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Character Profiles > Ned Parker Daniel O'Connor

Ned Parker 2005-2008
Lived: 22, 26, 30 Ramsay Street, Karl's apartment
Born: c. 1981
Parents: Jim and Kitty Parker
Siblings: Steve and Stuart
Children: Michael [Mickey]
Family Tree: Parker
Occupation: Singer, Parking Inspector, Nanny, Personal Trainer, Carpenter's Mechanics Employee/Manager, Football Coach

The naïve younger brother of Stuart Parker, Ned first encountered the residents of Erinsborough when he briefly visited for Stu’s wedding to Sindi Watts. The honeymoon ended badly as Sindi was sectioned in a psychiatric hospital, and Ned was sent down from Oakey a few weeks later, on the pretext of visiting the Melbourne Show, to check how Stuart was coping. On his first day in Ramsay Street, Ned ended up at the wrong house and took a shower at number 26. Janelle Timmins was shocked to find Ned, clad only in a towel, in the lounge room, and he gave her an eyeful as he dropped his towel. As Janelle screamed for help, neighbours including Susan Smith and Harold Bishop ran to help, but they quickly recognised Ned from the wedding and pointed him in the right direction. Stu soon realised that his brother had been sent to spy, and warned Ned to back off, as he wasn’t in the mood to discuss his situation. The extent of Stuart’s depression became clear when he raced into a gas-filled science lab to check to see if anyone was still trapped in the building. As Stuart lay in hospital, Ned was forced to realise that his brother was seriously depressed and putting both his career and life on the line. However, Stu’s worried housemate, Toadie Rebecchi, was astonished when Ned took Stu away for a day of fishing. Luckily, there was a method in his madness, as the brothers swam in the lake and Stu struggled to keep his head above water. Ned refused to help and Stu was forced to find his own strength and swim back to the jetty.

Having helped his brother out of his depression, Ned set about looking for work so he could stick around in the area a while longer. At the General Store, Harold advised him to knock on a few doors and see if anyone needed any help with odd jobs. At 22 Ramsay Street, Paul Robinson asked Ned to take his shirt off and wander around the house and garden, in the hope that it would attract the attention of Paul’s housemate, Izzy Hoyland. Unfortunately, the plan failed, as Izzy only had eyes for Paul, but it wasn’t long before Ned developed quite a crush on Izzy.

Over the weeks that followed, Ned’s behaviour became quite secretive, and he announced to Stuart that he had decided to stick around in Erinsborough. With the arrival of Paul’s daughter, Elle, in town, Ned found himself an admirer, but didn’t seem interested in a relationship with her. After spotting Ned chatting to a strange man in the General Store, Toadie jumped to the conclusion that Ned was gay and started trying to get more evidence on the matter, before revealing his suspicions to Stuart. Although Stu had his doubts, he was surprised when Ned admitted to being gay. However, he later revealed to Elle that he wasn’t, and it was all simply a ruse to get Toadie and Stu off his case, as he was actually auditioning for a local musical. After telling Toadie and Stu that he’d made the whole gay thing up, he refused to tell them what was really going on, but appreciated Elle’s support as he prepared to audition for Gino Esposito’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. After performing a strong audition, Ned was given a small role, with the lead going to Gino’s favourite, Corey Helpmann. After the audition, and having seen Ned sing, Elle decided to kiss him, but was disappointed when he didn’t return it. Over the days that followed, Elle helped Ned to rehearse, but they were surprised when Gino produced a new script, with most of the dialogue given over to Corey. It quickly became clear that Ned was having some problems with the new scripts, and not because he had a bad memory.

When Elle confronted Ned about his problems with reading and writing, he denied it all and became angry at her interference. However, Elle wasn’t about to let the subject drop, and Ned finally admitted that he did have trouble with reading and would be grateful for her help. The revelation brought Ned and Elle much closer. Meanwhile, when it was revealed that Corey was simply stringing Gino along and actually had a girlfriend, he was axed from the show and Ned became the new lead. When his musical on Krakatoa was deemed too tasteless, Gino instead wrote a new play about Ned’s life growing up in the country. And, when Ned and Elle kissed during rehearsals for the musical, it was soon obvious that they were now more than just friends. But Ned had other things to worry about when Stuart found out about his desire to be an actor. Stu couldn’t resist ribbing his little brother about it, and it only got worse when Ned returned home to his disapproving family for Christmas. However, he refused to give up on his dream and returned to Erinsborough to throw himself into play rehearsals. When the female lead in the play had to pull out, Elle decided that she would give it a shot, as she knew the script so well from rehearsing with Ned. However, her lack of dancing ability meant that the part ended up going to her friend, Sky Mangel. Elle couldn’t help but get jealous as she watched Ned and Sky practising the kissing scenes, and so she leant Sky some pineapple lip balm, which she knew Ned was allergic to, causing him to start coughing every time their lips touched.

