> Perfect Blend's Neighbours Soap Awards 2006
Perfect Blend's Neighbours Soap Awards were inspired by the UK's British Soap Awards, for which Neighbours is not eligible. Using the same categories as those awards, Perfect Blend's readers spent several weeks in 2006 voting through our messageboard and by email, with only actors and storylines from the 2005 season (episodes 4631-4875) able to be voted for. Here are the results...
Blair McDonough (Stuart Parker)
Fighting off stiff competition from Kyal Marsh and Ben Nicholas, Blair McDonough AKA House of Trouser beefcake Stu managed to land this prestigious award. A combination of good looks, muscles and a policeman’s uniform served him well.
Stephanie McIntosh (Sky Mangel)
Just goes to show; a pretty girl with long blonde hair and curves in all the right places is usually a safe bet for this category. Stephanie McIntosh’s portrayal of arty teen Sky Mangel won many hearts in 2005. Pippa Black (Elle Robinson) was the closest rival.
Villain Of The Year
Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson)
There really wasn’t much choice during this season - it had to be returning bad guy Paul Robinson. Attempting to demolish Ramsay Street, poisoning the nearby wetlands, having numerous affairs, throwing Lou out of his home and apparently having burnt down half the Lassiter’s complex, assured him this award.
Best Comedy Performance
Nell Feeney (Janelle Timmins)
Nell Feeney’s cheeky bogan Janelle Timmins won many fans over during 2005, and it was mainly due to her deft touch with comedy. Whether commandeering the Scully house, taking on her son’s boss or writing her novel, Janelle couldn’t help but spread smiles all round.
Pippa Black (Elle Robinson)
The new Robinson on the block was an instant hit thanks to Pippa Black’s natural acting talent and Nicole Kidman-esque looks. Her talents were put to good use as the character got reacquainted with her estranged father, waged war on his girlfriend, hooked up with Ned Parker and survived a plane crash.
Best On-Screen Partnership
Ian Smith and Tom Oliver (Harold and Lou)
A perennial favourite, it now seems hard to imagine Neighbours without the pairing of Lou and Harold. With the opening of Bishop & Carpenter’s General Store, the old friends were seen together even more than usual which ensured plenty of quality comedy alongside touching moments from the enduring friendship.
Spectacular Scene Of The Year
The plane crash
Spectacular is certainly the word. From an innocuous start, the Lassiter’s joy flight turned into a shocking nightmare with tragic consequences. Little did the passengers know, a bomb had been planted onboard by a mysterious unseen character. A mid air explosion sent the plane plunging into the Bass Straits and we the viewers were shown only a few survivors escaping from the wreckage to wait for rescue. It took quite some time before the sad truth was revealed; the Bishop family had perished.
Best Single Episode
Friends For Twenty Years (Episode 4773)
A heart warming slab of nostalgia that any long time fan couldn’t fail to adore. Designed to celebrate Neighbours' 20th year, an array of former characters were brought back to the street or appeared in a cleverly concocted video talking about their time in the suburb. Seeing all those old familiar faces; it really did feel like meeting old “friends”.
Lara Sacher (Serena Bishop)
As the last plane crash fatality seen alive, Serena Bishop had a more noticeable exit than her parents, so was picked out by voters as the best. As her and Connor made it out of the fuselage, many viewers may have assumed she’d survive, but it wasn’t to be. Clinging to the planes tail fin, Serena complained of feeling cold and as Connor closed his eyes for a moment, she slipped away into the darkness.
Bitch Of The Year
Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy Hoyland)
Isabelle’s lies to Karl continued from 2004, although he escaped her grasp and eventually discovered the truth in dramatic fashion. She then made a dastardly pairing with the villainous Paul Robinson; which meant even more evil scheming and shady shenanigans than usual. Sparring with Susan, Sky, Elle and just about everyone else in the neighbourhood, Natalie Bassingthwaighte has made Izzy Neighbours' ultimate bitch.
Best Dramatic Performance
Ian Smith (Harold Bishop)
An award won primarily for the portrayal of Harold’s grief at losing his family which culminated in him taking his anger out on Paul Robinson. Ian Smith’s mesmerising work made what looked on paper like a ridiculous idea, seem totally plausible and emotionally engaging.
Best Dramatic Performance from a Young Actor or Actress
Sianoa Smit-McPhee (Bree Timmins)
Sianoa Smit-McPhee has shown a remarkable maturity ever since her debut in episode 4691 as the youngest Timmins, bookish Bree. Sianoa has handled sensitive scenes focusing on Bree’s shyness as well as boisterous comedy with her noisy family. She stormed this category, perhaps largely due to her performance during Dylan’s memorial service.
Harold takes revenge on Paul
Who’d of guessed that the nicest man in Erinsborough would have ended up trying to murder Paul Robinson? Harold Bishop’s grief fuelled vengeance for the death of his family, made a shocking end to the season.
Ian Smith (Harold Bishop)
Ian’s work as kindly Harold Bishop is always highly regarded, but in 2005 there was particular reason to praise him. After the death of Harold’s son David, daughter-in-law Lil and granddaughter Serena, Ian played out the various painful stages of Harold’s grief. Initially he struggled to accept the truth, which put him at odds with Sky and Joe Mangel, but after David’s body was identified he began to believe the truth and Ian’s performances during the memorial service were especially moving. However, Harold began to act strangely, treating Connor as a replacement for David and then deciding to take revenge on Paul Robinson. These scenes were made glorious thanks to Ian Smith’s rare talent.
Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kinski)
A testing year for Susan meant challenging work for Jackie Woodburne, but of course, she tackled it with ease. Watching the disintegration of Karl and Izzy’s twisted relationship, talking to Karl on the phone while he had his heart attack, having a whirlwind romance with Alex Kinski, marrying him, watching him die a few hours later and thus gaining three step children, were just a few of her many highlights and lowlights this season.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ian Smith (Harold Bishop)
Ever popular with viewers, Ian Smith’s Harold Bishop has entertained millions since his debut in 1987 and has made the lovable prude a household name. Introduced as a comedic buffoon, Harold delighted us with his stuffy moralistic views and dorky image. When paired up with the no nonsense Madge, a classic odd couple were created. However, this relationship meant Ian Smith was able to show the true breadth of his range and before long Harold was much more than just comic relief. We saw him as a loving husband, a step father to Madge’s children and then later we were treated to seeing him with his own children and grandchildren. However due to the Bishop’s unlucky streak, we also saw him at incredibly low points; he’s had to bury his children, a grandchild and his beloved Madge, and he himself survived for five years with amnesia after being presumed dead in 1991. But in everything he’s done, Ian Smith has always remained true to his character and, even after 15 years on and off, is obviously still determinedly loyal to the Neighbours saga and the pursuit of quality work within it.