Neighbours fans rejoiced at the news Jane Harris (Annie Jones) is returning on a permanent basis, but sadly that means her happy ever after with old flame Des Clarke has already hit the skids just a few months into their marriage.
Explaining how it all went wrong in an exclusive chat with RadioTimes.com, Ramsay Street royalty Jones told us why the honeymoon period following the couple’s cute wedding in Neighbours’ 35th anniversary week is over so swiftly.
“I think they both tried very hard to make it their happy ending, but the timing just wasn’t right for them,” sighs the star, who first played the character back in 1986 during Neighbours‘ Kylie and Jason golden era. “They have decided they are perhaps better off being just good friends.”
Over 30 years after Jane broke off their engagement by leaving Erinsborough for England back in 1989, the pair were reunited and tied the knot back at Lassiters, with old friend Paul Robinson officiating the ceremony – Kylie’s song ‘Golden’ even played over the scene just to add to the nostalgia.
Sadly, with Des based in Perth and Jane living between Australia and the UK, making it work was always going to be hard, and ‘Plain Jane Superbrain’, as she was unkindly nicknamed as a swotty schoolgirl, can now notch up another failed romance.
“Poor Jane, she is very unlucky in love,” continues Jones. “After it’s established what’s happened with Des off screen and she’s back in Erinsborough, romantic ideas might be on the back-burner for the time being. Although she and Paul have history, so wait and see!”
Fans also loved seeing Des return for the anniversary, as the very first episode focused on his stag night for a wedding that never happened – he was jilted and ended up marrying Daphne Lawrence, the stripper hired for his lads-on-the-lash bash! Could Des return to tie up the loose ends of his failed marriage to Jane?
“I can’t speak for Paul Keane, who plays him, but we’d all love to see him again so you never know. But Jane has other things to think about when viewers see her again.”
Indeed, the focus on Ms Harris as she settles back in her old neighbourhood will be her relationship with grown-up daughter Nicolette Stone, played by newcomer Charlotte Chimes. It’s pretty fraught between the women as Jane has struggled to accept her offspring’s sexuality since she came out in her teens, and mouthy Nicolette as is outspoken as Jane is reserved.
“It’s very fiery,” teases Jones. “They are quite opposite in many ways, they often clash. There is a lot of ground to make up from Nicolette’s childhood, and Jane is hopeful she can rebuild things as she was never the most maternal of mothers and put looking after her nan, Mrs Mangel, before her own kids.
“She wants to make a better, strong mother/daughter relationship. That is what she’ll be striving towards as she makes a new life for herself back in Erinsborough.”