Ned also became embroiled in Elle’s family dramas, when her father, Paul, found himself the target of a dangerous stalker. After an attack at Christmas, during which Paul was strangled from behind, Ned agreed to move in for a while and help look after Elle and Izzy until Paul was back on his feet. An increasingly paranoid Paul suddenly became suspicious of Ned, however, and started to wonder if he was the stalker, out for revenge as he was still in love with Izzy. Elle was horrified when Paul threw Ned out, and she decided to follow him back to number 30, until her dad had a chance to come to his senses. But when Paul failed to curb his verbal attacks on Ned, Elle decided that she didn’t want to be around him any more and made plans to leave with Ned and return to Tasmania. But Izzy quickly realised that, without Elle around, Paul’s recovery would suffer a huge setback, so she decided that the only solution was to split up Ned and Elle. Before long, she had seduced Ned in the Scarlet Bar office and he had announced that he couldn’t leave with Elle, as he wasn’t being true to himself. Izzy thought her plan had worked perfectly, until Ned turned up and told her that she had to leave Paul to be with him.

As Ned refused to take no for an answer, and her secret looked set to be exposed, Izzy plotted to get him out of town. With Paul’s help, she found a regular Lassiter’s guest who was also a director in Sydney, and managed to get Ned an audition for a musical. But when Izzy banged her head and ended up with a black eye, Ned jumped to the wrong conclusion, believing that Paul was abusing her, and told her that she would have to leave with him. And so, after telling Paul and Elle that she was going to spend the weekend up the coast looking for a holiday home for them, she left with Ned. Before long, she was being rude to him and just about anybody else they came across, but it failed to put Ned off, so when Paul phoned that evening and mention in passing that he had a headache, Izzy came up with a new plan. She suddenly burst into tears and told Ned that they would have to return to Erinsborough, as Paul had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Once home, she told Ned to keep the news to himself, as Paul didn’t want anyone to know, and sent him back off to Sydney for his audition. But Ned couldn’t live without Izzy and, after a week, he was back, and in for several cruel shocks. Firstly, he met up with Izzy, who made it clear that she was still unable to see him, then, as he walked into number 30, he found Stuart and Elle kissing. Although a fight broke out between the brothers, Stu quickly admitted that he’d been wrong to kiss Elle and it had meant nothing to him anyway. But Ned was more concerned with winning over Izzy, who pointed out that she could never leave Paul at the moment. Things only got worse when Izzy found herself being blackmailed over footage from the Scarlet Bar security cameras of her having sex with Ned. With Lou and Harold on the verge of being evicted from the General Store by Paul, Lou used the video to blackmail Izzy into talking Paul around. When that failed, Izzy decided that she had nothing to lose, and admitted her brief liaison with Ned to Paul. Although Paul was hurt, he knew that he couldn’t cope without Izzy in his life, and he chose to forgive her, but Ned wasn’t about to give up easily. He headed to the Robinson house and told Paul that, far from being a one-night stand, his relationship with Izzy had been going on for weeks and was more than just a plot to split up him and Elle.

Over the weeks that followed, Ned attempted to keep up his new, nasty persona, and got a new job as a parking inspector. With Stuart having moved home to Oakey to look after their parents’ farm, and Toadie along for the ride, it was left to Connor to try to convince Ned that his nastiness was fooling no-one. But when Janae Timmins, having just split up with her boyfriend, Boyd, asked Ned to accompany her to a school formal, Ned admitted, by the end of the night, that perhaps cruel Ned was failing to fool anyone. Soon after, Ned was convinced to resume his singing career and join Karl Kennedy on stage for a talent night at the Scarlet Bar. The pairing of KenNEDy had soon caught on, and the pair were joined by Connor on the tin whistle for some regular gigs at the bar. Meanwhile, after rescuing young Oscar Scully from almost wandering into Lassiter's Lake one day, Ned also found himself a new job as the boy's nanny. His mother, Lyn Scully had recently started working as personal assistant to Paul Robinson and was finding it extremely difficult to get childcare, but naive Ned found it hard to hold his tongue as his new boss constantly asked Ned to help out, with little notice. In the end, Ned told Lyn that he thought she should be trying harder to spend time with her son, and an angry Lyn told him that, although she was grateful for the time he was spending with Oscar, she was still a single mum and would not be lectured to about parenting.

