‘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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN

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.

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