Emerg­ing after her pub­lic mar­riage split, Na­dia Bartel bares all for char­ity, writes

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Holly Byrnes

NA­DIA Bartel was seven months preg­nant with her se­cond child and hob­bling through her third trimester on crotches when her agent pitched an un­likely job of­fer – nud­ing up (well al­most) on na­tional TV.

A nerve con­di­tion af­fect­ing one side of Bartel’s body, trig­gered by a bulging disc in her back, meant walk­ing was a strug­gle – let alone strip­ping off and danc­ing with aban­don be­fore a live theatre au­di­ence of 2000 strangers.

But after star­ing down her own breast can­cer scare in her early 20s, the 34-year-old fash­ion de­signer and life­style blog­ger would even­tu­ally throw her­self into Seven’s The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night Home

Just as she did then, the de­voted mum re­mains com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing her chil­dren and has made lit­tle com­ment, be­sides a telling state­ment to the Her­ald Sun which read: “Al­though I’m heart­bro­ken, I don’t want to com­ment specif­i­cally on what’s been re­ported about Jim’s trip to the UK as I don’t think that is in any­one’s in­ter­ests. My sin­gle fo­cus now is to con­tinue to pro­tect, care and pro­vide for my two beau­ti­ful boys as this is a per­sonal mat­ter.”

While she could be for­given for want­ing to avoid any me­dia ex­po­sure what­so­ever, Bartel spoke ex­clu­sively to Watch about her deep and per­sonal con­nec­tion to the cause and the con­fi­dence boost she gained from bar­ing al­most all on Ladies’ Night.

It was the death of her mother’s aunt, Maria An­gela Curro, back in 1971 which first dev­as­tated her fam­ily and in­spired Bartel; be­fore her own scare would “ter­rify” her into reg­u­lar self-checks and mam­mo­grams.

“I was 20 or 21 and it was quite a big lump,” Bartel re­calls.

“I just thought it was noth­ing ini­tially be­cause I was so young but then I showed mum and she was a wor­ried be­cause of the fam­ily his­tory.”

A biopsy “came back quite in­con­clu­sive and they just weren’t sure so I had to go into surgery and have the lump re­moved. I’ve still got a 3cm scar un­der my nip­ple be­cause it was so big,” she ex­plains.

While that lump proved be­nign, the ex­pe­ri­ence en­cour­aged Bartel to work with breast can­cer char­ity Pink Hope and sign on for tonight’s Seven spe­cial as an ex­am­ple for other mums who might not pri­ori­tise their own health.

“I al­ways want to in­still in my boys that it’s good to work and it’s good to chal­lenge your­self and I want them to be proud of me,” she says.

She says her own self-es­teem was boosted by the ex­pe­ri­ence as she over­came her back prob­lems to shake her booty.

“I had physio and saw an os­teo lead­ing up to me do­ing the show, so it was amaz­ing I could stand in heels, let alone dance without feel­ing any nerve pain,” she says.

“It was a good feel­ing.”

Not plagued by the same body insecuriti­es of some new mums, Bartel in­stead found a wel­come sis­ter­hood with the other celebri­ties, who have proven a great com­fort and sup­port since her split.

“We’ve got a big group What­sApp mes­sage go­ing ... oh my god, it’s so funny. There’s some good stuff that goes on in that chat group, I can tell you,” she teases.

“I did find I had a close bond with Lisa but es­pe­cially Si­mone and Ella [Hooper, of Killing Heidi fame]. I’ve seen Si­mone a few times since but Ella has been tour­ing.

The strip it­self was over be­fore Bartel could be paral­ysed by nerves, but ad­mits her bur­lesque days are over.

“I’m in­spired by it and I love to watch but oh my good­ness, no ... I’m not sexy enough. I’m so clumsy and so not sexy,” she protests, with a gig­gle.

“Some girls like Rachel [Finch] and Casey [Dono­van], they’ve just got it but I’ve al­ways been the sporty girl.”

Decked out in se­quins and fish­nets, with a smile to light up the stage, we think she’s got sexy back ... and how.

Stripped back: Na­dia Bartel in Seven’s The All New Monty: Ladies’ Night; below, with sons As­ton and Hen­ley.

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