The decision to kill off Sonya Rebecchi in Neighbours after actress Eve Morey was axed for financial reasons caused an outcry among soap fans earlier this year.
Morey’s performance as her alter ego succumbed to cancer earned widespread praised as one of the most heartbreaking storylines in the show’s history, but the revelation the popular star had been written out to save money in the production budget raised questions among the audience about whether it was the right decision.
Now co-star Stefan Dennis, aka Paul Robinson, has spoken of the fallout around Morey’s departure and believes there could well be an air of regret…
“Actors have to realise we are working in a business,” he said, speaking to RadioTimes.com while Neighbours was filming on location in London recently for a future storyline involving guest star Denise Van Outen. “At the end of the day a very big company has to see the bottom line and if it’s not adding up they work out how to do it. Eve was a casualty of that.
“I think in hindsight they’re now going, ‘Oops’! There is possibly some regret among the powers that be with regard to the decision, especially as Eve is shortlisted for the Gold Logie (Australian TV’s most prestigious award, announced on Sunday 30th June) which is a public vote.
“It was a big shock to the cast and took us a long time to get over – myself, Ryan Moloney (Toadie Rebecchi), Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) and Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy) marched to the office and said ‘You can’t do this,’ they explained it was out of their hands.
“But then Neighbours is an evolving show and it will move on. Eve will not be forgotten, and the lovely thing is she’s an acting coach on the show now so we still get to see her and she’s doing what she’s very good at which is mentoring people. Over the years she’s been one of my most favourite actors on the show,” he continues. “I have been in awe of her work.”
How did Eve Morey feel about being axed?
Morey explained the reasons behind her exit in more detail to RadioTimes.com at the time:
“In 2017 Neighbours was at a point where it was negotiating its future (following Australian broadcaster Network Ten going into administration), and there had to be changes budget-wise for it to move forward in every department, and I was part of that. It’s what happens in the industry, it made sense, it’s a business, and it’s all good.
“It made complete sense to me and once I knew Sonya was going I agreed she had to die. She would never have left Toadie so her death preserved the integrity of these characters. In a weird way way there was a moment of exhilaration having been there for so long. And these last few years I’ve felt like I wanted to be home with my kids more. The universe was listening!”
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