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Home and Away spoilers: Dean Thompson's mum Karen is back!

Home and Away, Dean Thompson, Karen Thompson

Dean's mum Karen is on day-release from hospital and determined to help him through his crisis over the killer crime he and policeman Colby committed

As Dean Thompson continues to be haunted by nightmares about what happened the fateful day he helped buddy Colby Thorne cover-up the murder of his hated stepdad, Ross Nixon, it's clear he's close to breaking point.

Knowing that Dean needs someone who will tough-talk some sense into him, his ex-girlfriend Willow Harris has arranged for Dean's mum Karen Thompson to get day-release from the psychiatric hospital where she is being treated to see her son.

Home and Away, Dean Thompson, Karen Thompson

Will some tough-talking from his mum Karen encourage Dean to seek help? (Picture: Channel 5)

Karen is deeply worried about the trouble Dean has got himself into. But after she insists he face his trauma head on and get some proper help from a doctor, Dean has other ideas on how to banish the nightmares. But what?

Meanwhile, at Summer Bay High, principal Maggie Astoni has her hands full trying to help students Raffy Morrison and Bella Nixon, who she promised would get extra attention from a support teacher.

Home and Away, Maggie Astoni

Maggie is under pressure at Summer Bay High (Picture: Channel 5)

But with the Department still dragging its heels over funding a support teacher, Maggie decides she's going to take on the role herself. That is until someone unexpected steps forward to offer their services for the job. But who?

Elsewhere, at restaurant Salt, chef Brody Morgan is still under pressure as he continues to juggle his wife Ziggy, his secret affair with Simone Bedford and warnings from brother Justin about his bad behaviour. How long before Ziggy senses her hubby is up to no good?

Home and Away continues weekdays at 1:15pm and 6:00pm on Channel 5

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.

Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?

Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!

Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.

He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.

Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)

And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.