Russell Brand took charge of MSNBC show Morning Joe when the anchors weren't up to scratch.
Melissa George turns kick-ass heroine in Hunted
Doug Peters.EMPICS Entertainment
Hunted is a suspense thriller set in the world of international espionage. At the heart of the drama is Sam Hunter (George), an operative for an elite private intelligence firm who survives an attempt on her life.
When she realises it might have been orchestrated by members of her own team, she has no idea who she can and can't trust.
Melissa, 36, who emanates an almost manic energy, explains she's been working hard with her personal trainer.
"We went back to old techniques - I was dragging this cement thing and had ropes around my arms," she says.
"I'm really strong now. I was in Paris for the last three days and a friend of mine was like, 'Damn!'," she says, pointing to her biceps.
Though Australian born and bred, her words spill out with a husky, American inflection. "I get very hoarse after a fight. I love the street fighting but it takes a lot out of you," she explains.
Aside from the physical preparation, she was forced to attend spy school where the teacher was a former female agent. "I was so naughty," she says, giggling, and admitting she was kicked out of school twice when she was young for being cheeky.
Melissa was fascinated by the former spy: "She looked like a stylish older woman with a grey bob. Like a woman you'd see at a mall, and that's why she's brilliant, because you never see her coming."
Hunted is one of only three TV projects the actress fought for. The others were the controversial lead in The Slap, based on the award-winning book, and the 'damaged' Laura in HBO series In Treatment.
"I'm very fussy but that role in In Treatment gave me goosebumps. I fought Oscar winners for it, but sometimes you have to bring out weird tricks," she says.
Melissa George in Hunted
Melissa's early years
Born the second of four children in Perth to a nurse and construction worker, Melissa was a champion rollerskater from the age of five. She began modelling as a teenager before being cast as the street-wise Angel in Home And Away.
"I just went to the audition and got to the next step and the next step. I think they couldn't believe a 15-year-old could cry on cue," she says, adding: "Can you believe it was 20 years ago? I have people who've followed me from then and I'm so proud of that. Then there are people who have no idea who Angel is and I'm so glad because I was so bloated and ugly back then," she says, laughing.
In 1996, Melissa moved to Hollywood, winning roles in Mulholland Drive and crime thriller The Limey, as well as a guest appearance in Friends and a recurring role in Alias.
After her role in 2005 flick The Amityville Horror, Melissa was anointed queen of the genre, with starring roles in Paradise Lost, The Betrayed and Triangle.
Aside from her lucrative acting career, she is also a successful inventor. "I have a few patents. One's called Style Snaps. Oprah Winfrey loves it," she says of the adhesive button that's attached to clothing to make turn-ups.
"I have 12 factories making them in China. We've sold 15 million in 10 months and we're the top-selling product on QVC in America."
Sassy, smart, and dangerously ambitious, if the powers that be ever decide to cast a female Bond, they'll know who to call.
Hunted airs on 4 October on BBC1 at 9pm
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