MISS YOU: Jo Beth Taylor and her partner Matt Bennell will be apart this Valentine’s Day.
MISS YOU: Jo Beth Taylor and her partner Matt Bennell will be apart this Valentine’s Day. Contributed

Romance far away but not forgotten

WHILE Valentine's Day is being celebrated by couples far and wide today, spare a thought for lovers whose work commitments mean they are spending it apart.

And when that distance is half-a-world away, the heart-felt feelings can be even more intense.

Add to that a forest full of dangerous wild animals on one hand and commitments with Tanawha children and running a household on the other, romance could easily go out the window.

But not for Noosa-based actress and entertainer Jo Beth Taylor and her partner Matt Bennell. Jo Beth is in South Africa, spending Valentine's Day trying to survive and avoid tonight's elimination from the high-ranking Network Ten TV show I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

Meanwhile, Matt is at home looking after the kids and juggling all the chores parents have - running dad's taxi service, packing school lunches, cooking meals and generally keeping the home front on an even keel.

The closest he will get to seeing his loved one today is when he turns on the telly to catch Ten's 6.30pm broadcast of the hit TV show.

If jungle survival skills can't help Jo Beth, 44, her fine pedigree in television, movies and music may just see her through.

She started singing at five, began professional acting at 13 and, after catching the eye and guiding hand of Molly Meldrum, was named the Best New Talent at the 1991 ARIA Awards.

Then came lengthy stints on many popular TV shows.

She moved from Perth to Noosa in 2005 and has further honed her international career from the Sunshine Coast.

Of course, all this is no news to Matt, who is simply missing his loved one today.

So, the Sunshine Coast Sunday put some Valentine's Day questions to him, just to see how much he really is missing her:

SC Sunday: How long have you been together?

Matt: "482,120 minutes every day for 11 months."

SC Sunday: What do you usually do together each Valentine's Day?

Matt: "This would have been our first. I believe last Valentine's Day we were sitting next to each other as coach and manager at our boys' Futsal game."

SC Sunday: What is the most romantic thing your loved one has done for you on Valentine's Day?

Matt: "Well, considering everyday feels like Valentine's Day that's tough and you want a short answer. Every day I get to hear the words 'Good morning beautiful, I love you'.".

SC Sunday: What will you do this Valentine's Day without your loved one?

Matt: "After writing her a personal DM, do what has to be done with a heavy heart. Manage kids, organise school, kids football training, cook dinner and have a glass of wine."

SC Sunday: What are you missing most about your loved one?

Matt: "Her laugh, the smile, the way she looks at me, hearing her call me babe, her touch. Not R-rated, just the simple touch of holding her hand."

SC Sunday: "If you could pass on a Valentine's Day message to your loved one, what would it be?

Matt: "I love you so much baby. You are everything to me and I'm so proud of you. Every minute of every day you fill my thoughts and it will be this way until the porch. I'm giving you every ounce of what I have to get you through this and smash it. I'm yours beautiful. Good night and sweet dreams. I'll see you on the beach xxx."

Wow! With feelings like that, absence sure does make the heart grow fonder . . . and makes a lonely Valentine's Day a bit more bearable.



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