Following Connor’s sudden departure from Erinsborough, Ned found a new gig for himself and Karl, as a kids’ band called Oodles ‘O’ Noodles. Although unhappy with the situation to begin with, Karl soon settled into his role and starting writing songs for the group. Ned, meanwhile, found himself receiving a lot of attention from the mums and was happy to be introduced to Justine Spensley, who was attending one of the gigs with her niece, Julia. Justine, a singer and writer, who had also managed kids’ bands herself, wasted no time in showing her attraction to Ned before subtly mentioning some of her own songs to him. Gradually, Justine convinced Ned that she should join the group and they could include her songs. Since she played guitar, she then suggested that Karl no longer needed to play it, before giving him the wrong address for a children’s party that the three of them were supposed to be playing. When the gig went fine with just the two of them appearing, Justine introduced the idea to Ned that Karl was no longer needed in the group. When Karl called by later, Justine announced that she and Ned felt that Karl should leave, but he angrily quit instead, while Ned was left stunned and found it difficult to forgive Justine for what she’d done. It wasn’t until Carmella Cammeniti returned to the area and asked Oodles O’ Noodles to appear at a youth music workshop, that Justine’s evil plot was exposed. Carmella realised that Justine was undercutting Ned and, when they were alone, threatened to expose her. Ned overheard the whole thing and promptly told Justine that it was over, before continuing as a solo artist. However, Karl had the same idea and, after driving almost all of their clients away by competing with each other, they agreed to reform the old band. Ned also found some part-time work at the hospital, giving singing lessons to children. During one lesson, he realised what a wonderful voice Carmella had and insisted on making a recording and trying to get her a deal. Carmella wasn’t impressed with the idea and, after making Toadie destroy the tape, she told Ned that they should be spending less time together.

With another failed career behind him, Ned was desperate not to return to Oakey with his tail between his legs, so he played on another of his strengths and started advertising himself as a personal trainer. Ned’s first client was middle-aged, glamorous housewife Ms Beaumont, who told him about her husband being ill in hospital and his many mistresses. The two formed a close friendship, as Ned admitted his fears about having to return to the family farm, and he admitted that she was his only client. Ms Beaumont decided that his business just needed a shot of capital, and she was the one to give it. They arranged a dinner meeting, but she was shocked when Ned brought along his lawyer, Toadie, to discuss the finer details, with Ned unaware that she was actually Loris Timmins, mother-in-law to Toadie’s Aunt Janelle. It wasn’t long before Toadie worked out where he’d seen the mysterious Ms Beaumont before and he confronted her about her presence in Erinsborough. Loris then found a way to reveal herself to her family – by buying their house from Lyn. At first, Janelle was adamant that she wanted nothing to do with her mother-in-law, but eventually the pair thawed towards each other, with Loris even moving in on a trial basis. She also used some more of her money to buy a 49% share in Lassiter’s hotel, and managed to Ned work there as the complex’s permanent personal trainer, though Ned had to be firm with her when she kissed him, and made it clear that there were no strings attached to her financial aid.

With his career finally on track, it was only natural that Ned’s love life and housing arrangements should start to fall apart. Having started spending time with Susan’s stepdaughter, nurse Katya Kinski, Ned quickly found himself falling for her, as the pair bonded over a shared secret love of the Backstreet Boys. Katya had been sheltered by her father until the age of 16, and admitted to Ned that she had never learnt to ride a bike, giving her another opportunity to get close to him. And Katya also managed to play on Ned’s previous crush on Carmella, by dressing up as a nun in order to seduce him. When Toadie then moved out of number 30, taking up a legal case in Sydney, he left it to Ned to find some new tenants for the rooms. With help from Katya, he selected four new housemates – Rosetta Cammeniti; Carmella’s older sister, professional gambler Frazer Yeats, P.E. teacher Pepper Steiger and mysterious drifter Will Griggs. As they settled in, Carmella also moved in across the street at the Bishop house, having taken a break from the convent to reassess her life. Her presence was a source of jealousy for Katya, as Ned struggled to work out which woman he wanted to be with, finally settling on Katya, after Carmella made a disastrous attempt to seduce him by dressing as a nun. But if Ned thought he was in for a smooth ride as Katya’s boyfriend, he had another thing coming.

