Whilst fans of Neighbours in the UK are currently getting their heads around the Christmas break and the extended gap between us and Australia (even launching a petition), they have been kept busy with the latest promo for the show.
The video, that must have been tiring for Hendrix Greyson actor Benny Turland, depicts the character dancing his way across Erinsborough and crossing paths with the rest of the cast while he is at it.
While one returnee is clear as day there with Amy Greenwood (Jacinta Stapleton) giving Shane Rebecchi (Nicholas Coghlan) a suggestive look, there is another person included that has fans guessing – the mystery woman standing next to Toadie (Ryan Moloney) who we mostly only see from the back.
We know that it is a returning character and someone who was “much loved”, so who could this returning favourite be? Here are our guesses.
And while you’re at it, check out the full promo for yourself here – the woman in question appears around the 1 minute 35 second mark.
Maggie Hancock (Sally Cooper)
Now, this has been a popular guess from a lot of fans due to the character being placed next to Toadie in the promo. The two characters had feelings for each other back in 2002 despite her being married and living at number 32 with her family. However, the returnee is said to be “much loved” and it would be fair to say that the Hancock family ended up being a bit of a misfire and they were written out almost as quickly as they arrived. So sure it is possible that Maggie is on her way back, but we doubt it and suspect the placement next to Mr Rebecchi may just be to throw us off the scent.
Ruth Wilkinson (Ailsa Piper)
Ruth Wilkinson left Ramsay Street alongside Philip and Hannah Martin (Ian Rawlings and Rebecca Ritters) back in 1999 and she has not been back to Erinsborough since. Many are suspecting that she is indeed the mystery lady and she did know Toadie quite well given that he was best friends with both of her children.
Bringing Ruth back now would be good timing with Amy Greenwood back in town and would likely get fans excited about the prospect of a reunion between Amy and Lance (Andrew Bibby). Only the person in question does have longer hair than the most recent pictures we have seen of Ailsa so again, a possibility, but we would not be confident enough to put money on it.
Sharon Davies (Jessica Muschamp)
Neighbours loves bringing back characters from the 80s’ and some on social media are looking at Muschamp’s character as a possible match for who we have seen in the promo. Her talent management website does show that she has similar hair to what we have seen and she certainly does bare a likeness. But what business would Sharon, who was last seen in 1990, have on the show now? Toadie did once find some jewellery with SD engraved on it in the attic of number 30. Could that have been very early foreshadowing of Sharon’s comeback?
Bronwyn Davies (Rachel Friend)
Or could it even be Sharon’s sister, Bronwyn? Again, we have not had any suggestion as to why she would be back on Ramsay Street as she was last seen leaving to reunite with Henry Ramsay (Craig McLachlan) and there does not seem to be any cause for her to make a comeback.
She was a beloved character back in the day though, arguably more so than Sharon, so we wouldn’t be surprised if she did make a return, for whatever the reason may be.
Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden)
Now if we were to bet money, we’d put a little something on it being Melanie Pearson in that promo. Like the others, we can’t think of one good reason why she would be back, but based off how we last saw Lucinda in the 30th anniversary interviews, she certainly looks like the best match. She does have a slight link on the street with Jane Harris being the niece of her ex-husband Joe Mangel (Mark Little), so there’s that.
And you do not get quite as much of a beloved character as Melanie either. A fan favourite from the late 80s and early 90s, Melanie is the definition of a classic Neighbours character who has one of the best laughs in soap (it may be no coincidence that Toadie is laughing lots while talking to her). Maybe it is just wishful thinking on our part but as we say, it certainly looks a lot like her and the phrase “much loved” does not just get banded about.