Main Pages

Actors & Crew
Year by Year
Magic Moments

Message Board

Interviews > Geoff Paine

A prolific actor on Australian stages and television screens, Geoff Paine is best known to Neighbours fans as eccentric entrepreneur and sometime gorilla-gram Clive Gibbons. We went ape (ahem) when he agreed to an exclusive chat about his time on the show.

Can you give us a little background on your career before Neighbours?
Before Neighbours, mainly acting school. It was one of my first jobs.

When you joined the Network 10 version of Neighbours, could you have foreseen how popular the show was about to become?
No, it was a nightly soap which had been bought to replace M*A*S*H. It was getting popular in the UK just as I was leaving... How about that for timing?

Clive was such an original character - how much input did you have into his personality?
They let me make what I could of the script, and ad lib every now and then. I got away with murder, really...

Which cast members did you feel you worked best with?
Whoever I was sharing the house with: Guy Pearce (Mike Young), Paul Keane (Des Clarke), Gloria Ajenstat (Susan Cole), Elaine Smith (Daphne Clarke). Working with Peter O'Brien (Shane Ramsay) was fun too.

Do you have a particular favourite storyline from your time as Clive?
Playing piano for Myra De Groot, where she sang badly. In fact, I can't play keyboards and Myra had a great voice.

You returned to the show briefly in 1989. How did that come about?
This was to prepare the character for a spin-off called City Hospital, where Clive would have been working in his own practice, probably in a hospital, and probably in a city.

Ah, yes, City Hospital. There were rumours in the late eighties about it being a spin-off show from Neighbours. What happened to the project?
City Hospital was the ill-fated show which was about to go into production, when the network was sold and the new owners decided all new projects were to be shelved.

Are you still in touch with any of your old castmates?
Not really, we're all off doing our own thing. We bump into each other occasionally.

Would you ever consider a return to Neighbours?

What have you been doing since leaving the show?
Working in television, radio and the odd film. On television, I've been in The D Generation, A Country Practice, Blue Heelers, Pacific Drive. My film stuff includes The Wog Boy and The Craic, I'm currently touring with a stage comedy, Kissing Frogs, and writing too

As Neighbours celebrates its 18th year on Australian television, what do you think accounts for the huge success the series has achieved?
It was the right show at the right time, I guess. Swimming pools, blue skies and familiar problems. Mind you, some of those eighties fashions...

To read a full character profile of Clive Gibbons, click here.

Interview by Steve. Added on 11th April 2003