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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Natalie Rigby Nicki Paull

Natalie Rigby 1999
Children: Liam
Occupation: Manager of Greenglades Hotel

When bar manager Natalie heard from her friend, photographer Cindy Lipman, about Joel Samuels, she arranged for him to audition for a stripping job. Although Joel’s audition, as a stripper named Sir Loin, went badly, Natalie took a shine to him and offered him an interview for a barman position. Later that day, she phoned Joel and asked him out for a drink. He decided to go and they found that they got along well, and arranged to meet again so that she could train him up for bar work.

With more than ten years between them, it became clear from the start that this wasn’t going to be the easiest of relationships. Their conversations about music showed that there was quite a gap in tastes. That evening, Joel began his first shift at her pub, the Greenglades Hotel. Natalie quickly made it clear that she would be treating him equally when he refused to wear a tight shirt and she gave him a dressing down in front of the other staff. When Joel was out jogging the next morning, he saw Natalie arriving at the school with a young boy and confronted her about it. She told him that it was her son, Liam, who she’d given birth to when she was 18. Joel found this revelation difficult to take in, and she walked out, telling him to think things over and get back to her. That night, he went to her pub and made it clear that he didn’t care about her having a teenage son.

As their relationship continued, they came across more problems, when Natalie was reluctant to spend time with Joel’s friends, as she felt that she’d have nothing in common with them. Then, as Joel hoped to develop a friendship with Liam, Natalie told him that they should get to know each other better before she introduced them to each other, as Liam had been let down by some of her previous boyfriends. However, Natalie had little choice when she was having breakfast with Liam in the Coffee Shop and Joel walked in. She had to think quickly and simply introduced him as her new barman. Joel was offended and Natalie had to apologise, but tried to warn him that her son’s feelings would always have to come first for her. Things finally calmed down, as the couple shared their taste in music with each other and planned a weekend of sailing together. But when Liam saw them together in the Coffee Shop, he was furious and confronted Joel, telling him to stay away from his mother.

This confrontation made Joel realise that he couldn’t cope with the relationship and he decided that he had to break up with Natalie. When she arrived that evening, she was full of plans for restaurants and concerts, so Joel decided to go out with her one last time, to a tapas bar. When they returned, he told her about Liam’s visit and that he didn’t want to be responsible for wrecking her family. Natalie was slightly hurt, but told him that Liam’s feelings were her primary concern. She then decided that they should make a clean break from each other and walked out of Joel’s life for good.

To read our interview with Nicki Paull, click here.

Biography by Steve



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