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Sparks over Gympie gal in Real Housewives of Melbourne

THE GIRL WHO LEFT GYMPIE: The Real Housewives of Melbourne (back, from left) Gina Liano, Andrea Moss, Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello, and (front) Janet Roach, left, and Jackie Gillies.
THE GIRL WHO LEFT GYMPIE: The Real Housewives of Melbourne (back, from left) Gina Liano, Andrea Moss, Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello, and (front) Janet Roach, left, and Jackie Gillies. Contributed

SHE'S dressed to the nines but you can't take the country spirit out of Janet Roach.

The Melbourne property developer, who was born in Gympie, stars in Foxtel's new show, The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

It's the first Australian spin-off of the popular American TV franchise and features six of Melbourne's most glamorous, high-society women.

Roach, 55, was a toddler when her family moved from Gympie to Brisbane.

"My father used to run a cattle station there and was riding in the rodeo and he broke his arm and so he had to go to town to get work," she said.

"I remember them (my parents) telling me a story that when they both came to Brisbane they'd never been to the city before. We moved to Sydney and then Melbourne and then they left me in Melbourne and moved back to Brisbane."

Roach has evolved into a city girl, running her own multi-million dollar business and splitting her time between a luxury apartment in South Yarra and her Red Hill property.

The blonde beauty signed on to the show at a dramatic time in her life after leaving her second husband of 17 years.

"I'm on a bit of an adventure," she said.

"I want to learn a bit about me and the opportunity came along and I saw it as an opportunity, but so many people were saying to me 'You're crazy, why would you do that?'

"My mother said to me 'Darling the only things I've ever regretted in my life are the things I didn't do'… I thought what's the worst that can happen? If I don't like it I can walk."

The mum of two admits to knowing nothing about the Real Housewives franchise before she was approached for the show.

"I didn't know what it was," she said.

"It's not very often in your life that two young women come up to you and say we would like to take a five-minute movie of you and we would really like you to come on our television show. I said 'Are you for real or what?'"

Roach visited Brisbane earlier this week with her fellow Housewives co-star Jackie Gillies, who is one of the more controversial personalities of the show.

Sparks will fly in the first episode when one of the Housewives asks Gillies for a psychic reading, and doesn't like what she hears.

Roach, though, is an open book and is sure to win over viewers with her down-to-earth nature.

Upcoming episodes feature her steps back into the dating world and she openly jokes about being a "sabre-toothed tiger", the over-50s version of a cougar. The Real Housewives of Melbourne debuts on Foxtel's Arena channel on Sunday at 7.30pm

Topics:  tv

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