Neighbours airs Xanthe Canning’s final scenes on Tuesday 8 January as actress Lilly Van der Meer departs the show after two years in the role of the ditzy teenager.
Uneasy with the illegal lengths she now knows her dodgy dad Gary (Damien Richardson) went to in order to fund her university fees, Xanthe has second thoughts about leaving Erinsborough to go to medical school and announces she’s staying put to train locally as a nurse.
Granny Sheila (Colette Mann) and the rest of the clan are concerned she’s throwing away her dream and rally round. Finally an impassioned plea from Gary about the sacrifices he’s made persuades Xanthe to change her mind and she decides to leave for Toowoomba to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
On her last day in Ramsay Street, Xanthe contemplates going to see Finn Kelly (Rob Mills) in hospital, who lies in a coma after Susan Kennedy pushed him off a cliff during a confrontation in which Ms Canning was also involved in, but eventually realises she doesn’t need to – fiendish Finn may have tried to ruin her life and put her in intensive care when he ran her over last year, but Xanthe realises how strong she has become and that he no longer has a hold over her.
Excited but emotional, Xanthe waves goodbye to her family and friends, including BFF and rock Piper Willis (Mavournee Hazel) who she promises to stay in touch with. Sheila is a wreck as she her granddaughter drives off, proud of everything she’s accomplished…
Colette Mann, aka Sheila, took to Twitter recently to wish her co-star bon voyage: “So sad to see her go but she is such a talent and a brilliant human… she will succeed I just know it!”
Gary’s daughter arrived as a spoilt, high-maintenance princess in 2016 but her dramatic grooming storyline in which she was manipulated by evil teacher Finn Kelly in his quest for power at Erinsborough High saw her develop into a stronger, more mature character with a firm fan following.
How will the Cannings cope without Xanthe? And could the rumours about Gary’s son Kyle returning in 2019 see the ranks of the Ramsay Street clan bolstered?
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