Back in 2003, fans of Neighbours were devastated when Dione “Dee” Bliss went missing at sea after being driven off a cliff whilst driving with her new husband, Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney). It was the worst end to their wedding day imaginable, but it could have been very different.
Whilst chatting with Dee star, Madeleine West, she told us that the writers of the show back in 2003 originally had very different plans for Toadie and Dee, and an extremely early end to their marriage was not one of them.
“They had actually asked me to stay on for another few years and Dee and Toadie were going to get married, have babies,” West revealed of an alternate future they didn’t get to live in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com. But she had already decided to bid farewell after nearly 4 years in the role.
“I’d already been on the show for nearly four years by then and felt that it was the right time for me to move on. My background has been in stage since I was 5 years old and it was really time for me to play another character.” West was also keen not to wear out her welcome saying that “one thing I didn’t want was for Dee; who is such a vibrant little light, and that’s why I think that she has stuck in people’s memories for so long, I didn’t want her to dim and become less than she was- so I felt that it was time for her to go.”
She has, of course, returned to the role of Dee and now also plays her slightly unhinged sister, Andrea Somers too. So, if West had wanted to stay, we would have seen a very different journey for Toadie. We may even have never met Sonya or Callum; two characters loved by fans.
We also asked whether West enjoys playing Dee or Andrea more, even though we heavily suspected it was the latter. This was instantly confirmed as she quickly answered Andrea, although she did add that she finds enjoyment in both.
“It is really hard to say as they are so different. Physically, I really enjoy playing Andrea, but playing the restraint and the kind of loving sensibility of Dee is also very satisfying. She’s much softer and it’s quite a delight when she hits her hard notes and really calls people out on their behaviour because she really is a genuinely good person. The interplay between the two characters is really beautiful – they balance each other out, but gosh Andrea is fun!”