Plain Jane Superbrain is making a permanent return to Ramsay Street as the Neighbours icon becomes a cast regular again for the first time in over 30 years.
Annie Jones has popped back as a recurring guest since the start of 2018, but following her latest reappearance as part of the Australian soap’s 35th anniversary celebrations earlier this year, the actress finally agreed to a full-time contract – and is as thrilled as the die-hard fans who’ve followed her since the Scott and Charlene days.
“It’s like being in a little timewarp for me,” she laughs, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com upon Jane’s permanent return. “I’m back in the 80s, I’m 19 years old, going to work at Nunawading studios in Melbourne every day – and loving it. I’m really thankful to be back.”
Jones explains every time she returned to the role she originated back in 1986, during the soap’s golden era that launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce, she slowly warmed to the idea of a grown-up Jane putting down roots in her old neighbourhood.
“I always felt a bit sad after each stint finished as I had such a great time,” she admits. “Then they’d invite me back again and I’d have another wonderful couple of weeks, then be sad when it ended. So this time I thought, ‘Let’s stay forever!’
“I’m really glad to be able to play Jane for a bit longer. She’s such an interesting character for me, being able to work on her more long-term makes it interesting because each time she interacts with other characters it brings out a slightly different side of her. It’s going to be fun to flesh her out.”
Viewers will finally get to fill in Jane’s many missing years away from Ramsay Street, as we meet her daughter Nicolette Stone from the failed marriage that left her heartbroken and, sadly, set the tone for her being consistently unlucky in love – the fact she’s not back with new husband Des Clarke means it’s safe to assume the marriage has already hit the rocks, just months after they tied the knot at the Lassiters wedding expo in the big anniversary week.
Relations are strained with Nicolette and Jones teases there is much to be mined from the mother/daughter dynamic, including Jane’s struggle with her offspring’s sexuality.
“There is a lot to Jane and her past, and I’m looking forward to building on the character. Putting her in new situations means you get more of an insight into the character every time. We are about to take the viewers on a really exciting journey.”
Jane’s first episodes as a permanent fixture among the Neighbours ensemble air on Wednesday 29th July.