Neighbours dialled up the nostalgia with the epic 35th anniversary back in March that saw a slew of former Ramsay Street residents returning, and one of them is set to make a permanent comeback as a regular member of the cast.
Producer Jason Herbison revealed the plans a while back, and has exclusively teased it further for RadioTimes.com. “This person is a Neighbours legend and their return is a huge thrill for us,” says the show runner, basking in the glory of the Australian drama sweeping the board at the RadioTimes.com Soap Awards.
“They were back for the 35th and also participated in our 30th anniversary documentary five years ago. I remember seeing them in the car park and my heart skipped a beat. To have them back in the regular cast is a dream come true.”
So who could it be? Here are our picks…
Our money is on Plain Jane Superbrain. She was a bridesmaid for Scott and Charlene back in the 1980s, surely it doesn’t get any more iconic than that? Annie Jones has been back and forth as a recurring guest since 2018 and tied the knot in the 35th anniversary week with old flame Des Clarke. The actress has not ruled out another return, and we feel her recent run of temporary reappearances have paved the way for her full-time tenure.
Getting Des back for the anniversary was a wonderful nod to the show’s first ever episode, in which he appeared, and he reconnected with old mate Paul Robinson and finally get hitched to Jane. However, Herbison says it’s only one returnee for now, so if it’s either Des or Jane does that mean their marriage has already hit the rocks?
Technically another original character, though played by a different actress initially, Paul’s kid sister is now the high-flying boss of the Lassiters brand and pops back to Erinsborough now and again. As with Des and Jane, Luce is a newly-wed (she married ex-boyfriend Mark Gottlieb) so if she returns alone it means the pair’s happy ever after is already scuppered. Herbison has also hinted the returnee will have another new character connected to them when they rock up – could that be Lucy’s daughter Annie?
Fans went nuts to see the rebellious teen all grown up as a senior cop, and to finally tie the knot with schoolgirl crush Lana Crawford after the girls shared the first lesbian kiss back in 2004. Stephanie McIntosh has real-life family connections on the show, as Jemma Donovan (Harlow Robinson) is her niece – fellow Neighbours legend Jason Donovan (Scott Robinson) is Steph’s brother and Jemma’s dad. The problem once again is bringing back anyone who got hitched at the Lassiters wedding expo means the romance has already died…
Alternatively, Bridget Neval could be tempted back for a permanent return as free-spirited Lana. Despite her being involved in one of the show’s most famous, groundbreaking moments, Lana was not actually around for that long yet made a huge impression. It would be interesting to explore the character more fully outside of her relationship with Sky. Maybe the pair have decided to do the long-distance thing?
It was surprisingly emotional to see reformed bad boy Dylan back in Erinsborough, especially as he reconnected with surrogate father figure Paul and watched his ex Sky walk up the aisle with true love Lana. Dylan is part of the beloved Rebecchi clan so he could stay with cousins Toadie and Shane, and now he’s single there’s lots of potential to pick up on how Dyl’s life has suddenly changed. Maybe he’d bring his and Sky’s kids with him? They’d be in their teens now.