Family

Kylie Bax delves into her family’s past – with surprising results

Kiwi model Kylie was surprised when filming DNA Detectives took her to a mystery location in Europe.

It takes a lot to get Kylie Bax out of Cambridge these days. Living an idyllic life in the Waikato with her three daughters and her beloved horses, things are a lot calmer for Kylie (42) than in her previous existence as one of the world’s top models.

And while she’s more than content with her main gig as mum to Lito (13), Dione (10) and Danae (6), there was one project she was desperate to be a part of – TVNZ’s DNA Detectives.

“I asked to be on the show,” Kylie tells the Weekly excitedly. I’ve always enjoyed watching it – I must be nosy because I love knowing where everyone’s come from! It’s always very intriguing to know someone’s history.”

Of course the show, which has explored the history and genealogy of some of New Zealand’s most prominent figures, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and singer Stan Walker, served up some surprises to the former international model.

“My episode is quite… unique,” Kylie laughs. “It definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, that’s for sure. I thought my genealogy was pretty straightforward – Mum’s side is Irish, Dad’s is British-Dutch – so I thought I’d end up in England. But I was way off the mark!”

Instead, Kylie ended up somewhere off the coast of Europe and discovered some “interesting characters” in her bloodline – people who aren’t quite royalty, but who, she adds cryptically, worked very hard!

“Do you know what was most fascinating though?” she begins.

“When I was modelling in New York, no-one could guess I was a Kiwi. But I ended up in a country where those people would guess I was from! I thought that was really interesting. My facial features must be slightly deceiving, so there you go.”

Finding out just why she looks as she does was a real thrill for Kylie, who believes it’s not beauty that makes a top model, rather that unique something you can’t quite put your finger on.

“And now I can!” she laughs.

“Being successful in the industry has always been about having something different about yourself, something quirky that no other model has – it’s nothing to do with looking pretty. The show confirmed that.”

While filming took her far away from home and her kids, Kylie says she had a ball, despite the fact she managed to contract conjunctivitis almost the second she landed in her first destination. Indeed, her main concern was that the crew would think she was a diva because she kept her sunglasses on!

“I didn’t want to be that person who causes a problem,” she tells. “The crew were so amazing though, running around to find me medication. But you might see a lot of profile shots in the episode!”

Finding out so much about her genealogy was a real thrill for Kylie’s parents too, who were just as surprised by the DNA detectives’ findings, and Kylie is thrilled she’ll be able to pass on the information to her girls.

Being away from them during filming wasn’t easy, Kylie says, adding she’s now very particular about what jobs she takes on.

“I get offers to do this and that, but I really have to plan and figure out what projects I want to take on. The kids are getting older so there’s a bit more flexibility, but I really love being with them and teaching them what I know. I help them with their school projects – well, I try!”

And she says the time away was well worth it to discover her roots and renew her appreciation of life in New Zealand.

“We’re very privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the world and I’ve always thought that,” she tells. “But the trip truly did make me thankful to be a Kiwi.

“It was quite the adventure, really, conjunctivitis and all!”

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