> Dan Paris
He joined Neighbours as Ramsay Street's kind-hearted mechanic Drew Kirk in 1998 and soon became half of one of the show's most popular couples when he started dating, and later married, Libby Kennedy, before being killed off in a riding accident in 2002. Here, Dan Paris remembers his days in Erinsborough...
Can you tell us a little about your career prior to joining Neighbours?
I couldn't say I had a career before Neighbours, but I had the attitude that I'd give just about anything a go. I'd probably tried 20 different jobs from being a swimming teacher, to working in commercial finance. I was doing bar work and travelling Oz before I found myself on the programme.
How did you get the role of Drew?
Auditioned. I wish I could add a story to this, but it really was that simple.
Did you enjoy playing Drew? How would you describe the character?
Yeah, Drew was fun. I miss him a bit sometimes. He was the golden boy, and there's nothing wrong with that kind of reputation (just ask anyone over 60).
What were your favourite storylines during your four years with the show?
Quite a few, actually. None of them were mine however... usually Holly's [Flick Scully].
Drew and Libby quickly became one of the most popular Neighbours couples since Scott and Charlene. Did you enjoy working so closely with Kym Valentine?
Of course. She taught me a lot.
Were there any other cast members that you particularly enjoyed working with?
Carla [Steph Scully] was always fun. We are mates off screen which translated to strong connection on screen.
Drew was a classic Neighbours nice guy. Did you ever wish that the writers had made him slightly darker?
I did... but then what would the mothers of Australia do?
What led to your decision to leave Neighbours in 2002?
Itchy feet. I was travelling the country when I had landed the roll, and after 5 years or so on the program I felt it was time to keep going. I had only made it from Perth to Melbourne - I had to see the rest. My partner and I ended up spending a year on the road after the show. Best thing anyone can do I think.
Drew’s death was extremely sudden – was there a reason why we never saw him in hospital after his fall?
I think I was halfway to Cairns by that time. Couldn't hold me back. The house was empty, and I was living out of my car. I guess we see a lot of hospital-based television these days and although it might be expected from the audience a drawn-out death is not always appropriate.
Do you ever see any of your former co-stars these days?
At the moment I'm living on the opposite side of the country from them so it becomes difficult. Birthdays are always a chance to make a call and catch up.
Do you still get recognised as Drew, four years after leaving the series?
Very rarely. I think it is more of a shock to me than the fan when someone approaches. I don't expect it anymore.
You made a brief return in 2005, as part of Steph's recurring dreams of Drew. How did that come about? What was it like returning to the set?
Well... just between you and me, Carla suggested the storyline would be perfect for her character and had a hand in writing the whole thing which makes it sound very professional, however, the truth is it was the best way we could think of to get me back over and catch up with everyone. The production has a way of becoming a home, and the people are family.
What have you been doing since you left Neighbours?
Travelling and photographing. I have a photography business WA. I also present a travel show over here called Postcards, which I really enjoy being part of.
And finally, as it celebrates its 23rd year on Australian screen, what do you think are the reasons for Neighbours’ enduring success?
I'm sure there is a manuscript hidden deep in the producers office that holds the secret to this question, but if I was going to offer my thoughts I'd say possibly because it's always summer.
To read a character biography of Drew, click here. To find out more about Dan's photography, visit his website, here...
by Steve. Added on 4th August 2007