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

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

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

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