‘THEY’LL EAT YOU ALIVE’
Real Housewives of Melbourne stalwart Gina Liano offers some choice advice to the new recruit ahead of season four of the hit series
Gina Liano had some choice words of advice for her friend Venus BehbahaniClark when she decided to join The Real Housewives of Melbourne cast.
Lawyer and mother-oftwo Behbahani-Clark joins season four of the Foxtel reality show alongside Sally Bloomfield, and word is she is at the centre of some fiery clashes with the returning housewives.
“When it started I said: ‘Are you ready? You’re going to get eaten alive,’ ” Liano says.
“I’ve coached her as much as I can. I feel some duty of care for her, knowing what she’s doing could be life-changing.
“It doesn’t add any pressure (on me) really because she’s a big girl and it’s a matter for her and whether she does manage it (or not).”
The Melbourne series is the only successful export from Australia and New Zealand so far in the Housewives franchise after American broadcaster Bravo deemed the new Sydney series “too mean” for US viewers.
Former Queenslander Janet Roach puts their success down to their professionalism, even when they’re bickering over a glass of bubbles.
“There are things that got really nasty,” she says.
“Like when Athena (X) donated the necklace (for a charity auction) and they were so derogatory about the ‘little thing’. We wouldn’t do that; we have more respect for one another.
“We’ve got to this stage where we have a bit of a value system. You may notice we don’t do children, or partners (when we argue).
“We know each other is not going to go there.”
Talking about their sympathy for their Sydney counterparts, the women also reflect on their first season.
“In season one I looked like I’d fallen into a vat of Crayola. I looked like a clown,” Liano laughs.
“When we first watched it we laughed because we sounded like men.”
Roach adds: “I think back to first season and it’s like someone’s hit you over the back of the head with a baseball bat.
“You don’t know what that’s going to be like.” Season four of The Real Housewives of Melbourne premieres on Arena on December 6 at 7.30pm breakfast show over contract negotiations that revealed co-host Karl Stefanovic earned substantially more than she did.
“Discussing people’s pay and contracts is crass and unhelpful,” Gardner says. “I just don’t think it helps anyone.
“I reached an agreement with Nine that we both deemed fair and I’m very happy and I’m very appreciative.
“I have a contract that has stamped ‘confidential’ on the front and that is the way I’d like to keep it.”
Gardner, 47, is understood to have almost doubled her $500,000-a-year salary by signing to co-host Today – the show she quit 3½ years ago. The figure is still much lower than Stefanovic’s package of more than $2 million.
The mother-of-two addressed speculation about tensions between her and Stefanovic.
“We will bug each other and no doubt occasionally we will have our blow ups on and off air,” she says. “But to me that is a solid and open and very healthy friendship.”
Gardner expects a period of adjustment as she gets used to the early hours of breakfast TV again.
Gina Liano is back for another season of popular reality TV show The Real Housewives of Melbourne.