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Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte joins the cast of Ten’s The Wrong Girl

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - HOLLY BYRNES NA­TIONAL TV ED­I­TOR

For Natalie Bass­ingth­waighte, this year’s jungle ad­ven­ture on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out

Of Here! was more than just a work­ing mother’s search for a bit of peace and quiet.

As the 41-year-old ex­plains: “One of the rea­sons, be­sides the huge char­ity as­pect, of go­ing on the show was to ask my­self, what am I do­ing with my life? What is it that I re­ally want?”

Three months af­ter the show in the South African wilds — with a new fam­ily-first fo­cus in mind — the for­mer

Neigh­bours star and Rogue Traders front­woman this week joins the cast of Ten’s break­out drama hit, The Wrong Girl.

Play­ing Gil­lian, a pas­try

chef and ex-girl­friend of Jack Win­ters (played by Lo­gie win­ner Rob Collins),

Bass­ingth­waighte is al­ready throw­ing her­self into her new TV project — mind­ful it will be the first time in her ca­reer she will be able to work and come home to her fam­ily each night.

“I haven’t worked in Mel­bourne since Neigh­bours, so to work in my new home town on a drama is a thrill,” the Wol­lon­gong-raised star tells Switched On.

“It will be the first time since I’ve had chil­dren [daugh­ter Harper, 6 and Hen­drix, 4] that I’ll go to work and come home. I’m nor­mally film­ing in Syd­ney, or trav­el­ling, so that’s a buzz.”

The multi-task­ing ac­tor (who also de­signs her own chil­dren’s cloth­ing line, Chi Khi, and con­tin­ues to gig with the band, which in­tro­duced her to hus­band, Cameron McGlinchey) signed her­self up for a day of cook­ing classes in prepa­ra­tion for her new TV gig.

“There’s no guar­an­tee I can make some­thing that tastes any good, but at least I can make it look like I know what I’m do­ing,” she says.

Join­ing the award-win­ning ensem­ble for sea­son two has teamed her with the cast’s other work­ing moth­ers, in­clud­ing Bass­ingth­waighte’s for­mer Neigh­bours co-star, Made­line West, and The Wrong Girl’s lead­ing lady, Jessica Marais.

“Jess is just heaven and we talked about that [work­ing mum strug­gle] ... it’s not an easy thing. With this in­dus­try, the job could be in your home town or it could be some­where else, but you have to make choices all the time.

“I feel like I’m at the hap­pi­est point in my life, that I’m mak­ing de­ci­sions that are right for me and right for my fam­ily. I’m very con­tent at the mo­ment.”

On screen, at least, Marais and Bass­ingth­waighte look des­tined to be­come en­tan­gled in a love tri­an­gle of sorts.

“It’s kind of ex­cit­ing be­cause I come in at a re­ally piv­otal point of Jack and Lily’s [Marais] re­la­tion­ship, so it’s go­ing to be a great sto­ry­line be­tween us all.”

And Bass­ingth­waighte cred­its I’m A Celebrity … with her new-found clar­ity.

“You can’t come out of that experience not be­ing changed by it, for bet­ter or worse,” she says.

“For me, I was lucky that I’ve made some great friends, that I do feel like it’s opened my mind to a dif­fer­ent life, a new life, and the bal­ance I have been search­ing for for years, that I’m only able to re­alise now.”

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