Actress, presenter, singer, telly judge and all-round glamour puss Amanda Holden has landed a guest role in Neighbours.
The 50-year-old star will play Harriet, the aunt of established character Harlow Robinson (Jemma Donovan, daughter of Neighbours legend Jason Donovan).
But Amanda won’t be tottering down Ramsay Street or having a cold beer in The Waterhole. Her scenes will be all filmed in London - next week, as it happens.
Harriet lives in the capital city and is visited by niece Harlow, who wants to get to the bottom of a mystery surrounding her late mother, Prue - Harriet’s sister.
Prue, who was played by Denise Van Outen, met a tragic end in Neighbours’ epic 35th anniversary week last year, just hours after fiance Gary Canning had called off their wedding.
Desperate to follow Gary to Pierce Grayson’s island to try and make things up with him, she picked up their honeymoon box and headed off in her car.
But a mix up meant she mistakenly picked up the box belonging to Lucy Robinson, which had been rigged with a bomb by evil Finn Kelly.
After leaving voicemails for Gary and Harlow, stressed Prue decided she needed a drink and leaned over to grab some champagne from the box. But when she lifted the lid, it triggered an explosion.
Prue was killed instantly...or so it seemed. Neighbours fans have since speculated that she may not be dead, after all.
Amanda Holden has notched up numerous TV roles over the years and has previously starred in the likes of Cutting It, Wild At Heart, The Grimleys and Kiss Me Kate.
Neighbours isn’t her first foray into soap. Back in 1994, she had a brief stint in EastEnders as market trader Carmen.
Says Amanda, “Like most people in the UK who were around in the late 80’s / early 90’s, I grew up watching Neighbours every single day of the week.
“I was glued to our TV for the wedding of Kylie & Jason (Scott and Charlene) while cursing Mrs Mangle and praying that Mike and Jane would eventually get together. Not to mention all the other greats over the years.
“To now have the opportunity to be a part of such an iconic Australian show is simply fabulous. I can’t wait to work with Jemma in London, this feels like a joyous occasion for everyone.”
Adds Jemma Donovan, "I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to film Neighbours in London. It’s a brilliant opportunity to be able to film in my home city and do what I love, for a show that I hold close to my heart.
“The producers have been wanting to do this for a while, so it feels so surreal having it all come to life, not to mention working alongside Amanda.
“I’m beyond excited to create this relationship with our characters, dive into the storyline and shoot all over London. It’s going to be so much fun, and I hope the viewers enjoy it just as much as we do!"
Amanda’s scenes will air in the UK and Australia next Spring, and Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison promises they will serve as the launch pad for “a huge new storyline for 2022.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5
When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.
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