A game girl
So finding herself back on TV, after a few years trying to establish herself as an adult performer, she has surprised herself by jumping heartily into the role of crash test dummy for Knockout.
This bubbly, self-confessed klutz, could not be more perfect for the job.
‘‘ When you see the set, it’s so colourful and just like Hi-5, I get to play dress-ups again.’’
With the Malaysian audience of Knockout filled with ex-pat Australian schoolkids, Robinson was instantly recognised as the Charli they had grown up with.
‘‘ Some of these kids, who are grown up with kids of their own now, groan, must look at me and think, ‘ Wow, Charli, you just don’t change’.’’
While she left the Hi-5 family three years ago after 10 years of exhausting touring, her return to TV, she says, has been surprisingly easy.
‘‘ I didn’t realise how much I missed TV until I hit the set. I felt like it was coming home.
‘‘ In front of a (radio) microphone I still always feel nervous. But put a camera on me and it’s almost like I exhale. It’s certainly more comfortable.’’
Still, the quirky nature of the show doesn’t mean comfort equals boring.
With four teams competing in crazy contests – from wacky water sports, to endurance tests and obstacle courses – there was never a dull moment when the return series was filmed in six breakneck days (or rather nights, with filming scheduled in the evenings to avoid the extremes of the tropical Asian heat).
While Mcewan and Nelson keep to the relative safety of the commentary box high up in the grandstand, Robinson gets down and dirty on the sidelines and pool deck with the contestants.
In the first season, four state-based teams will battle it out for the title, winning money for their organisations: Queensland lifesavers, Victorian firefighters, NSW ambulance officers and a combined Team Maccas, raising funds for Ronald Mcdonald house.
And if you think this is all just for laughs, Robinson says the players took it seriously.
‘‘ In the Malaysian heat, it took competition to another level. I really thought I was part of the Olympics or something — sweat pouring everywhere, all these serious athletes and, of course, HG Nelson, an absolute legend.’’
A little starstruck by one half of Australia’s beloved comedy duo, Roy & HG, she says: ‘‘ I found myself, even when were sitting down for breakfast, I’d just start staring at him.
‘‘ Even when he talked about what his hotel room was like and, when it rained, condensation after his airconditioning broke down, I felt like the luckiest person in the world witnessing a one-man comedy show.
‘‘ He will make this show. His Olympics commentary was legendary.
‘‘ It’s him to a tee.’’ It’s A Knockout Channel 10, Sunday 7.30pm