It’s a question that has often been asked of the Real Housewives of Melbourne.
How are they really Housewives if they all run businesses?
Season 5 of the hit Foxtel show sees returning cast co-founder of Raw Essentials Tea Janet Roach, professional psychic Janet Gillies, singer Gamble Breaux joined by businesswoman Simone Elliott, personal trainer Cherry Dipietrantonio, business woman Kyla Kirkpatrick and news anchor Anjali Rao.
But it’s a question Gamble Breaux is happy to answer.
“Because women work now. You need to bring in your own source of income in a relationship otherwise it tilts. I think the pressures on men have been unfair for too long to be the main breadwinner,” she tells TV Tonight.
But 2020 proved a major disrupter, halting first weeks of filming and forcing Breaux to rely on income from her Air BnB.
“I was really ready to rock last season. And then Covid…boom. I put everything on hold for this season because there’s so much prep that went into my music and something else which I’ve got it coming on as a surprise. I just put it on the back burner, and just waited it out.”
Breaux met her new cast members on the day of the media launch earlier this month, but is excited to be back before the cameras.
“I haven’t developed any friendships off camera because the audience wouldn’t understand otherwise.
“But I love the new cast. Plenty to sink your teeth into.”
One of her new cast members is former Dateline and CNN anchor, Anjali Rao, who was pursued by producers following a chance meeting at a party.
“When the executive producer first called me, it was the most unlikely conversation I think I’ve ever had in my life,” she recalls.
“I was like ‘Nothing good is going to happen here!’
“She said ‘The cast has already been signed off on. I’ll really piss people off, if I try to shoehorn you in, but if you’re up for it, I’m willing to do that.’ I think I said, ‘I’m not up for it!’
“I thought she’d say, ‘Don’t worry, there’s a line around the block anyway.’ But she didn’t, she came after me hard. Finally, I just thought, ‘In for a penny, in for a pound!'”
But did Rao have doubts as to whether the outrageous reality show might impact on future anchor work?
“Absolutely,” she confirmed.
“All my CNN colleagues were like, ‘What are you doing?’ And the answer is, ‘I don’t know.’ I’ve always been a risk taker, in my professional life.
“I had such huge misgivings because what’s really been paying the bills since I moved over to this country is, I’m a professional emcee. I do that all over the world. People hire me as an emcee because of my news background.
“So I really worried that I’d be killing the golden goose, thinking, ‘Who will hire me if I’m tarnished with this brush?’
“But my agent said, ‘We get more calls here for people who have been Housewives to emcee than anything else!'”
Filming for the Matchbox Pictures series is currently underway in Melbourne, to screen later this year. And hopefully not damage too many reputations in the process.
Rao adds, “I haven’t met a Housewife yet, or even heard of one who has had this negatively impact on their career.”