Neighbours favourite Colette Mann on why Sheila Canning betrayal is no laughing matter, Sheila’s future, and how she’s got one over Jane Harris!
Ramsay Street's Sheila Canning is always getting into outrageous scrapes due to her meddling ways in Neighbours.
But actress Colette Mann has explained why she didn’t play Sheila’s latest storyline for laughs.
The Aussie soap star chatted to whatsontv.co.uk about Sheila’s latest big plotline that saw her suffer a heart attack after losing longtime on-off love Clive Gibbons (Geoff Paine) to teacher Jane Harris (Annie Jones).
Sheila feels ‘betrayed’
After Clive secretly hooked up with Jane at Christmas, Sheila was left in the dark. Hoping she and Clive would reunite following their earlier break up, Sheila was devastated to discover she was too late.
“She feels very betrayed by both of them and I think it’s quite sad for her,” Colette explained.
Because of Colette’s eye for comedy, Sheila is often put in comic situations. But Colette insisted that this time things needed to be done differently...
“Originally the writers and producers saw it as being a funny storyline.
“As a woman who’s been through it herself twice in life, I said I don’t think it’s a funny situation. Believing that you’re in love with someone when they're in love with someone else.
“The producers were fantastic and we didn’t change the storyline but we changed the way we played it.”
Heart broken - and heart broken!
Sheila is a master at manipulating any given situation and her plan to win Clive from Jane saw her calling in Jane’s ex-hubby Des Clarke (Paul Keane)!
Colette insists that Sheila isn’t being deceitful despite her interfering ways. It’s only her faith that she and Clive are meant to be together that pushes her to it.
“Sheila believes that if she gets Des to come from Perth to be with Jane when she does get Clive back - because she’s so sure that she will - Jane will have somebody as well,” she explained.
But things took a dramatic turn when Sheila collapsed with her fourth heart attack and was fitted with a pacemaker.
“We see Clive being quite torn when he thinks he’s going to lose her and so that confuses matters as well,” commented Colette.
Sadly, it seems although Sheila’s heart is mended - Colette insisted that Sheila makes a full recovery - her heartache over Clive will continue.
But could there still be hope for ‘Shlive’?
“She basically has to accept Clive and Jane are together and move on,” revealed Colette.
“But what goes around comes around and I honestly don’t know if Sheila and Clive will get back together or not.”
Sheila wins in the bedroom battle!
Colette joked that Sheila has got one over on Jane in one respect and it’s all down to filming restrictions...
“Some fans have said that Jane’s much better suited to Clive because she’s closer to him in age. Although the age thing never bothered Geoff and I.
“The one thing that was good about the Clive and Sheila relationship was that they had quite a busy sex life.
“Thankfully Clive doesn’t have that with Jane because of covid filming rules - they can only stare at each other!”
With family in the UK, Colette is usually a regular visitor to our shores but flight restrictions have meant she hasn’t been over for some time.
“Neighbours has a bigger audience in the UK and whenever I’ve been over I’ve been recognised, more than I am in Australia,” she revealed.
“I have family in London. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get over to see them, as I’ve got a granddaughter who I haven’t seen since she was six-weeks-old.”
New beginnings for Sheila?
Although it seems that Sheila won’t be around Clive much for now, Colette insisted that there’s still plenty coming up for the Canning clan.
“Sheila is very busy with other things in her family and I love working with the young people, which I’m doing a lot of at the moment.”
We’re looking forward to seeing what Sheila gets up to next!
Neighbours continues weekdays at 1:45pm/5:30pm on Channel 5.
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Rachel is a soaps and TV writer for WhatToWatch.com, soaps podcaster and resident soap expert for UK TV listings magazines What's On TV and TV Times. After graduating with an art and design degree from Birmingham City University, she found her true calling in all things soap and has been writing about them for magazines and websites for over 20 years. A self-confessed soap addict, she's always had a great love of all the UK and Aussie soaps and owns everything from a Neighbours 1990 Annual to a DVD box set of classic Corrie episodes to prove it.