Neighbours' star Lucinda Cowden has opened up about the rocky road to an impending Melanie Pearson and Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) wedding after a few former Ramsay Street residents stir the pot!
Mel initially turned down Toadie’s heartfelt proposal in the wake of Hendrix Greyson’s tragic death, worried that it wasn’t the right time.
“Toadie proposed right off the back of Hendrix dying, which was a terrible shock for everybody,” explained Lucinda
“I think she saw it as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction and she thought that she’s not ready as they haven’t lived together and they really need to do that before getting married.”
After moving in with Toadie and housemates Amy Greenwood (Jacinta Stapleton) and her daughter Zara Selwyn (Freya Van Dyke), there were a few wobbles. Mainly due to the overwhelming presence of Toadie’s late wife Sonya Rebbechi, mum to his daughter Nell (Scarlett Anderson).
But a heartfelt talk prompted Mel to realise Toadie is marriage material.
“She probably didn’t stop thinking about the fact that she said ‘no’ to his proposal - until she said ‘yes’!” Lucinda shared.
That’s not Mel’s only problem, as Zara is convinced that her mum Amy is Toadie’s true soulmate!
“The reality is Zara wants Toadie to be her dad. She does end up giving her mother rather confused signs,” Lucinda claimed.
When Zara attempts to enlist the help of the newly returned Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) to drive Mel and Toadie apart, he initially refuses.
But feeling troubled he hurts Mel when he expresses his own concerns.
After a video chat with Mel's ex Joe Mangel (Mark Little) — who we last saw on screen in 2005 — Harold realises he may have made an embarrassing mistake…
Poor Mel also has to deal with Toadie’s frankly quite terrifying mum Angie Rebecchi (Lesley Baker). She returns to Ramsay Street for the engagement party and criticises her every move!
Lucinda agreed that a Mel and Toadie match was always a gamble.
“No one was sure about their relationship at the beginning. I certainly wasn’t. I was shocked to my socks!” Lucinda admitted.
“But Ryan [Moloney] is just incredibly easy to work with and a really fantastic actor and we make each other laugh a lot.
“We have a lot of fun and our scenes always feel fun even when we’re having to be angry at each other, so I feel like the characters really spark off each other.
“People have surprised themselves by taking it to heart. We don’t see the older woman with the younger guy that often and it’s good.
“It’s got a nice roundness to it, the relationship, it’s got lots of facets to it now.”
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Despite her regret over the soap ending, Lucinda is delighted that she’s seen so many familiar faces in the soap’s final weeks, sharing an Insta snap of herself with just one of the Ramsay Street returnees Peter O'Brien, who plays Shane Ramsay.
“We’ve got so many people returning. It’s crazy! It’s been poignant and sad at times but also really exciting and lovely to see everyone.
“It’s an absolute joy to work with Ian Smith [Harold] again. He’s just fantastic, still completely and utterly on the ball and brilliant, hilarious, cracking gags, funny as."
With only weeks to go before the finale, Lucinda wouldn’t confirm whether we get to see Mel and Toadie tie the knot on screen, but we're being hopeful!
“I couldn’t possibly say anything, of course, but all I will say is that there are a lot of storylines to tie up," teased Lucinda.
"It’s maybe a little too tight a turnaround for a ‘Meloadie’ wedding, but you never know! Things can get escalated pretty quickly. There’s so much going on, so you'll have to wait and see. Keep your fingers and toes crossed!”
Melanie is infamous for her 'Mystic Mel' persona, so we asked Lucinda to have a peek into Mel’s crystal ball to predict her future…
“I loved doing Mystic Mel, she was hilarious, even though it got her into all sorts of trouble!” Lucinda laughed.
“I think she should open some kind of wellness clinic or something where she does readings and spiritual healings and crystals and things.
“I’d love to see Mel go full kook! She was always going down the road of business woman because she was Paul Robinson’s secretary and Toadie’s PA, so she has got a brain for that.
“But if she got a break and could run a little wellness centre she could bring people in and she could run the business as well as do her readings.
“And she’ll be with Toadie and the kids, of course!”
Neighbours continues on weekdays at 1:45pm and 6:00pm on Channel 5. The final episode will air on Friday, July 29.
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