reality tv

A 'Champagne Dame' and a $43m mansion: What we know about the new Real Housewives of Melbourne cast.

The Real Housewives of Melbourne is back gracing our TV screens, with four new ladies joining the cast to shake things up.

Gina Liano and Lydia Schiavello have said their goodbyes to the show, but original RHOM cast members Janet Roach, Jackie Gillies and Gamble Breaux have remained for season five.

Janet is also in the news as she and her partner, Sam Gance, the co-founder of Chemist Warehouse, set the new highest price paid at auction in Australia at a cool $43 million for a place in Toorak. Now that’s a mansion.

Watch: 'Real Housewives of Sydney' Lisa Oldfield has a biological child who isn't hers. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

New RHOM Cast: Anjali.

You just might recognise Anjali Rao: she’s a journalist who spent many years working as a highly successful TV news anchor on CNN Talk Asia.

Having interviewed some of the world’s most famous people including Kobe Bryant, the Dalai Lama and Bill Clinton, Anjali should be in good hands when it comes to talking herself out of potentially sticky situations with the other housewives.

"I've spent my career debating world issues with some of the most powerful leaders on the planet so I can handle anything and anyone that comes my way: whatever they may think," she told Foxtel


After her divorce, Anjali decided that she would move back to Australia, and is keen to develop a career as a singer and conference MC. 

However, Anjali admits herself that her previous teaching profession wasn’t exactly her forte.


"My first job was being a kindergarten teacher at age 16. I should never teach anybody anything. I would frequently come in quite hungover and just put on a film for the tiny little children and say, 'Who’s going to massage Ms Rao’s head today?'"

As for a completely random fun fact? Anjali’s favourite cocktail is the c***sucking cowboy: "It’s something I haven’t yet tried, but it sounds like something I would like." (The cocktail recipe is two-parts Baileys Irish Cream and one-part cold Butterscotch Schnapps for those whose minds may have drifted elsewhere).


As for what we can expect from Anjali on RHOM? According to the woman herself, season five will be full of "Vesuvian tempers, artic freeze-outs and genuine love that will last a lifetime."

The drama is already in full swing too, with Anjali responding on her Instagram account to a recent comment made by fellow housewife Janet that "nobody knows who she is."

"If I got 'roasted,' I certainly wasn’t aware of it. Then again, whenever Granny Janny empties her nappy about me, I do tend to use the opportunity to have a little snooze."

Goodness me. 

New RHOM Cast: Kyla.

This "fun, fierce and glamorous" woman is all about the bubbles.

The self-titled Champagne Dame, Kyla Kirkpatrick, is a highly successful businesswoman, CEO, and champagne educator.

As the owner of three businesses that import and export high-end drinks, Kyla credits her determination for her success.  

"I've come from nothing and all my success is down to hard work, long hours, no holidays, and a really strong belief in who I am," she said in an interview


From the promos so far, it looks like Kyla could be butting heads with original cast member Janet. What exactly over you may ask? Her glassware... 

"There’s nothing wrong with Janet’s glasses, except that they’re absolutely wrong for champagne," Kyla said in the latest episode of RHOM.

"When you put seven super-strong glamorous gladiators in a room together, it's not always going to be a bed of roses. I'm used to being in command of my fate, but this was something very different for me.

"Yes, there are a few cracking arguments, but we are learning to love each other."


As for Kyla’s biggest phobia: pointy plants and spiky leaves. You heard it here, folks.

New RHOM Cast: Simone.

Unlike the other new cast members, Simone was a late call-up for season five, replacing Gina Liano when she announced she wouldn’t be returning to the show. 

"I had to get my act together very, very quickly because I haven’t been in the media before, I’ve never had a public profile," she shared in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. 

"I had a couple of months to get my head around [it]. 'Right Simone, are you going to be able to hold your own in an argument; are you going to fall apart when you’re criticised?'"


Juggling professional and personal responsibilities like many parents, and having just completed an MBA, Simone hopes her story resonates with many women. 

"Just because I became a mother didn’t mean that I didn’t want to pursue all the things I wanted to do with my life," she said. 

"I’m a dance mum, I’m a karate mum, I bake cupcakes, I do projects on the Olympics, I help with maths homework. I have this career that I’m pursuing, but in the background I’m in my Stan Smith sneakers and a pair of jeans with my hair in a cap, going to soccer training. I guess I have a bit of a double life."

As for what audiences can expect from Simone for RHOM? "What you’ll see from me this season is someone who is very strong, independent and a career woman. Also, outside of that, I am going to bring the glamour, the style and the fashion!"


It appears that Simone is the only new addition to have not ruffled too many feathers, according to original housewife Gamble.

But given Simone describes herself as ambitious, disciplined and loyal, it’s no wonder that she was a hit with her fellow ladies.

In a livestream Q&A hosted by comedian Joel Creasey, Gamble said: "What I found difficult is Kyla, Cherry and Anjali were very much just stuck in the same opinion, and backing each other in any sort of thing when it sometimes wasn’t even reasonable."

"Cherry was reasonable at first... but lost it a bit in the middle," she added. 

New RHOM Cast: Cherry.

And on that note, let’s chat about Cherry!


Hailing from Southampton in the UK, Cherry is all about being "kind, fun and open".

Cherry was backpacking across the world in 1999 when she met husband Andre in Bali. The two later decided to move to Australia together. The couple have three children and are settled in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton.

Cherry is all about perfecting her warrior pose and downward dog given she’s a trained yoga teacher and personal trainer, launching her Mindful Motion online training classes recently.

"I’m so excited to get back to a yoga class. I love being a mum, but honestly, I can’t wait to get the kids back to school. I’m even excited about making packed lunches," she shared on the Today Show. She’s not the only parent excited about school’s return!


When it came to a recent curly question from ABC Radio asking whether the show is feminist or if the "cat-fighting portrays women in a negative light," Cherry was quick to note that she herself felt empowered from the experience.

"I think it’s a bit of everything let’s be honest. I don’t think it’s about portraying women in a negative light, but sometimes maybe not being the best version of themselves," she shared.

"The show is about escapism and relationships and seeing the different dynamics that are cultivated when you put a group of strong women together.

"I went into this with my eyes wide open and I knew it would be an absolute challenge to connect with all these different women, and try all these new experiences."


As for what her other RHOM cast members think, perhaps they initially mistook gentleness for passiveness. 

"We know that Cherry, she’s so diplomatic. I just wonder how long that will last, hanging with us," Janet said in the latest episode of RHOM season five. 

In a piece to camera, Gamble noted, "I like Cherry a lot. I think she’s sweet, but I’m very suspicious of sweet people."

But Cherry is no shrinking violet. "In the extreme moments, when there's a lot of conflict, you just have to stand up for yourself and I definitely did that."

Feature Image: Instagram @jackiegilliestv.

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