When Alf Stewart's (played by Ray Meagher) first wife Martha (one-time Sons & Daughters star Belinda Giblin) unexpectedly came back from the "dead" last year in Home and Away and returned to Summer Bay to track down Alf and their daughter Roo (Georgie Parker), the no-nonsense Caravan Park owner was NOT impressed!
After all, how do you forgive someone who faked their own death and ran out on their family 30 years earlier?
However, time has passed and given all the life and death drama of Colby Thorne and Chelsea Campbell's wedding day, on Wednesday 13 March Alf decides to phone Martha and the pair have a long overdue yarn and catch-up.
But Alf's in for a surprise when the next day Martha returns to the Bay!
Unfortunately, Alf's in a grouchy mood. So will his gruffness drive Martha away again? Or this time, with some match-making help from friends Marilyn Chambers and John Palmer, could Alf be in for a second chance at love with Martha?
RadioTimes.com caught up with long-time (32 years!) Home and Away star Ray Meagher to find out if all is finally forgiven between and Alf and Martha, and how he feels about a potential new/old romance for his character...
Is Martha still the love of Alf's life, even after she faked her death?
"I still think she is. The only thing that worries me is there might be legal action for bigamy! Alf was definitely married to (second wife) Ailsa. But technically he was a bigamist even though at that time he didn’t know Martha was alive! There’s so much to remember in this backstory, I’ve been around for 32 years! I guess Alf didn’t receive Martha’s letter til after Ailsa died. They’d have to justify it that way. I don’t think anybody’s picked up on that!"
How will Roo react if she returns to the Bay and finds Alf and Martha together again?
"She’d have mixed feelings. On one hand she is delighted her mother is alive, on the other incredibly angry she was kept in the dark all that time. She’s probably more willing to forgive more quickly than Alf is. But she'd probably encourage him to give her a chance. Roo would be a driving force in that."
We remember Belinda Giblin from Sons & Daughters in the 80s. Have you worked together before?
"We did our very first national TV drama job together, a police series called Matlock Police. We both had guest roles in the same episode in about 1971/2. Belinda brought the episode in to watch. I’d forgotten it was in black and white! I love her to bits, she’s fantastic to work with and very good. I think I might have suggested her to play the role of Martha!"
Did they consult you about casting?
"When it was first mentioned to me they were thinking about bringing Martha back, they hadn’t started looking and I said Belinda would be terrific. I don’t know whether they looked any further, it was the perfect choice."
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So is there romance in store between Alf and Martha?
"They certainly start spending more time together and getting along better. So let's say, it's looking quite positive between them."
Alf has attended so many weddings. Surely it's time he had his own Big Day? It could be the biggest Bay wedding ever!
"I don’t know about the biggest wedding Summer Bay has ever seen, I can guarantee it would be the oldest wedding its ever seen! Vintage! Still, you’re never too old, that’s what they keep telling me!"
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