Backyard addition adds to Neighbours’ outlook
STEFAN Dennis, who plays resident baddie Paul Robinson on Neighbours, admits the longrunning soap has ‘‘ gone off the rails a couple of times’’.
‘‘ Paul’s got away with grand arson and murder,’’ laughs the soapie veteran. ‘‘ When I came back into the show, the way Paul’s stories continued just got more and more ridiculous. When you realise it’s a show about sub- urban Australia, it got a bit big, it got a little caricatured.’’
But, he says, the producers always managed to steer it back on the straight and narrow.
The suburban nature of the show was enhanced last week when its makers unveiled a million-dollar expansion of its studios in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading. The exteriors for Ramsay Street are filmed at nearby Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, but the backyards there are mostly unsuitable due to space con- straints. So, after 28 years, viewers will be invited into their backyards from May, thanks to three new outdoor sets, replete with pools, spas and outdoor living areas, built for numbers 22, 26 and 32.
‘‘ It means we can shoot out there rather than make excuses to have barbecues out the front of our houses,’’ laughs Ashleigh Brewer, who plays Kate Ramsay.
Dennis says Neighbours’ ordinary suburban setting and the renewal of sets and characters means the soapie could potentially run for 100 years.
‘‘ It will have gone through many, many changes and metamorphosis over the decades, but the street will still be there, and the houses will still be there.’’
And if his wife has anything to do with it, Dennis will be there for decades to come too. The role pays for their kids’ education.
‘‘ The greater the longevity for me and my character, the happier she’ll be.’’ Neighbours, Eleven, weeknights, 6.30pm
Suburban villain: Stefan Dennis is quite at home on Ramsay Street