Main Pages

Actors & Crew
Year by Year
Magic Moments

Message Board

Comment > Gangs of Erinsborough: 1985-1989 by Spencer

Teenage gangs have always been at the centre of the action in Ramsay Street and the “hot, young things” are key to the enduring success of the show. In 2009 we are currently enjoying the exploits of Erinsborough Teens, Ringo, Declan, Zeke, Donna, Sunny, Kate and Harry. However when the show began in 1985 the teen demographic was pretty much non existent and the only two regular cast members living out their teenage years on the street were Scott Robinson (then played by Darius Perkins) and Danny Ramsay.

When Neighbours was picked up by Network Ten in 1986 it was time for a shake up. Although the older generations of Ramsay Street were still very much in evidence, a mix of bright young things were introduced to make the show more appealing to a younger audience. Both in Australia and the UK the show's timeslot meant it was the anchor of early evening family viewing and with the new faces came a huge new wave of teenage fans that were glued to their televisions every evening.

Dull-looking Darius Perkins who played Scott Robinson who quickly recast and pretty boy next door Jason Donovan took over the role taking the character from a once supporting role to one of the show's key attractions. Within a few short months Des and Daphne had a put a roof over the head of troubled teenager Mike Young, Madge’s feisty daughter arrived in the shape of Charlene and Mrs Mangel’s mousy granddaughter Jane Harris moved in when her parents went overseas on business.

From this point on the show had set a new trend and to this very day Ramsay Street's teenagers have a huge impact on the show. We now look back at the original “Brat Pack” of Erinsborough and their journey through teenage life in Ramsay Street.

The first of the teenage crowd to capture the hearts and minds of fans all over the globe were Scott Robinson and Charlene (Lennie) Mitchell. Although the show’s history would have us believe that these two first met years ago when Charlene would visit her Uncle Max on Ramsay Street the audience first saw Scott and Charlene meet when he caught her trying to break into the Ramsay house. When Scott grabbed her he was met by a sharp right hook to his jaw and that was that - Ramsay Street’s most famous and endearing romance was born.

As Scott and Charlene’s romance grew, audiences were captivated by their on again off again relationship, and their exploits alongside Scott’s best friend Mike Young fast became the focus of life on Ramsay Street. The three teenagers' lives played out much as any other normal teen’s life in Australia. There were lazy days by the pool at number 24 and trips down to the beach in between study sessions for their impending HSC. Their study sessions became more about them sorting through their relationship problems than about calculus or their latest geography assignment, and unlike their parents and relatives their problems and fears were expressed and worked through over their textbooks rather than a cuppa and one of Helen Daniels' famous Lamingtons.

As Scott and Charlene’s romance began to flourish, Scott began to out pressure on his girlfriend to have sex. After discussing it at length they decided to book into the local hotel, Lassiter's. When Charlene confided in Scott that he would not be her first he called the whole thing off leaving a distraught Charlene alone in the hotel room. After apologising to her they decided to put this part of their relationship on hold for the time being.

Scott and Mike decided there had to more to life than beaches and skateboarding and decided to put together a band (which has become a staple storyline for Erinsborough’s teenage residents). When they decided to look for a vocalist it was Charlene who stepped up to the microphone with great success. So successful, in fact, that when the guys managed to get a demo cut and sent to Australian Music Legend Molly Meldrum. When the esteemed record producer wanted to sign Charlene to his record label, Scott and Mike were left disgruntled, putting strain on their relationship. After Charlene spent a day in the studio she realised it was not for her and decided to continue with her studies for year 12 much to the delight of Scott.

Romance also began to blossom for Mike in the form of Scott’s cousin Nikki Dennison, however Mike's first true love arrived on Ramsay Street just two doors away. Plain Jane Super Brain was the grand daughter of local busybody and gossip Mrs Mangel, and when we first met Jane she was quiet and very plain-looking. Although the timid teenager was at first a strange addition to the group it was no secret that she was falling for Mike. When Daphne and Helen gave the ugly duckling a makeover for the school dance Mike was stunned by her beauty. Much to the disgust of Jane’s grandmother, the two quickly became one of Ramsay Street's hottest couples.

Just like Scott and Charlene the couple’s romance was not all plain sailing. When Mike's ex Nikki returned to Ramsay Street, she was hell bent on splitting the pair up but Mike was very much in love with Jane so Nikki packed up her bags and left for America. Everything seemed to be back on track until Jane and Shane Ramsay got lost in the bush together and became rather close. Mike's jealousy almost split the pair again but Jane told Shane that they would never be more than just friends.

Life on Ramsay Street for its teens plodded along nicely with the odd lovers tiff, car crash, caravan explosion and Charlene hitting the bottle after yet another break up with Scott. These Erisnborough teens were growing up fast.

When the gang finished their HSC three of the teens' lives seemed to be mapped out for them. Mike was going off to Uni to become a teacher, Jane decided to take a year out and work for Paul Robinson at The Daniels Corporation at Lassiter's, and Charlene took a job as a mechanic's apprentice at Rob Lewis' Garage. As for Scott, he failed his HSC and was held back a year.

After all their ups and downs the gang were fast approaching adulthood and their storylines reflected this. Whilst Scott was still studying is HSC he shocked his long term girlfriend Charlene with a marriage proposal, much to the delight of their two friends Mike and Jane (not to mention millions of fans worldwide). The star-crossed lovers were married in what was one of the most watched episodes of all time. With Mike as Scott’s best man and Jane as Charlene’s head bridesmaid their wedding has been subsequently voted one of the most romantic television weddings of all time and watched by a combined audience of more than 120 million viewers in over 55 countries worldwide.

Although all four characters left the show more than 20 years ago we still here from time to time what they are up to. Scott and Charlene are happily married living in Brisbane with their two children Daniel and Madison, Mike left the street as a teacher after Jane got engaged to Mike's guardian and landlord Des Clarke and went to help his mother recover from injures suffered from a plane crash, and as for Plain Jane Super Brian, well, when things did not work out with Des she and she left to live in the UK. We last heard from Jane in the 20th Anniversary documentary filmed by Annalise Hartman where she informed us she is now living with her grandmother, Mrs Mangel.

These four lovable characters set a precedent for the show and even today we see hoards of teenagers passing through Ramsay Street, falling in and out of love, creating bands, struggling with the stresses of their HSC and coming to terms with the harsh realities of growing up. However this four will always remain in long term Neighbours fans' eyes as the original and most influential gang ever to tread the leafy pavements of Erinsborough. As for the actors that portrayed them, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and Annie Jones, well let’s just say there was definitely life after Neighbours.