Neighbours is a soap that is never afraid to look back at its past with this year alone giving us many returnees for the show’s 35th-anniversary and even bringing back 80s’ star Jane Harris (Annie Jones) on a full-time basis. But with so many characters to choose from, who do we think should be next in line for a comeback.
It’s worth noting here that we have omitted some big names. While we would love to see the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Jesse Spencer back for a stroll down memory lane, we know how unlikely a prospect that is.
But who have we chosen for a shocking Neighbours return?
If there is one character from Paul Robinson’s ‘s past that seems destined to return and cause trouble for him, it is his long-lost half-brother, Glen Donnelly (Richard Huggett). Conceived in Vietnam when his mother slept with a married Jim Robinson (Alan Dale), nobody knew of his existence until he arrived in the final moments of 1990. Glen and Paul never did see eye to eye with things turning violent between them on more than one occasion- not helped by a controversial storyline (edited into oblivion in the UK) that saw Glen have an affair with half-sister, Lucy Robinson (Melissa Bell). Last we saw Glen, he had been left paralysed after falling from the roof of Lassiters and Paul, facing a severe problem with his insurance, tried to con him out of being able to claim. Glen vanished unexpectedly when relations with his family grew strained and, as far as we know, has never been heard from again. If you’re looking for someone with a personal grudge against Paul to inflict some drama into his life, you cannot get much better than Glen.
Whilst some outside issues may prevent this one from being a reality, we like to think that with a different creative team in place now and enough time having passed, we may be getting closer to the day we see Libby back in number 28 where she belongs. Middle child, Libby, had two stints on the show, the first from 1994-2004 and then again in the late 00s’, but other than a brief comeback in 2014 she has not been seen since, despite her son Ben Kirk (Felix Mallard) being a regular for a couple of years. Libby seems to be one of those characters that can slot in with any cast mix, and the dynamic between Kym, Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne (Karl and Susan) has always been one we’ve loved to see over the years. Surely it’s time to see that again, particularly with all the problems her parents are going through. Plus, we love Kym and she always seems to respond well on social media when asked about the show… here’s hoping!
Daniel, son of Neighbours legends Scott and Charlene, was an odd character. A laid back guy who once tried to set up a commune, he often suffered from being part of two love stories that dominated his entire time on the show. First, there was the back and forth and failed wedding to Amber Turner (Jenna Rosenow) and then his eventual marriage to Imogen Willis (Ariel Kaplan) who herself returned last year. But why we really want Daniel back is his relationship with Paul. There was a spark between the two actors (probably helped by them sharing the screen previously when Phillips played a hallucination named Fox) and it certainly feels like there is unfinished business between them. When Daniel left, he and Paul were not on good terms with Daniel thinking his uncle was responsible for the explosion at Lassiters. With Paul being innocent, it would be interesting to see how they would get on years later.
We want a bit of justice for Lou! The Erinsborough favourite played by the legendary Tom Oliver was pushed from pillar to post in his final years on the show, losing his home, business and daughter and floating between characters- getting paired up with some odd choices along the way. Oliver eventually dropped to a part-time contract and while he did get a happy ending, remarrying ex-wife, Kathy (Tina Bursill), we cannot help but feel that he is due one last comeback to give the character a chance to go out on a high. Let’s see a Lou who is back on top form, loud, fun, somehow successful again and enjoying a luxury retirement. After all the bad luck he has been through, it would be so rewarding to have a glimpse of the Lou of old again, even if it is just a fleeting visit.
Why has this not happened yet? Neighbours has given us many a returning Willis since Brad (Kip Gamblin) returned in 2013 but while she has been mentioned on occasion, Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakeley) has not yet returned and even though Brad is now long gone, we still think she would slot in nicely for a visit. The last we heard, Gaby was managing a branch of Lassiters in Darwin and given her former sister in law is running the Erinsborough one, it seems quite an easy link to give us a story involving the hotel that sees Gaby drafted in to help. The main draw for us would be seeing Gaby and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglue) together. We can imagine the two getting on given they are both strong businesswomen. There is also the fact that she knows all too well how dodgy Paul can be given that she was heavily involved in a story that saw Paul commit fraud and flee the country. Coincidentally, she was engaged to the previously mentioned Glen when he left so- two birds, one stone?
This was a toss-up between Patrick Harvey’s Connor and Andrew Bibby’s Lance Wilkinson and given Lance returned for an episode last year, we’re going for the Irishman. Poor old Toadfish Rebecchi has not had a good few years and with his relationship with Dee Bliss (Madeleine West- another returnee) on the rocks, we suspect it might be a while before we see Toadie back to his funny, light-hearted best. What better way to get him to recapture that youthful energy than to bring back one of his friends that he had the most fun with? The Toadie from the house of trouser days was a very different character and we feel he could do with several drinks with an old friend to remind himself of happier times- and who better than the lively Connor?
Never a regular character, Sue Parker (Kate Gorman) has been back on the show numerous times over the years, but with Jane Harris back on a regular basis, we would love the chance to see these two meet again. Back in 1986, Sue and Jane did not see eye to eye with Sue doing all she could to ruin Jane’s life, in particular, her relationship with Mike Young (Guy Pearce). The school bully made life hell for Jane’s friends too with Charlene having more than a few words for her on several occasions. In the years that followed, Sue had not changed and she was up to no good and stirring trouble again, as was her son. But with Jane older and wiser, would she allow herself to be dragged back into a bitter rivalry with her former bully? We think she would and so a Sue return is a must for us.