Prepare for more Neighbours nostalgia as the soap brings back glamorous twins Caroline and Christina Alessi, played by real-life identical sisters Gayle and Gillian Blakeney, for the first time in almost 30 years.
The much-loved duo were two of the biggest stars of the Aussie soap in the early 1990s and became embroiled with local ladies’ man Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), with Chrissie marrying the enigmatic entrepreneur and her sibling Caroline having a torrid affair with him, as well as romancing his dad Jim Robinson (Alan Dale) in a scandalous age-gap fling.
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What brings the girls back to Ramsay Street this September, and what will the reaction be when they’re reunited with mutual old flame Paul?
Speaking of their surprise homecoming, Gayle said: “We were tickled pink to be asked back and we knew if they wanted to reprise the characters after so long, it had to be for a great storyline – which hit is. We’re really looking forward to filming it.”
Gillian added: “Strangely enough ti feels so comfortable and familiar despite the obvious changes. The cast and crew have been so welcoming.”
When were Caroline and Christina Alessi in Neighbours?
The relatives were the talk of Ramsay Street when they moved in back in 1990 and kept themselves to themselves – arousing suspicion in the neighbourly cul-de-sac where everyone knows each other’s business. It turned out they had been housed there under police protection having witnessed a murder, and due to their likeness they posed as one person under the fake name ‘Linda Giles’, causing confusion when the locals realised there were two of them…
Once the killer was caught the Alessis’ true identities were revealed and they settled into Erinsborough life, ending up living and working alongside powerhouse Paul. Both had jobs at Lassiters and after admitting their mutual attraction to Mr Robinson they decided against pursuing him romantically – but Chrissie and Paul couldn’t resist romance and eventually married and had a son, Andrew.
Naughty Paul grew closer to his sister-in-law after they were stranded out in the bush when their car broke down and they shared an illicit kiss. Unable to cope with the guilt of betrayal Caroline left in 1992 to run a hotel overseas. Christina discovered the indiscretion but Paul begged her for another chance and later that year they renewed their vows and left for a new life together in Hawaii.
The marriage collapsed off screen due to Paul’s fraudulent activities which landed him in prison before he returned to Neighbours full-time in 2004.
In real life, the Blakeneys were already well-known in their native Oz when they signed to the soap, having presented popular children’s TV show Wombat. They also had a brief pop career post-Neighbours, but never quite hit the heights of fellow Ramsay Street musical alumni Kylie Minogue as they had no doubt hoped…
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