The death of Neighbours' Sonya Rebecchi (Eve Morey) was one of the most devastating soap departures of 2019 – but now she's set to make a reappearance in the show this December. Is it a Christmas miracle? Not quite…
Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) faces his first festive season without his wife, following her tragic passing from terminal cancer back in March. As 2019 draws to a close, the Ramsay Street widower contemplates starting his first full year without his soul mate and invites pal Kyle Canning round to keep him company and see in 2020.
Kyle, by this time emotionally drained by his break-up from girlfriend Amy Williams, ends up flaking out on the couch with Toadie's daughter Nell so when midnight comes Mr Rebecchi is feeling truly alone.
Firing up the laptop, Toadie watches the resolution brave Sonya recorded last New Year, so that he – and viewers – are reunited, virtually speaking at least, with his much-missed missus.
Hearing Sonya's words again has a profound effect on Toadfish and leaves him determined to honour her legacy even more during 2020. As well as the successful Sonya Rebecchi Foundation, what else has Toadie got up his sleeve that can ensure her memory lingers long in everyone's minds?
Morey's exit was mired in controversy when it emerged she had been axed as part of the soap's production budget cutbacks, despite Sonya's popularity and the near-iconic status of her and Toadie's on-screen partnership. Castmates were just as outraged as fans, with Stefan Dennis (aka Paul Robinson) telling RadioTimes.com show bosses later regretted the decision.
"I think in hindsight they’re now going, ‘Oops’! There is possibly some regret among the powers that be. It was a big shock to the cast and took us a long time to get over – myself, Ryan, Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) and Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy) marched to the office and said ‘You can’t do this.' They explained it was out of their hands.
“But then Neighbours is an evolving show and it will move on. Eve will not be forgotten, and the lovely thing is she’s an acting coach on the show now so we still get to see her. Over the years she’s been one of my most favourite actors on the show."
She may not be back from the dead, so think of Sonya's 'appearance' as a little Christmas gift from Neighbours…
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