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Interviews > Darcy Bonser

2001 saw Tad Reeves save the life of his half-brother, Tim Bailey, by donating his bone marrow. The role of Tim was played by Darcy Bonser, who here shares his thoughts on working alongside the Neighbours cast and reveals what he's been up to since then...

Had you done much acting before your Neighbours appearance as Tim Bailey?
I had only acted on TV in one role before Neighbours, a kids' show called Eugenie Sandler PI so acting for TV was still all a bit new. Even though I filmed Neighbours after I filmed Eugenie Sandler PI, Neighbours was on TV first, which was obviously very exciting. I can still remember my family screaming in the loungeroom and the next day when I was noticed wherever I went which was hard to believe.

How did the role of Tim come about? Was it just a typical audition for you?
Basically yes, It was your typical audition. I remember I hadn't really watched Neighbours much before and really wasn't sure who Tad (my half brother in the show) was. I do still remember having the audition with Jan Russ and seeing many other boys also going for the role, and obviously thinking, I've got no chance. A few days later, when I got home, my Mum and another friend were singing the Neighbours theme song, and then I knew I'd got it, and was over the moon!

Did you enjoy your time playing Tim? What do you remember most about working on the Neighbours set?
I really enjoyed filming Neighbours. The whole cast was very very nice and welcoming. It was hard as I was only a guest character, and wasn't a regular like all of the others and sometimes didn't fit in. On the other hand I was treated as if I was one of them which was great. The funny thing is when you're filming it, you never really think about the fact its going to be seen by so many people. It never crosses your mind.

Was there anyone you particularly enjoyed working with during your time on the show?
Holly Valance [Flick]. I don't remember having any scenes with her, but she was paticularly nice to me when we were hanging around on set. Of course Jonathon Dutton [Tad] was great.

What was it like to work alongside such an established cast?
As I said, it was great. Everyone was great to work with and very welcoming. I learnt a lot while I was on the show. I remember being so shocked at our much Ian Smith was not like Harold, which shows how much of a good actor he is.

Would you ever consider returning to work on Neighbours if the opportunity arose?
Of course, some of my friends currently play leads on the show, so it's always funny watching and seeing them.

Are you still in touch with anyone you worked with on Neighbours?
Not really, I mean technically I was only probably there for about 12 days to film all of my episodes, so you never have much time to get to know anyone. It's a different story once you've worked on a show that you spend 6 months on.

Have you ever been a Neighbours viewer yourself?
Well I watch it from time to time now, but before I was on I didn't watch it. I used to love watching it after I was on as I knew all the "behind the scenes" secrets.

What have you been doing in recent years?
After Neighbours, I went on to work on other TV shows including Blue Heelers, Comedy Inc, Stingers, Bootleg and Pirate Islands. I'm now producing and directing a show for Channel 31, a community TV station in Melbourne while finishing my university course, to get as much experience as possible so that I can work in TV as a producer/director.

Finally, as it enters its 23rd season on Australian television, what do you think accounts for the show’s enduring success?
I believe its success comes from how people love watching drama. People love watching it overseas, especially in the UK because it reflects what Australians and Australia are like. I think it's just one of those programmes that can just keep going and going, and people will watch it.

Interview by Steve. Added on 26th May 2007