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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Jenny McKenna Carrie Barr

Jenny McKenna 2005-2006
Lived: Karl's apartment
Occupation: Government Advisor, Politician

Following the breakdown of his marriage to Susan, and a disastrous relationship with Izzy Hoyland, Dr Karl Kennedy turned to the internet to find a new girlfriend. Although Karl had to cancel their first date, due to a medical crisis involving Izzy and her new boyfriend Paul Robinson, they arranged a second meeting at the Scarlet Bar. Both Karl and his date, government advisor Jenny McKenna, were nervous, but, as the evening progressed they hit it off well and agreed to go on a second date. That date proved to be more eventful, as it involved a dinner party with Karl’s ex-wife, Susan and her new fiancé, Alex Kinski, as well as a few other couples from Ramsay Street. It wasn’t long before Jenny and Susan were bickering over politics, and, as they all retired to the couch for coffee, Jenny suggested a key-swapping party. Everyone was stunned, as Jenny admitted that she was just kidding. Although Jenny thought that her sense of humour had blown her chances with Karl, she visited him at the hospital and was delighted when he agreed to continue seeing her.

Their third date involved a soiree organised by the federal treasurer, a function which Susan was also attending with Alex, who was a well-respected economics professor at the local university. During the evening, however, Jenny watched as Karl spent more of his time watching Susan and rushing to her aid following an argument with Alex. Later, she confronted Karl, telling him that she liked him a lot, but it was obvious that he was still in love with Susan. She ended the relationship, telling him that he needed to work out his feelings for his ex-wife before he moved on.

A few months later, Karl clearly had worked through his feelings and Susan suggested that he get back in touch with Jenny. Susan had her own motives for encouraging the reunion though – following Alex’s death from leukaemia, his eldest daughter, Katya, was in town and suspicious of the relationship between Karl and Susan, using it as ammunition to get custody of her younger siblings, Rachel and Zeke. Susan hoped that Karl’s relationship with Jenny would prove that there was nothing going on. Jenny, meanwhile, was nervous about getting involved with Karl again, but he assured her that he was over Susan and ready to move on with his life. Jenny quickly proved that she hadn’t changed by taking Karl on a date to a naturist pool party. However, whilst there, they were alarmed to find Connor O’Neill, who had recently trained as a private eye, trailing them. When they caught him with a camera, he was forced to admit that he had been hired to watch Jenny.

Jenny later found out that politician Tony Cott had hired Connor, believing that Jenny was too liberal for her party. Whilst being interviewed that day on the university radio station by Sky Mangel, Jenny took the opportunity to prove otherwise by announcing her engagement, much to Karl’s surprise. He agreed to go along with the sham, though most of his friends realised that it wasn’t true, and the pair went away to New Zealand for a couple of weeks to attend a political conference. Upon their return, Karl suggested to Jenny that she move into his flat, as it would make life easier and she happily accepted. As she moved in, Jenny also suggested that Karl get rid of any memories of his ex-girlfriend, Izzy, and so Karl gave a watch that she had given him, to Boyd Hoyland, believing it was a fake anyway. Unfortunately, once Karl found out that it was a genuine, worth thousands of dollars, Boyd had already sold it to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Janae Timmins.

A few weeks later, Jenny announced to Karl that she was in the running for pre-selection to become an M.P. but, if her bid was successful, it would mean a move to Canberra. Karl was unsure about giving up his friends and his medical practice, but agreed to spend weekends with her and take it from there. As they spent more and more time away from each other, it became clear that they were growing apart. As Karl had to deal with his father,Tom, being diagnosed with dementia, he turned to Susan for support and the pair shared a kiss and began an affair. When Jenny returned from Canberra, Karl prepared himself to break the news gently and end their relationship, only for her to make her own confession – she’d fallen in lust with one of her colleagues. Karl was surprised as the pair each admitted that they wanted to split up and Jenny moved out, returning Karl’s key and engagement ring and telling him that Susan was a lucky woman. As Jenny left, she realised that she’d forgotten her mobile phone and went back. With Karl in the bedroom looking for it, Susan suddenly arrived and immediately started apologising to Jenny, who insisted that everything was fine and that it would be in Susan’s best interests to stay.

Biography by Steve



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