When Katya ended up in a coma after being shot, Ned, as well as her family, was left stunned as she ended up at the centre of a police investigation. However, when he thought back over recent events – spotting Katya in strange cars and her odd behaviour after he was attacked by a mysterious car thief – he realised that she was indeed guilty. Having learnt that she had been stealing cars in order to pay off her blackmailer, Guy Sykes, who had evidence of her past as a thief and a drug addict, he ended their relationship. Things only got worse when Ned was then elected as the resident of number 30 to leave the over-crowded house. But life started to pick up for Ned when he was given a room at number 32 by Steph, then, as the Timmins family found themselves with a 40% share of Lassiter’s, Ned got himself a job there. It wasn’t to last, as Paul soon got control of the hotel back and not only had Ned sacked, but took over ownership of her personal trainer business, leaving him once again looking for a new career. And after seeing Frazer win time and time again on the horses and online gambling, he decided to give it a try himself. However, when Will caught him in number 30, stealing some of Frazer’s tips, Frazer got to hear about the whole thing and warned Ned off. But Ned proved just how obsessed he was becoming when he lied that he already had a new job at a local gym before calling Stu and asking to borrow some money for their mum’s birthday present.

When Katya found Ned contemplating stealing from the piggy bank of Charlie, Steph’s baby son, in order to place a big bet, she realised that things were out of hand. Having accepted a job in Adelaide, Katya asked Ned to join her and, having come to his senses and decided not to place the bet, even though it was a sure thing, and leave with his girlfriend. The following day, they packed up and left, but not before Paul approached Ned to tell him about a big poker game at his house that evening. Ned resisted, and left, but moments later, the car suffered a flat tyre. As Ned fixed it, Katya went to pick up some drinks and a newspaper but when Ned spotted her ditching the form guide, he picked it up, insisting that he didn’t have a gambling problem. However, when he spotted that, if he’d placed the bet the day before, he’d have won $45,000, he suddenly stopped and decided not to leave, but to return to Ramsay Street and take part in Paul’s poker game, leaving Katya to go alone. Back in Ramsay Street, Ned took part in the card game, little realising that he was being set up and, by the end of the evening, he found himself owing $25,000 to Paul’s friend, Ari Piven.

When Paul offered to help Ned settle the debt, in return for a few favours, a reluctant Ned had little option but to agree. Paul was desperate to get Elle away from boyfriend Dylan Timmins and, when they joined several other Ramsay Street couples at a country house, for Valentine’s Day, Paul sent Ned along to stir things up. Paul’s plan was for Ned to drug Dylan’s drink, along with Carmella’s, and put the pair of them in the same bed, but Ned couldn’t go through with it, and threw the drugs away. He was later inspired to go through with the plan when he overheard the group talking about him and his strange behaviour in recent weeks so, instead of using the drugs, he plied Dylan and Carmella with alcohol and made several barbed comments about their relationships. It worked and the pair were caught in bed together later that night, causing a horrified Elle to run home to her father. Paul continued to use Ned to destroy the Timmins family by getting him to rob their house, knowing that they had no insurance. As a sweetener, Paul allowed Ned to stay in Karl’s old flat, which he had recently acquired and lavishly furnished.

Feeling guilty about everything he’d done, Ned distanced himself from his old mates, even turning down an offer from Steph to move back in as her lodger, and found himself spending more and more time with Paul. He also revived his old relationship with Elle, though they both made it clear that they had no feelings for each other, and it was just sex, though neither Elle nor Paul knew of the other’s secret visits to Ned. Paul then had another mission for Ned – following the Valentine’s weekend fiasco, Elle had been trying to win over Oliver Barnes, who, if he could get his hands on his inheritance, would be extremely rich and have a 2% share in Lassiter’s, giving the Robinsons control over the Timmins family. Paul told Ned to break into the Barnes offices and track down some papers which could help Oliver – Ned did this, but accidentally left a security guard in a coma. His guilt growing, Ned was uncomfortable when Paul and Elle caught each other at the flat and, hating the person he’d become and worried about Elle’s growing nasty streak, he suggested that they run away together, to get as far away from Paul’s influence as possible. Elle eventually agreed to the plan but, as they left, she had second thoughts, opting to return to her dad. To make Elle see what kind of man she was going back to, Ned told her that he'd been behind her split from Dylan. Stunned, Elle stuck to her plan to go back to Ramsay Street, but with a new determination to destroy her father, while Ned left town for a fresh start, far away from the Robinsons and their twisted schemes.

Several weeks later, Ned returned to town, having realised that he couldn’t move on with his life without apologising to all the people he’d hurt thanks to Paul’s scheming. After paying off Simon Firth, the security guard he’d left in a coma, who agreed not to press charges, Ned visited the Timmins family and explained everything. Janelle and Janae were appalled but also agreed not to go to the police, as long as Ned became their slave. Ned then proceeded to help Janae out at the garage, which the Timmins family had bought with the proceeds from selling their share of Lassiter’s, and started assisting Janae with her boxing training. Though Janae was initially disgusted by Ned, she slowly softened towards him as he helped her through her first boxing match, while a guilty Elle asked Ned to move in with her, as Paul was in hospital recovering from a brain tumour.

