Neighbours: Izzy’s baby plot busted by Karl and Susan! Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne react

“They’re outraged – but it’s a totally Izzy thing to do!”

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Izzy Hoyland’s outrageous plan to have Karl Kennedy’s baby by stealing his sperm and inseminating herself is exposed in Neighbours next week, leaving the Kennedy marriage hanging by a thread yet again thanks to the machinations of the manipulative minx.

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Wanting to make amends with wife Susan for even considering his ex’s proposition he father another child so their daughter Holly has a sibling, Karl arranges a birthday party for his spouse.

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Always the bigger person in any unpleasantness, Susan offers Izzy an olive branch and invites her to the bash to show there are no hard feelings. But she soon regrets it when Dr Clive Gibbons turns up and tells Karl his sample for the hospital fertility trial has been stolen. Fearing the worst, Karl confronts Izzy.

Eventually, the homewrecking Hoyland admits to Karl and Susan she took it and has already put it to use – and she could be pregnant already! “Karl is outraged and in a state of shock,” says Alan Fletcher, aka Dr K. “It’s such brazen behaviour but Izzy does have form in this area. When she was pregnant years ago by Gus Cleary she lied to Karl it was his baby and was only caught out later when Darcy Tyler learnt the truth.

“From a medical point of view Karl knows the likelihood of Izzy falling pregnant in this way is pretty low, so he’s less concerned than Susan.”

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No one pushes Susan’s angry buttons like old enemy Izzy, and Jackie Woodburne, who plays the saintly school teacher, promises her character’s hackles are up as she reacts to the news. “Talk about stealing Susan’s thunder, revealing this at her birthday party! Izzy is so bold and completely driven by her agenda. She won’t let anything get in her way.”

The Kennedys have already clashed over Karl contemplating Izzy’s idea as she had promised a generous donation to the hospital wing the doctor was hoping to have named after him. If he’d said no, and Izzy withdrew her investment, there’d be no legacy.

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Despite eventually declining the offer to father her child, it now appears Karl may have no choice in the matter. And after Susan’s party, Elly Conway finds a positive pregnancy test and fears it could be Izzy’s.

It turns out it’s not, but there’s still a chance Izzy could get pregnant. But while the Kennedys reel from Ms Hoyland’s horrific actions, Fletcher and Woodburne are loving every minute of the drama.

“It’s a ripper of a story, definitely one of my favourites,” smiles Fletcher. “There’s a tiny part of Karl that wonders whether it would be so bad if Izzy was pregnant, but he doesn’t admit that to anyone. It’s that legacy thing for him again, striving to stay young and leave something behind. Great writing comes down to people being in a state of confusion and learning lessons, that’s what we’ve got with this.”

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Woodburne concurs, and loves the high concept of Izzy becoming so desperate she starts stealing sperm… “When I read the script I just thought ‘This is gold!’. These characters have 15 years of backstory so it’s not like we’re just throwing an abhorrent story in there and seeing where it lands. Considering Izzy’s past it’s not so outrageous, it fits the dynamic and is quite inventive. It’s totally Izzy!”

As to where this leaves the couple next, Fletcher teases their future. “Karl and Susan have broken up many times and this threatens to do the same. But what’s interesting is not whether they stay together, if they do then what state will they be in and how will they recover?”

And there’s still the small matter of that positive pregnancy test – someone in Ramsay Street is expecting, but who?

Neighbours airs these scenes the week beginning Monday 12 March on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.

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