> The Ones That Got Away
by Lucy and Ryan
When we set about compiling a list of your 50 Favourite Neighbours, we had a pretty good idea who’d be featuring in the upper reaches of the chart (and who wouldn’t be!) But there were also several characters we expected to make it that were conspicuous by their absence. Here’s our pick of the good Neighbours who apparently didn’t become your good friends (and some that we wish hadn’t)…
As the show’s longest serving family, we weren’t surprised to see a strong showing from the Robinson/Daniels clan, with six members, plus three spouses, making our Top 50. But one surprise omission from the list was Lucy Robinson – the only original Robinson not to feature. Three different actresses played out Lucy’s apparently endless traumas, but it seems none of them had the impact to earn her a place amongst your favourites – although maybe this lack of continuity was the problem. Somewhat less surprisingly, Lucy’s half-brother, Glen Donnelly, also failed to make the cut.
They were the family who gave our favourite street its name, but the Ramsays didn’t make the same lasting impression on our Top 50, with no place for original family members Max, Maria, Shane or Danny Ramsay. Another original Ramsay Street resident we were surprised and disappointed not to see was Des Clarke. We celebrated with Des when he wed his beloved Daphne, and grieved with him as she passed away, but it seems Des’s luck ran out again when it came to winning your votes…
For over six years the Willis family were part of Neighbours in some shape or form, but apparently longevity doesn’t equal popularity; Pam and Doug Willis were both absent from the Top 50, as were three of their four children. Only youngest daughter Cody lived on your memories, sneaking in at No.47. But spare a thought for the Alessi and Hancock clans, who couldn’t even muster up a member of the final list between them!
Back in the legendary days of the late eighties, Scott and Charlene were everyone’s favourite dream teen couple. But while they’ve lasted the test of time, their closest friends Mike Young and Jane Harris – also hugely popular in their day – have faded from your thoughts somewhat, and are both notable absentees. And it’s not just a case of short memory syndrome either; some of the more recent Erinsborough teens such as Michelle and Jack Scully, Tad Reeves and Paul McClain also missed out. Who says Neighbours is all about the kids?
Both Angie Rebecchi and Rosie Hoyland were the subject of massive fans’ campaigns to save them from the axe, but were any of these fans voting? It seems not, as neither made the Top 50. And even original Neighbours supremo Reg Watson was horrified by the death of Kerry Bishop, but despite her dad and her daughter both making the Top Ten, everyone’s favourite eco-warrior was nowhere to be seen in our rundown.
Of course, there were also quite a few characters that we never envisaged having a place on the countdown – and we were proved right. Languishing near the bottom with very few votes were forgettable characters like Lisa Elliot, Cameron Hudson and Ren Gottlieb. However, not one single character was without at least one fan – every single regular cast member from the past 22 years received at least one vote.
Then there were those characters we never expected to make the list but somehow, they did… Ned, Stu, Conor, all, some could say, benefit from the short-term memories of many of our voters. Then again, it seems many people confused the word ‘greatest’ with the word ‘fittest’…
There’s been a lot of dismay on the message board about the fact Stingray finished so near to the top, above all the other Timminses. That said, until recent times, Stingray was probably everyone’s favourite Timmins, but given the growth of the rest of the family, most would now put him at the bottom of the list.
The skew towards current characters is large - 15 of those in the top 50 first appeared within the last 5 years - but given Neighbours is a rather fluid series, the turnover of characters is quite high, and this, coupled with the demographic of the audience, shouldn't be a big shock. For those of us who have watched the show since the start, this may seem slightly distressing, but just because we've watched the show since the beginning of time doesn't mean that we have the authority to suggest that the 'classic' characters have to be in the top 50… far from it. A 15-year-old can't be expected to vote for Scott or Charlene or Daphne, they aren't even likely to have heard of them.
Perhaps the vote isn't representative of the core audience, after all, it was internet only. Do the 30 or 40-year-olds who have watched since 1985 tend to surf around the web looking for internet sites about Neighbours?
But none of that should take anything away from the vote. It might, however, be interesting to see just how much the vote results would change if we did it all again in two years’ time…