It’s all kicking off in Ramsay Street as a big Neighbours argument is about to erupt on UK screens that will tear a family apart – and there may not be a way back this time with one resident making a rash and shocking decision.
Nicolette Stone (Charlotte Chimes) is once again at the heart of the action and despite her being on cloud nine after proposing to Chloe Brennan (April Rose Pengilly), that all comes crashing down when Chloe admits that she may have slept with Leo Tanaka (Tim Kano).
Even though Chloe is unsure, the news is enough for Nic to lose her cool and when she learns that David and Aaron (Takaya Honda and Matt Wilson) knew that Chloe was having doubts about the relationship, she makes the shock choice to leave town while she is about to give birth to the baby.
“Nic is talking about the future and having children and getting married,” Pengilly explains to RadioTimes.com. “She does have feelings for Nic and she does love her, but she has a terminal illness and she has been through so many traumatic events.
“As Leo points out, Chloe always flips between these two modes where she is terrified of being alone but when she does find someone she feels like it is a straight shot to the end. She feels like she is on the road to her early demise, so she feels trapped and stressed and that’s what happens with Nicolette.”
Fans of the Channel 5 soap know all too well that Chloe is known for being impulsive, something that Pengilly, at least partly, puts on her Huntington’s diagnosis. “I think she has rushed into things, and it is because she needs security because she is afraid of facing her future alone – and she tried to get with Nic the night her mother died. So yes, she has rushed into it all but she does love Nic and wants a future with her. It’s all just happening very quickly.”
That was never more apparent than when Nicolette surprised Chloe by proposing – Chloe accepted, albeit while being a bit thrown by this latest development. “Chloe does love her and she doesn’t want to destroy everything so she does say yes in the moment – she just hopes that she can sort her head out and be OK.”
When Nicolette does take off, it puts a huge strain on Chloe’s relationship with Aaron, but this is not the first time she has been in hot water with a family member as she previously fell out with Mark (Scott McGregor) when she slept with his fiancé, Elly Conway (Jodi Anasta).
“It’s dramatic in a very different way,” says Pengilly. “That was Mark going off at Chloe and her being worried that her brother would never talk to her again. And she was also desperately in love with Elly, her first true love kind of thing, so she was dealing with that and being rejected. This time she is again worried about her family falling apart and there is a lot of fallout but it’s not all on Chloe this time – thankfully.”
This is the latest setback for Chloe who has been through the wringer of late with one dramatic event after the next – with Pengilly admitting that one intense storyline after the other does take its toll. “To be honest it’s a big drainer. I love all the fun stuff and the comedy, and it does weigh on you when month after month you’re dealing with these heavy traumatic events.
“I relish the scenes where I get to be a bit lighter and have some fun – I love those storylines. It can be full-on but I’m OK with leaving my emotions at work and not bringing them home with me. I definitely feel a lot more creatively fulfilled when I get to do the comedic lighter scenes though.”
As for Leo, does he have a chance at winning Chloe’s heart? Not according to Pengilly. “Chloe does not know Leo has feelings for her and she sees him as just a friend – but he is an escape and someone she can rely on. She doesn’t feel like there is anyone else she can confide in on the street. She finds solace with him but for Chloe, there are no romantic feelings and he is just a safe space for her.”