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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Betty Bristow Abigail

Betty Bristow 1989
Born: c. 1942

When Harold Bishop started acting oddly, his wife, Madge, managed to get him to own up to the fact that he’d received a mysterious love letter from a woman named Betty. The letter thanked him for the wonderful night they’d spent together and Harold was left confused and frustrated, especially as Madge realised who the letter was from, but refused to say anything. After much pestering from Harold, Madge finally revealed that the letter was from Betty Bristow, one of their old school friends, who had once had to spend a night with Harold at a youth fellowship camp when the accommodation had become mixed up. Madge went on to explain that she’d bumped into Betty’s mother during a recent trip to Brisbane and got Betty’s number. Betty had cooked up the scheme to play the prank on Harold and had also mentioned that she might come to visit soon. When Madge then tried to contact Betty, she found out from her flatmate, Joan, that she was already on her way to Erinsborough.

With Betty’s visit imminent, Harold dug out an old school yearbook and found a picture of the glamorous Betty, although neither he nor Madge was convinced that the woman would still be so attractive. So, they were both in for a shock when the woman turned up on their doorstep, immaculately presented and leaving Madge feeling inferior from the start. Although the Bishops asked her to stay with them, it was clear that Betty preferred the surroundings of Lassiter’s hotel. As she continued to offend Madge, Harold quickly found himself under her spell, even allowing her to call him Harry. Betty went on to explain that she’d been married three times and the most recent marriage had left her extremely well off, before beginning a fight with Madge over which of them was oldest. As Betty and Harold continued to flirt with each other and Betty pointed out her fabulous looks at every possible opportunity, Madge felt more and more sidelined. After a quick chat with her best friend, Helen Daniels, Madge came up with the idea to give herself a makeover. Unfortunately, the results were a disaster and Madge was left feeling lower than ever after her son, Henry, laughed at her.

The following evening, after another awkward dinner, Betty asked Madge and Harold to join her the next day for dinner at the exclusive French eaterie, Le Restaurant. Madge was determined that she would look better than Betty, particularly after her rival visited her at work at the pub the next morning and made negatives remarks about her job and uniform. That afternoon, Madge rushed off for a $250 beauty treatment and told the beautician that she was going to wipe her friend Betty off the face of the earth. As Betty arrived at number 24 that evening to collect the Bishops, Madge wasn’t home yet, but Betty and Harold watched out the window as a rain storm began. Sadly for Madge, her new look was ruined as she ran home in the rain. She then burst in the door and told Betty that she wished she’d never come to visit. As Harold finally got to the bottom of Madge’s insecurities, he assured his wife that he could never look at another woman. The next morning, as she prepared to fly home, Betty visited Madge at work again and the two women sat down for a proper chat. They both admitted that they were envious of the other and, before she went, Betty left Madge with a small memento – the business card for her plastic surgeon.

Biography by Steve



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