Tim Robards reveals the stories behind some of his favourites

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Tim Robards relaxes at home. Pictures: Darren Leigh Roberts.

He’s the model and chiropractor who famously fell in love with now wife Anna Heinrich on the first season of Channel 10 reality show The Bachelor in 2013.

Tim Robards then used his fame to launch his own fitness program, The Robards Method, write a health and nutrition book, The 7:2:1 Plan, and also appeared on further TV shows such as Ten’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! (with Heinrich) and Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior.

But the Newcastle-born Robards had another ambition: he wanted to act.

“A couple of years ago, I was in a bit of a rut where I was doing lots of different things, including working as a chiropractor, running my fitness program, writing the book, producing social media content and so on, but I felt I was spreading myself a bit thin,” Robards said.

“I’d always wanted to get into acting and follow a creative path but I think I’d been denying it because I’d spent so much time and money becoming a chiropractor.”

But early last year, he decided to commit to regular acting lessons. And his hard work paid off when he got his first audition for a guest role as mysterious businessman Pierce Greyson on Neighbours (6.30pm, weeknights, 10 Peach).

He got the part and, in May, returned to screens as a permanent member of the cast.

There was only one downside to his new gig in Melbourne. As he and Heinrich had bought a new apartment in Sydney last November, they were reluctant to move to Melbourne full-time.

“We’ve waited a long time to buy our home and Anna’s got family and work in Sydney so it would be hard for us to move down permanently,” explained the 36-year-old, who still works one Saturday a month in Sydney as a chiropractor.

“I’m happy doing the commute (down to Melbourne) each week because Neighbours is a great job and a fun way to make a living. And it’s been good for our relationship as we really appreciate each other more when I’m back at home.”

Robards’ hard work taking acting lessons has paid off.

Typical Saturday morning

I fly back to Sydney on Friday night, so Anna and I usually start our Saturday with a boxing class. It’s kind of like couples’ therapy where we can take our frustrations out on each other but in a good way! Then we’ll have a big brekkie out somewhere. I might go for a buddha bowl, porridge or some smashed avo.

Emergency snack

You can’t go past a banana. Or some almonds.

Signature dish

My current favourite is to barbecue some Balmain or Moreton Bay bugs, which I marinate in chilli and garlic, and serve them with a beautiful Tuscan kale salad. I use apple-cider vinegar to soften the kale and add some pomegranate seeds and goat’s cheese.

On my bedside table

We’ve just bought some new bedside tables so they are currently kind of bare. There are a few chargers and a copy of The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck. I’ve never been one to read fiction.

Fantasy place to live

I can’t go past Sydney. We live in Rose Bay, near the harbour, and it’s pretty hard to beat.

Chill-out music

I love indie acoustic music. I love a bit of Coldplay. And Foo Fighters have done some really nice acoustic stuff, too.

Happiness at home

I’ve always loved entertaining, so I love having a glass of wine, cooking some food and having some friends or close family over.

Secret domestic skill

I’m pretty handy. We’ve got an Art Deco 1930s apartment and I’m really good at fixing all the little things that need to be sorted out around the place.

My favourite things

Piano

I grew up playing the piano. My mum got me started on a keyboard and then we bought a family piano. But, even though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t very good because I didn’t practise as much as I should have. But these days, I love it. It’s such a nice way to chill out. It’s like a form of meditation where you have to switch off and focus on what you’re doing. I bought this piano about eight years ago from a mate whose family weren’t using it anymore. It’s a nice piano and I got a good deal. The piano is also something that our (future) kids can use. It was a pain in the bum lugging it up four flights of stairs to get it into our new apartment, though, as it weighs about 300kg.

Piano man: Robards grew up tinkling the ivories.

Heavy duty: the 300kg piano was a hassle to move.

Wine

This bottle of Primitivo is from Puglia in southern Italy, which is the region where Anna and I got married in June 2018. It’s an easy-drinking, fruity wine and now, whenever I taste it, it immediately takes me back to our amazing wedding. It’s like a transportation of memories in a bottle, so I like to make sure we’ve got at least one bottle of Primitivo at home. We chose to get married (in Manduria) in Puglia because I love the culture and the passion around wine and real food. They cook from scratch using ingredients they’ve sourced locally. I love that mentality. We were planning a small wedding but in the end we had about 100 people who came over to Italy. We made three days out of it as we wanted something that was beautiful and memorable for everyone to enjoy. And it couldn’t have been better. I swear I should now go into wedding planning!

Nice drop: Primitivo wine reminds Robards of his “amazing” wedding in Italy.

Display cabinet

I wanted to have a little area of my home where I could feel like a distinguished gentleman and keep my colognes, tie pins, watches, sunglasses and so on. So, this cabinet fits the bill perfectly. The top opens out, which is really cool. I try to make a little bit of extra effort in everything I do, and I think sometimes those little accessories make a difference. I like to take pride in my presentation, although there are also times when I like to just throw on sloppy joe pants and relax.

Call to order: the accessories cabinet helps Robards feel like a “distinguished gentleman”.

Thermomix

I love to cook and try and encourage people to eat more real food and less packaged stuff because you don’t know what’s in it. So, I love my Thermomix because it enables you to cook from scratch but it’s also super fun to use. It even measures everything for you. One of the things I love to cook in it are steamed fish parcels, which cook at the same time as some grilled vegies and mashed potato or cauliflower rice. It takes no time at all.

Kitchen whiz: the Thermomix is “super fun” to use.

Gymnastic rings

I love the diversity of what you can do with these (gymnastic) rings. They essentially replace most of the equipment in a gym. As a chiropractor, I looked at which type of training was going to give the best core mobility strengthening, and prevent injuries and so on, and it all pointed (towards the rings). I developed my (fitness) program, The Robards Method, around them. I like that you can carry them around in a backpack and take them anywhere. I’ve used them on a balcony overlooking Santorini, on a boat in Turkey and even at a vineyard in France.

Work it: The rings help Robards stay fit, even while travelling.

Camera

I use my Sony camera all the time. I’ve got a heap of lenses for it, as well, so it’s a solid piece of kit. I take a lot of photos, especially when we travel, but I also use it to produce videos as it’s a great video camera. I’ve got into producing some ads for different companies and love the creativity of it. I’ve actually got an idea for a movie, so I want to write that as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about telling a story, whether I’m doing that through acting or through producing or filming. Anna and I also use the camera to create content for our Instagram accounts. I’m an Instagram husband in many ways with that camera.

Story teller: the Sony camera is always getting a workout.

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