Russell Brand (2020)
The British actor/comedian/activist was on tour Down Under in spring 2020 and shot a sneaky cameo, in which he attends the Erinsborough Writers Festival and strikes up a conversation with the legendary Toadie Rebecchi, to whom he gives some sage advice. It remains to be seen how much Brand’s words of wisdom sensible, high-flying lawyer and family man Jarrod actually takes on board from the enfant terrible of entertainment…
Courtney Act (2020)
The RuPaul’s Drag Race favourite appeared at Erinsborough’s Mardi Gras bash, then returned for an extended stint as the MC at Lassiters’ Pride event a few months later. We got both the full Courtney and her real persona sans make-up, Shane Jenek, in a plot that saw her help trans teen Mackenzie Hargreaves bond with her bigoted dad, and teach Paul Robinson a thing or two about LGBTQI+ awareness.
Jake Shears (2020)
Mardi Gras brought the ebullient Scissor Sisters frontman Down Under and provided an embarrassing encounter with one of the locals: Aaron Brennan claimed their paths had crossed in his exotic dancing days and greeted him like an old friend, but Jake struggled to remember ever meeting him. Awkward.
The 1990s boy band of brothers were one of the acts booked for the Erinsborough Music Festival, and performed an impromptu number in the iconic Harold’s cafe set. Isaac, Zac and Taylor were reportedly honoured to be asked to feature. And who wouldn’t be?
Jess Glynne (2019)
Sharing the bill with Hanson at the aforementioned Erinsborough Music Festival was the UK’s flame-haired pop princess, who described appearing alongside Paul Robinson as fulfilling a life-long dream. “I have really had a bucket list moment!” said the musical megastar.
Janet Street-Porter (2019)
The Loose Woman panellist and broadcaster strolled into the Watering Hole to order a drink and got fan-girled by businesswoman Terese Willis, and it was also reunion for Street-Porter and Colette Mann, aka Sheila Canning, as the pair had worked together back in the 1980s when the Brit was based in Australia. Jan sheepishly later admitted she couldn’t remember her name at first – let’s hope she didn’t call her “Sheila”.
Paula Abdul (2014)
Singer, choreographer, talent show judge and ex-cheerleader Abdul sprinkled some showbiz glamour at Lassiters when she checked in as a hotel guest. It made Karl Kennedy’s day when he bumped into her, as he confessed he has quite a crush on her. The dirty dog says that to all the pop stars (see also Lily Allen), and generally all the girls (see also Izzy Hoyland, Sarah Beaumont, Olivia Bell…)
Dave Bautista (2009)
Future Guardian of the Galaxy Batista dropped into Ramsay Street during an Australian promotional tour in his WWE days, sharing the screen with Toadie Rebecchi and his adopted son Callum Baker. Was his experience on the Neighbours set the turning point that pushed him into pursuing acting and becoming part of the mighty Marvel movie franchise?
Lily Allen (2009)
UK popstrel Lil was interviewed on a local radio station by wannabe-DJ Zeke Kinski, and met super fan Karl Kennedy who gatecrashed the chat live on air. She also sang a little tune later in the episode.
Emma Bunton (2007)
When Dr Karl and Susan Kennedy took a trip to London a few years back, they bumped into none other than Spice Girl Emma Bunton. Karl had no idea who she was, but Susan revealed herself as a fan of Baby Spice – particularly her successful stint on Strictly Come Dancing…
Julian Clary (2007)
During the same trip to the UK capital, comedian (and another former Strictly contestant) cropped up, commandeered on the street by a lost, heavily pregnant Izzy Hoyland who begged to borrow his phone to call for help. “If you want to phone the hairdresser it’s too late!” he cheekily quipped.
It was a busy vacation to London for the Kennedys, who seemed to bump into a famous British face on every corner, including Simon Cowell’s musical muse Sinitta who was a last-minute witness at Karl and Susan’s second wedding aboard a boat on the Thames.
Shane Warne (2006)
Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne signed Boyd Hoyland’s bat and got his picture taken during a trip to Harold’s coffee shop. A few regulars poked fun at the sportsman’s ruffled hairdo. Er, have they all forgotten the hair crimes peddled by Neighbours in the mullet-tastic 1980s?!
Clive James (1996)
The late Aussie broadcaster swapped chat shows for a postal round in Neighbours in 1996. Yes, really – he played himself but sort of playing a postman. Script writer Helen MacWhirter said of his performance, “Clive’s such a spunk. From what I can recall though, I think I wrote a lot more for his character than what eventually appeared on the screen, so I’d say some of Clive’s best work may have ended up on the cutting room floor. He didn’t do too badly – although I don’t think he’ll be hearing the words ‘And the Oscar goes to…’ anytime in the near future.” Harsh.
Chris Lowe from Pet Shop Boys (1995)
It was just another quiet day on Ramsay Street, until a white sports car roared up and none other than Chris Lowe from the Pet Shop Boys is asking Helen Daniels and Marlene Kratz for directions. “I’m looking for a recording studio, which is around here somewhere,” explained the grumpy pop giant.
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