It's been a tough time for Pierce Greyson (Tim Robards) in Neighbours. Not only has he had to deal with the loss of he and Chloe Brennan's (April Rose Pengilly) baby, but he has been battling Nicolette Stone (Charlotte Chimes) who has been making life difficult for him by interfering in his marriage.
Now, with Pierce and Chloe's relationship more strained than it has ever been, he finds himself drawn closer to Dipi Rebecchi (Sharon Johal) and what starts as comfort soon leads to something more between the pair- with Dipi's marriage to Shane (Nicholas Coghlin) also on the rocks following the shock she felt over his recent drug use.
Tim has been speaking RadioTimes.com about the shock affair storyline and how the felt it was important to make sure that he felt Pierce's actions were justified - despite the lack of integrity that an affair brings.
"He always looks for the positives, he always wants to push through," says Tim of the character he first played in 2018. "He's very resilient and he's been very resilient in business and that's why he's done well. But there are some points that he is starting to see the cracks (in his marriage) and for a fair bit of it, he just thinks he has to work harder. There are some different gestures he does, he buys Chloe a necklace, names a bottle of wine after her but he just can't get ahead. They're so out of synch and I think in some ways Chloe has already checked out a bit."
As for the troublesome Nicolette, Tim thinks that Chloe is drawn to her- even if that is not in a romantic way. And that then leads to things heating up between he and Dipi: "She's someone who gets her, and Pierce starts to get that from Dipi. Nobody is asking how Pirce feels but Dipi is. She opens up to him and Chloe doesn't open that much. There's a lot of trust between them, they're both vulnerable with each other, they listen to each other really well, and he isn't used to having that - they are drawn to that and that leads to something more."
While the affair may have come as a surprise to some viewers, the actors knew for some time what was on the way: "We knew that an affair was coming, we were told that a while back. We just knew that there is an affair but week to week we found out how it's involving. My biggest thing was that I wanted to make sure that it was a slow build. Pierce is a man of integrity, he doesn't jump into things, well too much, I guess the wedding was a bit of a rush."
"But he has a son, he has to set a good example for him and things like that. I just wanted to make sure that it was done in a way that felt right for what Pierce would do. Because to have an affair, there s a big lack of integrity, maybe a week after losing his child he's about to have an affair so we needed to find justification for that."
"There's so much hurt there after losing his child, he feels shut out by the one he loves. And he's got Nicolette there, nobody else sees it but she's come into their marriage and tried to slowly take his life away from him. She doesn't do it naively, she challenges him and no one sees that."
While Dipi has had her own problems with her drug-using husband, for Tim, he thinks that she is very similar to a drug for Pierce. "It's almost like his own drug addiction. He's been missing something in his own life and Dipi is filling that void, but I think he sees it as a one-time thing. When it first happens, it makes them realise they need to work on their partners at home - they think its a positive thing and they are both determined to make things work.
"But he tries more gestures and Chloe keeps shutting it down and as much as he tries to get rid of those feelings for Dipi, they are there. It's giving him a connection with someone that he hasn't had for a long time in that way. He isn't feeling any love from anyone, and Dipi and Pierce kind of give that to each other. Maybe Dipi is a little more into it than Pierce is, He doesn't want to deal with what would happen if he loses his marriage. Everything he has worked so hard for would be gone.