"Bubbly" is a platitude often trotted out when describing TV presenters, particularly petite blonde ones, but it really is the right word for Kids WB's Heidi Valkenburg. She has real fizz and it is not just because she loves her job as co-presenter with Shura Taft.
There is a part of Valkenburg that has never grown up - perhaps the "crazy, attention-seeking child" bit. She laughs when I point out that she once described herself as that.
"That's hilarious," she said, admitting that it was true. "It is something that always got me held back after class when I was growing up but it gave me confidence when walking into an audition at the age of 10. So it has sort of been a help and a hindrance.
"I'm not so sure that I'm an attention-seeker these days but I'm definitely loud and a bit boisterous at times. But then I am one of six children so I had to fight to be heard growing up."
She also admits to being a bit clumsy which led to her falling over during a live session of the show last year. "On our Halloween show last year, I had a mighty tumble," she laughed. "I was bruised for like three weeks after that. But I've only done it once, which for someone as clumsy as me is not too bad."
Valkenburg loves the spontaneity of the show which will return to
Channel 9 next month.
She said Kids WB did not feel like work because they had so much fun. Hopefully, there would be a lot more inspired mayhem this year.
"We have the opportunity to muck around for as little or as long as feels natural," she said. "I know that the writers are conjuring up some new segments for the show. It is very interactive and we are allowed to have our input if we have a bright idea."
Valkenburg joined Kids WB after a stint on Neighbours, playing manipulative schoolgirl Jessica. She has been acting regularly since she was six and had intended to move to Los Angeles after finishing Neighbours.
Money from a commercial allowed her to go to the US for five months, during which time she did an acting course and had meetings with agents.
It was while she was back in Australia preparing to move to LA permanently that she got the job on Kids WB.
"I had made all these connections and loosely signed with management in LA and wanted to go back but my agent here said, 'There is this job and we know you are not a presenter but go along and see what it is like.' For some bizarre reason, they decided to give me the job and I really had to sit down and decide what I wanted to do."
Valkenburg was on holiday when we spoke but had not moved far from her Melbourne home.
She is a keen photographer and enjoys writing poetry and short stories.
"I guess I am pretty ambitious," she said. "There are a few things I would like to get done in the next couple of years before I am too old."
When I pointed out she was hardly close to being old, she protested: "I just turned 24 and I had like a mini-meltdown. I thought, my goodness, there are so many things I would have wished to achieve by now."
Then she laughed and added: "Luckily I still look about 15. I will be 38 and still presenting cartoons."
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