Time to grow up
Former Hi-5 member Charli Delaney wants to be taken seriously, writes Siobhan Duck
DELIVERING a convincing performance as a chicken, wearing a rubber glove on her head, has prepared Charli Delaney for almost anything.
As a member of Hi-5 for almost 10 years, Delaney had to shelve any sense of embarrassment or awkwardness in front of the camera to deliver an honest and fearless performance for her young audience. And through it all she wore a smile. All these skills will come in handy when Delaney takes up her new post as a judge on Channel 7’s Battle of the Choirs and in her quest to become a serious actor.
Though she isn’t planning to become the new talent show’s resident nasty judge, Delaney says she won’t shy away from telling the singers what she really thinks of their performance.
‘‘I will tell them if I think they are fabulous but I won’t be afraid to tell them if I was bored,’’ she says.
‘‘I want to be truthful, but I will do it all with a smile.
‘‘As a children’s entertainer you have to be truthful because they will see through anything that’s fake straight away.’’
Delaney, 28, sees her new on-air assignment as the first step in her bid to act in film and on stage.
‘‘I get to wear glamorous dresses and stilettos rather than fluoro and polka dots,’’ she says.
Despite her excitement at her new role, Delaney is the first to admit she was initially dubious about whether judging Battle of the Choirs was the best way to relaunch herself as an adult performer.
‘‘The first thing I thought was that I was not really sure whether a choir show should be my next move,’’ she says with a laugh.
‘‘But the more I heard about it, the more excited I got. It’s something that’s never been done on TV before.
‘‘A show that celebrates people in our community who are passionate about singing.
‘‘I may not have come from a choir background but I know what it’s like to sing with a group after 10 years with Hi-5.
‘‘It’s a good way to use the experience that I’ve had.’’
Already a graduate from a performing-arts high school, since leaving Hi-5 Delaney has enrolled in a master class in drama to hone her skills.
She doesn’t believe Hi-5 will prevent her from doing adult roles.
After all, the likes of Georgie Parker, Noni Hazelhurst, Brooke Satchwell and Justine Clark have managed to present on Play School and still do gritty dramatic roles.
‘‘I was always so proud to be a role model to little kids,’’ she says.
‘‘But when you think about it, those kids that watched me when I started are now almost in their 20s. ‘‘Hopefully whatever I do won’t be a drama. ‘‘I’m an adult. I would like to do adult roles.’’ Delaney says, if anything, Hi-5 has made her a better actor because she has shed all her inhibitions playing anything from a lollypop to a chicken.
‘‘I have already exposed myself in so many ways, a sex scene is nothing,’’ she laughs.
Delaney says the decision to leave the group did not come lightly, but after 10 years of dressing up, singing and dancing, she was ready to move on to something more grown-up.
She says she stayed with Hi-5 longer than she planned to give the group some stability because it had significant cast shake-ups when Tim Harding was forced to quit after his motorbike accident.
Charli Delaney is now a judge on Channel 7’s Battle of the Choirs.