ME­LANIE VALLEJO

‘HOW I HID MY BABY BUMP’

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - CLARE RIG­DEN TV WRITER

Win­ners and Losers, The Big Mu­sic Quiz, and now she’s the voice of Seven’s new re­al­ity se­ries, Aus­tralia’s Cheap­est Wed­dings. Yes, it’s safe to say we’ve reached peak Me­lanie Vallejo.

“Oh God, I know,” laughs the star, who, at 30-some­thing weeks preg­nant, is chat­ting to us from her tem­po­rary base in New Zealand, where she’s es­caped to await the birth of her first child, due next month.

“It’s funny that all the stuff I’ve been work­ing on is all on at the same time, be­cause you shoot every­thing so far in ad­vance.

“Win­ners — we fin­ished shoot­ing that for­ever ago. And then The Big Mu­sic Quiz — that was so much fun, but it was re­ally only over two nights, be­cause we shoot it live.

“I can’t re­mem­ber when that was, but I do know I was preg­nant, but that we hadn’t an­nounced it yet — so I was ‘ bump hid­ing.’ ”

When Vallejo fi­nally an­nounced her preg­nancy on In­sta­gram back in July, she was al­ready well over half­way. The news came as a huge sur­prise to fans — and also, re­port­edly, to Chan­nel 7, who have a con­tract with the star to re­main “with the Seven fam­ily”.

“I don’t have any projects lined up, but I have been chat­ting with Seven,” she says.

“They’ve been very un­der­stand­ing of the whole baby thing.

“I called Julie McGau­ran (Seven ’s head of drama), and she was like, ‘That’s amaz­ing. For­get about work — work will al­ways be there.’

“So they are happy for me to take some time out and have the bub.

“That is why things like this voice-over (for Aus­tralia’s Cheap­est Wed­dings) has been so per­fect, be­cause it al­lowed me to just roll into the sound booth with my grow­ing belly, and it didn’t mat­ter.”

And who doesn’t love a wed­ding?

“Ex­actly. They asked if I wanted to do it, and I love a good wed­ding, so I was like, ‘I’m in­trigued.’

“I watched an episode and I thought it was re­ally sweet, so I wanted to be in­volved.”

The show fea­tures dif­fer­ent cou­ples each week who are do­ing their nup­tials on the cheap.

It was a con­cept that res­onated with Vallejo, who was a re­fresh­ingly “fuss­free” bride when she mar­ried Matt Kingston in 2011.

“I don’t think you’d call mine a cheap wed­ding, but I def­i­nitely don’t think I was a ‘car­ried away bride’, ” Vallejo says.

AUS­TRALIA’S CHEAP­EST WED­DINGS, CHAN­NEL 7, MON­DAY, 9PM

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