying until 2009. Pictured in 2005

Mathison began his television career as a reporter for the now defunct music station Channel [V] 2001.

He was appointed co-host of Australian Idol in 2003, alongside Günsberg, then known by his stage name Andrew G. 

Mathison quit the Channel 10 singing competition in 2009 and became a part-time panellist on The Project during the show’s early years.

He defected to Channel Seven in 2012, becoming a film critic for Weekend Sunrise. 

Politics: Mathison tried to enter politics in 2016 by running as an independent candidate in the federal seat of Warringah, which was held by then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but failed to win with just 11.4 per cent of the primary vote

Politics: Mathison tried to enter politics in 2016 by running as an independent candidate in the federal seat of Warringah, which was held by then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but failed to win with just 11.4 per cent of the primary vote

Over the years, he has made appearances on Celebrity Apprentice, Studio 10 and most recently SBS’s Celebrity Mastermind. 

Mathison tried to enter politics in 2016 by running as an independent candidate in the federal seat of Warringah, which was held by then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but failed to win with just 11.4 per cent of the primary vote. 

He is married to Carlie Fowler, the head of brand at fashion label Camilla and Marc, and they have two children together, Luca and Celeste. 

Family man: He is married to Carlie Fowler (left), the head of brand at fashion label Camilla and Marc, and they have two children together, Luca and Celeste

Family man: He is married to Carlie Fowler (left), the head of brand at fashion label Camilla and Marc, and they have two children together, Luca and Celeste

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