Home and Away: Alf Stewart killed off for 30th anniversary?

The Aussie soap marks three decades in March with its most dramatic week ever

Home & Away Week 5 - Alf trapped in a sinkhole. **EMBARGO Monday, 5th February**

Home and Away celebrates its 30th anniversary in March with an action-packed week of storylines set to turn Summer Bay upside down, in which soap stalwart Alf Stewart’s life is on the line when he’s trapped in a collapsed sinkhole.

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Beginning the week of Monday 26 March, the soap will broadcast a special storyline airing in the same week in the UK and Australia, despite the usual gap in transmission pace between the two countries.

Ex-hitman Robbo is involved in a dramatic car chase with a new generation of the River Boys, ending in disaster when a vehicle smashes into a construction site causing a gas leak which eventually results in a mains pipe beneath Summer Bay exploding in the local school. Soon, a sinkhole emerges in a classroom, trapping Alf and several other key characters – has the blast killed the show’s much-loved and longest-serving cast member?

Ray Meagher, who has played Alf since day one, says: “I’ve had a phenomenal 30 years playing Alf and I’d certainly like to to continue, but the way things are looking at the moment from the bottom of a sinkhole with a lump of concrete across my chest and no visible help in sight, I’m not too hopeful!”

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The show’s Series Producer Lucy Addario reveals more about the big week: “In a Home and Away first we rewind time and follow some locals knowing that one of them also finds their life in peril by the end of the day. Fearing these could be their last moments alive, a secret emerges that has been kept for over 30 years that will rock the foundations of the Bay…”

UK broadcaster Channel 5 has collaborated with Home and Away’s producers in Australia for the special episodes, with Greg Barnett, the network’s Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor, commenting: “I’m thrilled we’ve been able to work with the show’s Australian producers on an explosive storyline that promises drama, stunts and heart-wrenching emotion.

“A key character’s world is about to be changed forever and it’s a fitting and exciting way to celebrate a landmark year for such a terrific series.”

Home and Away launched in January 1988 on Australia’s Seven Network, and broadcast in the UK firstly on ITV from February 1989 to June 2000, and on Channel 5 from July 2001.

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The show continues weekdays on Channel 5 at 1.15pm and 6pm.