Time to grow up

For­mer Hi-5 mem­ber Charli De­laney wants to be taken se­ri­ously, writes Siob­han Duck

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

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.

Hon­est:

Charli De­laney is now a judge on Chan­nel 7’s Bat­tle of the Choirs.

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