Neighbours star Madeleine West talks Dee Bliss’ shock kiss with Toadie Rebecchi and why she prefers being ‘evil’ twin Andrea to ‘nice’ twin Dee...
Last year, Neighbours (opens in new tab) star Madeleine West made a return to her much-loved role as Ramsay Street nurse Dee Bliss after an earlier appearance, not as Dee, but as Dee’s long lost twin Andrea Somers!
Now Dee - and Andrea - are back and if that wasn’t exciting enough, it seems that Dee will finally be reunited with the love of her life, Neighbours fan favourite Toadfish Rebecchi.
Madeleine talked to whatsontv.co.uk about why the twins are back and what lies ahead for Dee and Toadie.
When Dee plunged off a cliff in a car in her wedding dress in 2003, it was one of soaps’ most iconic moments. The newly married Toadie was left a widower – or so it seemed.
Fast forward to 2016 and ‘Dee’ returned from the dead conning Toadie into thinking he had a teen daughter, Willow. In a double twist, it turned out that ‘Dee’ was actually Andrea, her long lost sister, who was attempting to scam Dee’s adoptive family.
As if that wasn’t complicated enough, a manipulative Andrea got pregnant with Toadie’s son Hugo and Dee was alive after all, confronting her sister in a dramatic cliff top struggle! Andrea was banged up for attempted murder and Dee and a widowed Toadie - he'd recently lost wife Sonya Rebecchi to cancer - put their long-held love on the back burner.
When Ramsay Street’s Elly Conway turns up in jail (opens in new tab), Andrea sees it as the perfect opportunity to attempt to see her son Hugo, after learning that Toadie is Elly’s lawyer. Getting cosy with Elly, Andrea knows she needs Dee onside first, so she uses Elly to get a message to her sister.
Madeleine has a lot on her plate playing Andrea and Dee at the same time and she describes it as like doing an “acting master class”. But does she prefer to play ‘evil’ Andrea or ‘nice’ Dee?
“I think I prefer being Andrea, only because I don’t see her as ‘evil’. I see her as someone who really thinks she’s doing the right thing but her whole moral compass has been determined by her upbringing.
“They have the same DNA but the only reason Dee’s come out the way she has is by dint of the fortune of being brought up by the Blisses as opposed to their mother Heather Schilling.”
Madeleine’s sympathy may not be such a stretch to buy into, as it’s clear Andrea is a loving mum, despite her many faults. When Dee is told by a wary Toadie that her twin has asked to see her, she weighs up the pros and cons and decides to let her have her say.
“Andrea is really – aside from their mum Heather – the only family that Dee has. In discovering Andrea she’s discovering parts of herself and probably answering some questions about herself that she never had any ability to answer before,” explained Madeleine.
“She can see Andrea’s genuine desire to be with her little boy and to be with her daughter. The die has been cast that they could have a real relationship with substance. If Andrea behaves herself!”
Andrea isn’t the only lure that’s brought Dee back to Erinsborough, as there’s a real electricity between her and Toadie, even if they won’t admit it. But then to the surprise of both of them they kiss!
“That was always on the cards!” claimed Madeleine. “The last time we saw Dee she confessed to Toadie she loved him. But the timing was wrong and it was far too close to Toadie’s wife Sonya Rebecchi’s passing. So, having given it a year, she’s been patient, she’s waited and the time is right. Then passion takes over!”
Returning to Dee and Toadie’s love story after 17 years has been a real homecoming for Madeleine. But will they stay the course?
“I can’t tell you any more! But there will be a fair share of complexity and genuine love. I’ve finished on Neighbours for now but let’s just say the foundations have been laid for a return. How could you not with two characters like that!”
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5
Rachel is a soaps and TV writer for (opens in new tab)WhatToWatch (opens in new tab).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.
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