Entertainment

Sacked Channel Ten presenter Helen Kapalos has gone rogue and is spilling all her secrets


TV presenter Helen Kapalos has given a scathing account of her experiences as a TV journalist, including her sacking from Channel 10 in 2012. 

The 49-year-old went rogue while speaking to The Herald Sun’s Sacked: Showbiz podcast, opening up on subjects from being asked to change her surname, the ‘crippling’ effect of being judged on her looks and accruing $80,000 in debt. 

On Saturday, a new portion of the podcast emerged, in which Helen discussed how she struggled under the pressure of being judged on her appearance. 

Open: TV presenter Helen Kapalos (pictured) has given a scathing account of her experiences as a TV journalist. The 49-year-old went rogue while speaking to The Herald Sun's Sacked: Showbiz podcast, opening up on subjects from being asked to change her surname, the 'crippling' effect of being judged on her looks and accruing $80,000 debt

Open: TV presenter Helen Kapalos (pictured) has given a scathing account of her experiences as a TV journalist. The 49-year-old went rogue while speaking to The Herald Sun’s Sacked: Showbiz podcast, opening up on subjects from being asked to change her surname, the ‘crippling’ effect of being judged on her looks and accruing $80,000 debt 

‘I felt I was all too often defined by what I was wearing and the attention to hair and makeup, to a point where it felt like it was a bit crippling,’ she confessed. 

Helen said she was judged for ‘looking too tired’ or for her makeup, not just from bosses, but people close to her, which she found ‘surreal’.   

Helen also alleged that a former boss at Channel Nine once suggested she should change her surname to Smith, in a bid to tone down her Greek heritage.

The TV star claims the incident happened early in her career and described it as ‘jarring’.

‘Early on in my career, I did have a news editor who wanted me to change my name from Kapalos to Smith,’ she told The Herald Sun

The 49-year-old told The Herald Sun's Sacked: Showbiz podcast she felt unfairly judged for her looks: 'I felt was all too often defined by what I was wearing and the attention to hair and make, to a point where it felt like it was a bit crippling,' she said

 The 49-year-old told The Herald Sun’s Sacked: Showbiz podcast she felt unfairly judged for her looks: ‘I felt was all too often defined by what I was wearing and the attention to hair and make, to a point where it felt like it was a bit crippling,’ she said

Changes: Name change: Helen also alleged that a former boss at Channel Nine once suggested she should change her surname to Smith, in a bid to tone down her Greek heritage. 'It was really jarring to have that happen,' she said

Changes: Name change: Helen also alleged that a former boss at Channel Nine once suggested she should change her surname to Smith, in a bid to tone down her Greek heritage. ‘It was really jarring to have that happen,’ she said 

‘That was at Channel Nine, but I won’t mention who it was. It was really jarring to have that happen.’  

Daily Mail Australia have contacted Channel Nine for further comment.

Helen was also drawn on her infamous sacking from Channel 10 in 2012, calling the cull ‘undignified’ and ‘devastating’.

The TV star revealed she was blindsided when she was suddenly axed from her regular news slot after working at the network for six years.

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Helen was fired just one day before she was due to fly to New York for a holiday.

Hurt: Helen was also drawn on her infamous sacking from Channel Ten in 2012, calling the cull 'undignified' and 'devastating'. The TV star revealed she was blindsided when she was suddenly axed from her regular news slot after working at Ten for six years

 Hurt: Helen was also drawn on her infamous sacking from Channel Ten in 2012, calling the cull ‘undignified’ and ‘devastating’. The TV star revealed she was blindsided when she was suddenly axed from her regular news slot after working at Ten for six years

Hard: 'I think what was disappointing for me was, it felt like a very undignified way to be treated after such hard work and loyal service,' she lamented. 'It was quite devastating to be farewelled in that way'

Hard: ‘I think what was disappointing for me was, it felt like a very undignified way to be treated after such hard work and loyal service,’ she lamented. ‘It was quite devastating to be farewelled in that way’ 

‘My news editor’s assistant actually grabbed me by the elbow and took me into this room. I thought, “This is a bit heavy handed”,’ Helen told the podcast.

Once in the meeting, Helen was informed by her news editor and HR manager that she wouldn’t be returning to screens again – not even to say goodbye to viewers. 

‘I think what was disappointing for me was, it felt like a very undignified way to be treated after such hard work and loyal service,’ she lamented. 

‘It was quite devastating to be farewelled in that way,’ Helen added. 

Her axing, along with other presenters, was reportedly part of austerity measures introduced by Channel 10 to improve ratings. 

Daily Mail Australia have contacted Channel 10 for further comment.   

Ouch! In February 2013, Helen moved to Channel Seven where she became the face of Today Tonight (pictured). It was in that year when she suffered an on-air gaffe that would make television history

 Ouch! In February 2013, Helen moved to Channel Seven where she became the face of Today Tonight (pictured). It was in that year when she suffered an on-air gaffe that would make television history

In February 2013, Helen moved to Channel Seven where she became the face of Today Tonight. 

It was in that year when she suffered an on-air gaffe that would make television history.   

During the 2013 segment, Helen made a valiant effort to fill in the awkward silences when she was left without a script or an autocue for a minute and a half.

The Today Tonight host shuffled papers and smiled repeatedly into the camera as she told viewers former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ‘getting the numbers’.

She then added: ‘The same opinion… And we’ll have to move on to our next story now… but all very interesting down in Canberra.

‘Of course we’ll continue to bring you continuing coverage throughout the evening on our news, but now we’ll also be crossing to our viewer poll shortly.’  