Just as his life was getting back to normal, everything changed for Ned when his high school girlfriend Kirsten Gannon arrived in Erinsborough. Kirsten brought with her an eight-year-old son, Mickey, and promptly told Ned that he was Mickey’s father, following their brief fumble at the year 10 school formal. Kirsten went on to explain that her grandparents, with whom she and Mickey had been living, had recently died, and she needed some time on her own, so Ned was going to have to become a part of his son’s life. As quickly as she’d arrived, Kirsten was gone and Ned was forced to take in Mickey and his dog Jake, with absolutely no idea about how to be a father. With Mickey unaware that Ned was his dad, he was also forced to figure out how to break that news, and matters were only made worse when Elle asked them to move out, as Paul was coming out of hospital. She did, however, provide them with a room at Lassiter’s, but Mickey’s behaviour became a cause for concern, as he claimed to be ill and wanted his mum to come back. Luckily, Kirsten did come back, but only to spend the day with Mickey, before dumping him at the hotel and telling Ned that she needed some more time to herself. Things started to look up when Paul asked Ned and Mickey to move back to number 22, but Ned was still struggling to find the right time to tell the boy that he was his dad. After going to number 30 for a swim one afternoon, Ned had to rush off and left Mickey in the care of wheelchair-bound Frazer. Though Frazer had been getting the feeling back in his legs, he only just managed to save Mickey when he was electrocuted by a faulty pool light. At the hospital, as the nurse asked that only Mickey’s relatives remain in the room, Ned finally found the courage to tell his son the truth, and Mickey reacted well.

Throughout his problems with Mickey, Janae had been a tower of strength for Ned and the pair had slowly fallen in love, something which everyone around them could see, but neither of them was able to admit. When Janae announced that she was leaving town with her family, who were relocating to Cairns, Ned struggled to ask her to stay, and even Mickey’s begging couldn’t prevent her from going but, at the last minute, Janelle told her daughter that she had to stay behind and see if her relationship with Ned was the real thing. Before either of them could find out, Ned was in for more upheaval when his big brother, Steve, along with his wife Miranda and daughter Bridget, turned up. Steve was opening a vet’s practice in the area and the family were renting a flat in Anson’s Corner, but it was fully furnished and they needed somewhere to store their own belongings. Janae offered the garage at number 26 and they arrived to unload, unexpectedly being introduced to new relative Mickey in the process. Desperate to have a look at the removal van, Mickey snuck out of number 22 as Ned, Steve and Miranda were having a coffee, and climbed inside, only to accidentally let the handbrake off. The van rolled out into the street, straight into the path of a minibus bringing several Ramsay Street residents back from Rosie and Frazer’s wedding. As the sick and wounded were rescued, Mickey managed to get out without anyone noticing but the family slowly began to wonder if he’d been involved and, realising that the police wanted to speak to him, Mickey packed a bag and left with Jake.

As the family started searching for him, Mickey was busy befriending Declan Napier, who spent his days on the streets committing petty crimes to help his mum out with the bills. Meanwhile, Ned, with the support of his family and friends, contacted the police and even left a note for Mickey to find at the Lassiter’s rotunda. In his worried state, he also told Janae that he was in love with her, before quickly walking out, not prepared to wait for her reaction. That evening, Mickey was finally found at the Napier house, when Steve was called there, to tend to a cut on Jake’s paw, and the next day, Janae was surprised as Ned failed to acknowledge their conversation the night before, more worried about looking after Mickey. Eventually, with a little nudging from Miranda, the pair finally got their act together and admitted their feelings, before sharing a kiss. Meanwhile, Ned found himself a new job when he took over the coaching of the Erinsborough Pups under-9s team, which also helped Mickey make some friends in the area. But when Mickey asked if his new friend Tyler Smith could sleep over, Ned had to turn him down, only too aware that they were just renting a room from Paul. Having witnessed this scene, Janae asked them to move in with her, even producing a spare key she’d had cut for them, to prove that she was ready for that major step. But having an eight-year-old around left Ned and Janae with little time to themselves, and when the rest of the Parkers had to move in, when a water pipe burst, wrecking their flat, it seemed that the new couple’s love life would have to take a back seat.

Trivia Notes
• Daniel O'Connor first rose to fame in Australia as one of the final twelve contestants on the second season of Australian Idol
• Ned is allergic to pineapple


Magic Moments
Episode 4799: Ned's Arrival

Biography by Steve