It’s the moment of truth for Ziggy Astoni (Sophie Dillman) in Home and Away this week as the mechanic finally learns the identity of her biological father.
Recent revelations from mum Maggie confirmed she’d had a one-night stand with sleazy brother-in-law Marco many years ago after a row with future husband Ben, which put a question mark over Ziggy’s paternity as she was born nine months after her mother and uncle’s secret hook-up.
“Ziggy feels betrayed,” Dillman tells RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. “She is totally heartbroken, she models her life around this loving family and parents she aspires to be like – but there is a massive lie in the middle of it. She is so close to Ben it kills her that he might not be her father, it’s made her feel a bit lost and definitely thrown a spanner in the works.”
This particular skeleton has only come creeping out of the closet because Marco showed up in Summer Bay unannounced, and started blackmailing Maggie for money he needed for a business deal. With her hand forced, the terrified teacher confessed her fling to her stunned family.
“Technically I guess it wasn’t cheating,” muses Dillman. “Ben ended things with Maggie, she slept with Marco and the next day Ben told Maggie he wanted her back and they got married almost straight after that. Then very soon after she fell pregnant with Ziggy…
“Maggie chose Ben and it’s all been hunky dory but she and Marco have kept it secret all this time. Initially Ziggy doesn’t want to do a paternity test, Ben will always be her dad no matter what, but as time has gone on she just needs to clear the air so now they’re finding out for sure – and she has to deal with the consequences of that piece of paper.”
Thankfully, the results confirm she is in fact Ben’s biological daughter, which Dillman describes as a “huge sigh of relief”.
However, this doesn’t mean the end of the drama as Maggie is still frozen out by the rest of her relatives who can’t forgive her for sitting on this lie for almost 20 years. It’s one of the biggest challenges yet for the tight-knit clan who have already faced cancer, depression and financial strife since moving to the Bay in 2017.
“The Astonis have gone through so much,” sighs Dillman. “They are a tight unit and nothing can break them, they love each other and are in it together no matter how hard things get.
“What makes it even more difficult is that Marco sticks around after ruining everything – you’d think he’d take the hint and go! I think he’s desperate for some form of redemption, he’s landed Ben in trouble before so there is already tension between them. Is he still in love with Maggie? Who knows, but he’s definitely there for some reason and he’s not going away yet…”