Rafters stars not set to pack in yet

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

fam­ily drama Packed to the Rafters will re­turn for a sixth sea­son de­spite the de­par­ture of sev­eral reg­u­lar cast mem­bers. The Seven Net­work says pro­duc­tion will be­gin later this year. The news fol­lows the an­nounce­ment that Hugh Sheri­dan (Ben Rafter) has signed a long-term deal with Ten and James Ste­wart (Jake Bar­ton) in­tends to head to the US to be a home dad for part­ner and for­mer Rafters star Jes­sica Marais, who has given birth to their first child. Marais (Rachel Rafter), Jes­sica Mcnamee (Sammy Rafter) and Zoe Ven­toura (Melissa Rafter) have left the show. Erik Thom­son, who plays pa­tri­arch Dave Rafter, says fans can ex­pect to see many fa­mil­iar faces dur­ing the sixth sea­son, in­clud­ing An­gus Mclaren, who is re­turn­ing as Nathan Rafter. Talk of the show’s demise is pre­ma­ture, he says. ‘‘Some of them are com­ing back for the en­tire sea­son, some for bits and pieces,’’ Thom­son says. ‘‘It’s a bit of a re­volv­ing door. There is lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion out there. We are film­ing with An­gus and Hugh at the mo­ment and ob­vi­ously Jess has just had a baby so she is a lit­tle bit busy. There’s such good­will among the cast that there is a de­sire to keep this go­ing and ex­cit­ing.’’

Tues­days, 8.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

Erik Thom­son

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