Tough: During the 2013 segment, Helen made a valiant effort to fill in the awkward silences when she was left without a script or an autocue for a minute and a half. The video circulated on YouTube and attracted more than 990,000 views

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 Tough: During the 2013 segment, Helen made a valiant effort to fill in the awkward silences when she was left without a script or an autocue for a minute and a half. The video circulated on YouTube and attracted more than 990,000 views

Unfortunately, that too disappeared from screens.

‘Now to a Muslim who was on his way to becoming a radical… I’m sorry we’ll have to go to something else there… but it’s all happening in Canberra as we can see… now to a Muslim who is on his way to becoming… I apologise for this…’ 

She then added: ‘If you have just joined I will give you a quick summary.’

The video circulated on YouTube and attracted more than 990,000 views. 

Helen described the incident as ‘horrific’, telling the Herald Sun that she had to undergo therapy to deal with the ‘shame and trauma’.   

Upset: Helen described the incident as 'horrific', telling the Herald Sun on that she had to undergo therapy to deal with the 'shame and trauma'. 'I didn't even want to be in the supermarket, or anything. I was absolutely devastated and really crippled,' she said

 Upset: Helen described the incident as ‘horrific’, telling the Herald Sun on that she had to undergo therapy to deal with the ‘shame and trauma’. ‘I didn’t even want to be in the supermarket, or anything. I was absolutely devastated and really crippled,’ she said 

‘I didn’t even want to be in the supermarket, or anything. I was absolutely devastated and really crippled,’ she told the publication. 

Helen quit her role at Seven in March 2015 and went on to pour thousands into a documentary about medical marijuana. 

The presenter became passionate about the controversy surrounding cannabis oil after interviewing inoperable bowel cancer sufferer Dan Haslam, 25, from Tamworth as a two-part segment on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night in 2014.  

Helen quit her job a month after Mr Haslam died in February 2015 and took out an $80,000 loan to document the ‘truth about medicinal marijuana’.  

When she was paying off the loan, she said there were times she was forced to use ’20 cent coins to buy groceries,’ the Sydney Morning Herald reported back in 2016.  

Passionate: Helen quit her role at Seven in March 2015 and went on to pour thousands into a documentary about medical marijuana. Helen became passionate about the controversy surrounding cannabis oil after interviewing inoperable bowel cancer sufferer Dan Haslam, 25, (both pictured) from Tamworth

Passionate: Helen quit her role at Seven in March 2015 and went on to pour thousands into a documentary about medical marijuana. Helen became passionate about the controversy surrounding cannabis oil after interviewing inoperable bowel cancer sufferer Dan Haslam, 25, (both pictured) from Tamworth

On the program, Ms Haslam had spoke about illegally sourcing cannabis oil on the black market to provide some relief from his terminal bowel cancer.

The 25-year-old had more than 40 tumours on his liver and struggled to bounce back from his debilitating treatment.

He died in February 2015, and his mother Lucy said the marijuana managed his nausea, appetite and vomiting in his final months.  

Helen was passionate to raise awareness for other Australian cancer sufferers in need of relief. 

Finances: Helen (centre) quit her job a month after Mr Haslam (left) died in February 2015 and took out an $80,000 loan to document the 'truth about medicinal marijuana'. While paying off the loan, she said there were times she was forced to use '20 cent coins to buy groceries'

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Finances: Helen (centre) quit her job a month after Mr Haslam (left) died in February 2015 and took out an $80,000 loan to document the ‘truth about medicinal marijuana’. While paying off the loan, she said there were times she was forced to use ’20 cent coins to buy groceries’ 

‘I did a crazy thing – I went to the bank and told them I was renovating my kitchen and they gave me an $80,000 redraw,’ Helen told Daily Mail Australia in 2016.

‘It might have seemed a bit foolish, but I just got cracking.’ 

Her documentary ‘A Life Of Its Own – The truth about medical marijuana’, which premiered on June 18, looked at the largest human trials of medical marijuana in the world. 

‘Sometimes you don’t recognise what an opportunity looks like until down the track,’ Helen said.  

Cannabis oil is legal in Israel, Spain and several states across the US. In Australia, only Victoria has made medical cannabis legal for patients in exceptional circumstances.

Legal: Cannabis oil is legal in Israel, Spain and several states across the US. In Australia, only Victoria has made medical cannabis legal for patients in exceptional circumstances. Mr Haslam is pictured

Legal: Cannabis oil is legal in Israel, Spain and several states across the US. In Australia, only Victoria has made medical cannabis legal for patients in exceptional circumstances. Mr Haslam is pictured

The Victorian Parliament passed legislation to allow locally manufactured products available for patients from early 2017.

Mr Haslam’s mother worked with Helen on the documentary in a bid to ‘educate and dispel the many myths surrounding medicinal cannabis.’    

Helen’s mother Joanna died from cancer at 56 and the former TV presenter also had her own brush with the disease after a scan revealed a large tumour in 2013, according to Daily Life

The tennis ball-sized tumour was removed a few months later and she was given the clean bill of health. 

During her stint as a journalist and presenter, Helen worked with Channel Nine, Channel 10 and hosted Channel Seven’s Today Tonight. 

Hard at work: During her stint as a journalist and presenter, Helen worked with Channel Nine, Channel 10 and hosted Channel Seven's Today Tonight

 Hard at work: During her stint as a journalist and presenter, Helen worked with Channel Nine, Channel 10 and hosted Channel Seven’s Today Tonight



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