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Comment > Time To Bring Back Libby... For Good by Conor

Recent weeks have seen the long-awaited return of a Ramsay Street favourite: Libby Kennedy. Since Kym Valentine's abrupt exit in 2011, Libby's presence has been sorely missed in Erinsborough and fans were overjoyed when a three-week guest return was announced in March this year. However, is three weeks really long enough with this much-loved stalwart? Let me argue why Neighbours should be making this a longer stay and Libby should be making Ramsay Street her permanent home.

First and foremost, I must stress Libby's importance to the fabric of Ramsay Street. Since her departure, Karl, Susan and the dynamic of Number 28, has sadly suffered. Whilst the show initially tried to keep the household alive with a string of teen charges for Karl and Susan to care for and guide them through their trials and tribulations, it felt like a case of diminishing returns. Karl and Susan really didn't have the same bond with the likes of Natasha and Summer - and when we were thankfully spared the Kennedys taking in Rani, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. However, apart from the guest appearances by Holly and Zeke, this has left the Kennedy house empty and we've seen less and less of Karl and Susan at home. Indeed, they spend much of their time now at the school, hospital, or in The Waterhole. Bringing Libby and Ben back to the fold would breathe new life into Number 28. Karl and Susan's domestic life would be reinvigorated with a daughter and grandson creating some fresh drama. The Kennedy house would be full of life once more.

Not only does Libby have a strong family base to provide a reason to stick around but has several strong links with current cast members. Toadie is pretty much like a brother to her and she had developed a strong bond with Sonya prior to her departure. With Toadie and Sonya lacking any contemporaries and close friends since Lucas and Vanessa's departure, Libby could be the perfect solution. Not only that but Libby and Ben are closely linked with Lou (as Ben's godfather), and could further strengthen his recent return to form.

As well as Libby providing a boost to the series' long-running casts members, she also lots of potential with the wealth of new cast introduced since her departure. As a teacher, she would already become involved the resident youngsters of the cast and by that association, their parents too. Could Libby provide Imogen with a strong role model, or could the two butt heads due to their similarities? Could Naomi serve as a walking reminder of Izzy and clash with Libby as they go head to head over Erinsborough's latest bachelor? Could Libby become the next Canning by meeting a son of Sheila and having to cope with the meddling matriarch for a mother-in-law? The world is the show's oyster.

We mustn't forget Libby's ability to interact with young and old. While some characters seem chained to their peers and make scenes with those of a different generation seem old, this has never been the case for Libby. She can effortlessly cross the generational gap and Kym is just as believable playing the doting mother, the concerned teacher, the fun friend, the loving daughter and the respectable young woman to the elders of Erinsborough.

Ultimately, above of all else, the main reason to bring Libby back rests on the talent of Kym Valentine. Twenty years since her first appearance, we've seen Libby grow and develop. We've laughed at her scenes with Steph, we cheered as she experienced happiness (however brief) and we cried when she experienced heartbreaking tragedy. All of this has resonated with audiences is because of Kym - a gifted comedic actress and one of the show's most exceptional dramatic performers. She is an asset to the cast in any era and this should be grasped by both hands.

So, what's next? Who knows? Last we heard, Libby had a job interview in Ballarat and Ben decided Erinsborough wasn't the place for him... for now. I can only hope that sooner rather than later the pair have a change of heart. Erinsborough will always be home to Libby and Ben and there is potential for a whole new era of laughs and tears. Whether they serve as the show's resident single parent family, or part of the show's next step-family, both Libby and Ben have a place in the current landscape of the show. Fingers crossed that any day now; they'll drive right back to Ramsay Street and make themselves at home.