Kiwi TV icon Suzy Cato is known for her bright smile and her catchy children's songs. Raising a generation of kids with her TV shows 'You & Me' and 'Suzy's World', it's hard to imagine one of the happiest and friendliest humans in New Zealand having a bad day.
But in a new podcast episode of Grey Areas with Petra Bagust, she reveals that she was bed-ridden and 'absolutely devastated' when she was made redundant from TV3 in 2002.
“I didn’t even want to get out of bed.”
Talking about her biggest redundancy, Suzy Cato recounts that "not only did they not want any more of the episode the series of Suzy's World, they no longer found that I was a fit for their channel... I no longer fit their brand."
By that time, Suzy had dedicated 13 years of her life to the TV company and was a well-recognised figure in New Zealand.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, it was just bizarre... It was a bit of a shock."
In the public eye, Suzy kept up a "positive front up" and resisted badmouthing her former employer to the press. But behind closed doors, she spent a number of days in bed "with a lot of tears", and not-so-quietly grieving her disappointment within the confines of her house.
"I ranted, and I raved. I bawled. I screamed. I swore... I did everything!"
"I just had this massive big release in the privacy of my own home... however my neighbours did say in a barbecue some months later 'Your voice carries very well. You were very upset, weren't you?'"
Suzy also suffered a miscarriage not long before she lost her job.
“Within a month or two of finishing filming, we no longer had a programme, and I didn’t have a baby."
"During filming, I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant or miscarried because we had so many things to do... I couldn’t afford to grieve."
After she had processed her devastation, she used the same positive front she had for the public to coach herself into looking positively too.
"It was good for me to go, 'Okay, I need to be Suzy. I need to find that light switch, turn it on, and go 'Guys, everything is going to be okay'. And that basically talked me into 'everything was going to be okay' as well."
Listen to the full episode of Grey Areas with Petra Bagust below, sponsored by NuWoman