THE LAST WORD... ‘ I p----d my record­ing ca­reer up the wall. fun’ I was hav­ing too much


The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

“I’VE been play­ing Paul for about 19 years. There was a gap – I did just un­der eight years at first. Then I left for 12, and I’ve been back for 11. I can’t be­lieve it. I was only sup­posed to be back for two weeks!

It’s be­cause of [ex- Neigh­bours co-star, now Hol­ly­wood star] Alan Dale. He’s still a very dear friend of mine. He was the one who ad­vised me to do it again. I re­mem­ber him say­ing, ‘ Neigh­bours is such a great gig – are you mad?’ And I thought, ‘Yes, why am I um­ming and ah­hing?’

As far as longevity, I’m the only orig­i­nal left on the show now. Which was brought to my at­ten­tion last year when we were do­ing the show’s 30th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions – that I’m ac­tu­ally the long­est-serv­ing char­ac­ter on Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion.

Be­cause even though I was out for 12 years, Paul didn’t die. He wasn’t killed off or any­thing. So when I came back, it picked up from where I left off.

Those early days on Neigh­bours were just crazy. I re­leased a record. Kylie [Minogue] and Ja­son [Dono­van] had done theirs, and Craig [McLach­lan] had gone off and done one, and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, why not?’ So we made a record, with Don’t It Make You Feel Good (the song went to No.16 on the UK charts). The irony is, I hated the song. There are two press­ings of it, and if you can get hold of the Aus­tralian version, it’s a very rare thing. It’s prob­a­bly worth a few bob now!

I’m happy to ad­mit it th­ese days, but I pissed my record­ing ca­reer up the wall. I was hav­ing too much fun. I was be­ing wined and dined. I was in my early 30s, and I got caught up in this hys­ter­i­cal whirl­wind.

I re­mem­ber one night I was do­ing a gig and I don’t even think I sang, it was just an ap­pear­ance, and I had four se­cu­rity guards around me, and the crowd still man­aged to rip the shirt from my back! Tore it to pieces!

I was a silly boy. I was young and stupid. I was stupid enough to look at it the wrong way, and not treat it as a busi­ness. But I don’t re­gret it.

I am like ev­ery other ac­tor – I want a nice se­cure job for a while. I have small chil­dren, but it’s also that silly pull of, ‘Why would I leave this? I have great se­cu­rity and a good wage. Why would I throw that away to go and start again?’”

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