James Atkinson 2003
> Guest Character
James Atkinson Jeff Keogh
As he developed a gambling problem, Dr Darcy Tyler became involved with James Atkinson and some of his friends, all big time gamblers. Darcy invited the group to his apartment for a poker game and, in his usual style, got carried away and, by the end of the evening, he owed James $9,800. Darcy decided to try selling his stocks and shares to cover the debt, but it wasn’t long before James talked Darcy, with little trouble, into another card game. Though he was losing badly, Darcy received a full house in his final hand and decided to play on, but was beaten by James’ four of a kind and this time, was left owing $60,000. Claiming that he couldn’t find his cheque book, Darcy agreed to post it, but James suggested instead that he return to the apartment at 9am the next morning to collect it.
Unable to raise the money that night, a panicked Darcy gave James the cheque, knowing full well that it would bounce, before disappearing to Tasmania to see ex-girlfriend, nurse Dee Bliss, who was there visiting her grandmother, Nancy. And when, soon after his arrival, James tried to get in touch with Darcy, he lied to Dee that it had been James who had given him the rubber cheque. When Dee and Darcy returned to Erinsborough, it wasn’t long before James caught up with them at the surgery. Desperate to avoid Dee finding out the truth, Darcy told James that he could pay, but they’d have to meet back at the surgery at 11pm. Whilst sitting in Lou Carpenter’s pub that evening, trying to work out what to do, Darcy saw an opportunity and swiped the pub takings from behind the counter, before casually walking out. James was unimpressed when it turned out that the takings were only $2000 and warned Darcy that he had one more week to come up with the money.
After managing to get $8000 from a dodgy loan firm, Darcy presented this to James, whose patience was wearing thin. He started to blackmail Darcy, telling him that he knew where the $2000 had come from, as there’d been some credit card receipts left in the bag. The underhand tactics continued when James hired Dee to give him a massage, making sure to phone Darcy so he knew what was going on. Pushed to the edge, Darcy did the unthinkable and robbed his aunt and uncle, Susan and Karl Kennedy, off some jewellery they’d inherited. Although he managed to pay off the debt, it wasn’t long before Darcy was caught and sent to prison to pay for his crimes.
• Jeff Keogh previously appeared as Jeffrey Hockney in 1993 and Daryl Naylor in 1997
• He returned as James Clement in 2005