Jason Donovan has been gone from Neighbours for 30 years. But the family tradition continues in 2019 with his real-life daughter Jemma Donovan joining the cast of the long-running Aussie soap as Harlow Robinson, a mystery new member of Ramsay Street’s most famous family.
All will be revealed this summer as to where Harlow fits within the Robinson dynasty, who have been residents of Ramsay Street since Neighbours began in 1985.
Jemma with Neighbours co-star Stefan Dennis. (Picture: Channel 5)
“I am so happy and very honoured to be a part of a series which has been enjoyed by generations,” says 19-year-old Jemma who has previously starred alongside Hugh Bonneville in the BBC One film Mr Stink and the Netflix series, Spotless. “The timing was also perfect because since my previous role on Spotless in 2015, I stopped going to auditions and acting because I wanted to finish my schooling, get my A levels and see what I wanted to do after that so it’s great how everything has fallen into place.”
Jason, who along with former co-star Kylie Minogue, became one of the soap’s most iconic couples as teenage sweethearts Scott and Charlene and also scored a No.1 hit with their duet Especially For You, is happy to see his daughter following in his footsteps.
“Neighbours is an incredible learning curve for any young actor. It’s become an institution and I’m so grateful for my time on Ramsay Street,” says Jason who left the series in 1989. “There are so many great memories for me looking back, and to be honest this is Jemma’s moment.”
Jason’s dad Terence Donovan also had a long-running role as builder Doug Willis during the 90s. The character returned many years later when Doug was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and passed away after the BIG explosion at Lassiters in 2016.
“My Dad had a wonderful few years and I’m sure Jemma will also embrace the experience and honour the past,” continues Jason. “She needs to look forward, be an open book, learn from her experiences and have some fun. What an opportunity!”
Neighbours Executive Producer, Jason Herbison says: “Jemma did a fantastic audition for Neighbours and her pedigree was an unexpected surprise. Jason and Terence are Ramsay Street royalty and it warms all our hearts to know there will be a third generation Donovan on the show. I’m excited to see Jemma carry the torch and make the character of Harlow her own.”
Jemma Donovan will appear on screens from July 2019.
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