GAME. SET. MATCH.
It’s been 13 years since Bec Hewitt walked away from a television career to focus on building a family with husband Lleyton. Now, with their three children happily settled in at school, she tells Stellar why she’s ready to step back into the spotlight
fter seven years residing by the crystal blue waters of the Bahamas and living out of suitcases following Lleyton on the world tennis circuit, there’s one all-important reason the Hewitt family is overjoyed to at last call Australia home again. And that reason answers to the name of Bux.
“Bux is a little, fluffy cavoodle,” Bec Hewitt beams as she discusses her brood’s homecoming, cheerily adding that she has also “found the local place where I get my legs waxed. So we have really settled into life in Melbourne. And I love all the friends I have made here.”
As for Bux, he was named after Lleyton’s favourite drink – a Starbucks frappuccino. “I am more of a Gloria Jean’s hot chocolate girl myself,” Hewitt, 35, says with a laugh.
Lleyton may have earned a touch under $30 million in prize money on the tennis circuit, but his wife’s days are spent, like so many other parents across Australia, shuttling her three children to school and various sports commitments. On wintry Melbourne weekends, she can be found shivering on the sidelines of the suburban footy field, cheering on her nine-year-old son as he takes a mark.
Her idea of the perfect night is relaxing on the couch with her husband – a marriage that has now clocked up 13 years since their lavish wedding ceremony made nationwide news.
The pair met as teenagers when they were paired together for a charity tennis event in 1999. “I couldn’t play tennis, so it was quite comical,” she recalls. “I didn’t impress him with my game. He just thought it was really admirable that I gave it a go.”
They were both in other relationships at the time. “We didn’t speak for six years,” Hewitt tells Stellar. “It was only when both of our relationships had broken up he eventually touched base in a text message to tell me something he was working on. We caught up and that was it. It was such a whirlwind, which I think was part of the reason why we ended up with such a lot of attention – because it was after only six weeks that we got engaged.”
Hewitt admits that if any of her friends had told her they were getting married to someone after a six-week courtship, she would have told them they were crazy. But she faced no such opposition from her loved ones. “All the family were so happy and supportive. I guess they just saw the two of us together and saw we were happy,” she says.
When the couple married in July 2005, it was an extravagant affair. A congregation of the entertainment and sporting worlds’ elite looked on, while Hewitt’s bridesmaids included fellow soap stars Kate Ritchie and Ada Nicodemou. At the time, Hewitt was one of the most famous faces on Australian TV after spending almost seven years on Home And Away. She had also released an album and out-danced Pauline Hanson in the first season of Dancing With The Stars.
Lleyton was also at the top of his game, having reached the final of the Australian Open in January of that same year.
Looking back on the media frenzy, Hewitt can only marvel at what transpired. “Lleyton had a helicopter follow him from Palm Beach to the Opera House,” she recalls. “It was like a police chase or something.
“I was just excited, as anyone would be on their wedding day. I was surrounded by my family and friends, eating lollies. It was great. You’re exhausted by the end of it, and I was five and a half months pregnant at the time, too!”
After their daughter Mia, now was born, Hewitt walked away from her career to focus on motherhood, and in the years following the couple have added Cruz, nine, and Ava, seven, to their family.
With their three kids now happily settled in at school, Hewitt has decided the time is right to return to the small screen as a travel presenter on the Nine Network’s new series Helloworld, wherein she will showcase New Zealand and Queensland. After a 13-year absence from television, she admits to feeling nervous about performing again, confessing she is so out of practice she got butterflies when giving a speech at her sister’s wedding in 2015.
However, entertainment reporter Peter Ford, for one, is confident Hewitt will step back into the spotlight with ease. “In a perverse way, all the crap she has had to endure through the mags has served to keep her interesting and relevant,” he tells Stellar. “How many times has she walked out, packed her bags or called it quits? Yet that relationship seems rock solid. It’s a testament to her endurance and self-confidence.”
There are also lifestyle adjustments that her new role on Helloworld, alongside presenters such as Sonia Kruger, Steve Jacobs and Ray Martin, will bring.
“I will be able to actually sit and read a magazine,” Hewitt says of the transition to flying solo after years of travelling with three