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New Neighbour Delta Goodrem is launching a singing career and dating a co-star. Sound familiar?
On Neighbours she plays the dressed-down Nina Tucker. In real-life Delta Goodrem is a vivacious 17-year-old who is launching her first CD… and dating co-star Blair McDonough.
But is she prepared for the inevitable comparisons with international pop queens Kylie Minogue and Holly Valance?
“There’s plenty of room for everyone,” she replies. “Everyone has their own style of music. I’ve done it the opposite way. I was signed to Sony before I came onto Neighbours and then Neighbours had an idea that they wanted a budding singer on the show. But I’m not worried by the comparisons. I just do what I do and hopefully people will enjoy my music.”
Delta is a young woman with many talents. She started piano lessons at the age of eight and singing classes two years later, and has been writing songs for the past five years. Her first CD will be released later this year through Sony Music. Understandably, she can’t hide her excitement.
“I’ve always really wanted to do it all myself,” she says. “I’ve been singing for as long as I could talk. I started recording songs when I was 12. My music is very soulful. It’s very organic.”
Delta has quickly settled in on set and has already formed close friendships among the tight-knit Neighbours family.
“I’ve met some absolutely, absolutely fantastic people,” she exclaims. “All of the cast and crew members are just great. Kate Keltie (who plays Michelle Scully) is just one of the most beautiful people.”
Speaking of on-set friendships, there’s a questions TV WEEK has to put to Delta: is there any truth to the rumour of a real-life romance between her and former Big Brother and now Neighbours star Blair McDonough?
“Oh, he’s my best buddy,” she responds. “He’s been a great help to me coming to Melbourne. We’re very good friends and I guess you could say we are dating.”
Since her arrival in Ramsay Street just a few weeks ago, the character of Nina has kept everyone mystified. “Nina may seem like a bit of a dork,” says Delta. “She’s mistaken for being shy and people may think she’s rude. So many people try to bring her out of her shell, but it seems like it’s just not going to happen. She’s all about being creative and doing her music by herself. But others will eventually catch on.”
Delta’s acting career is going from strength to strength. As a child, guest roles on shows like Hey Dad! and A Country Practice kick-started her interest in performing. Delta, who moved with her mother from her home town of Sydney to Melbourne to take up the part, is having the time of her life on the long-running Aussie soap.
“This is fantastic,” she enthuses. “I’m trying to keep up with all the scripts and everything, but I’m really enjoying it. It has meant huge changes to my life, but it’s a new chapter and I’m loving it. I’ve always loved performing. It’s a challenge all the time. You’re always learning something new. It’s a matter of really nailing a character and trying to get better at it every week because you can always get better at it. I just love learning about the craft. I’m very passionate about my music and my acting, but both in different ways.”
Delta confirms she’ll be in Ramsay Street for some time yet, having signed a 12-month contract to the show. After that, the sky will no doubt be the limit for this talented star. “I think I’ll just take every day as it comes at the moment,” she smiles. “Life is not a dress rehearsal. You just have to do it.”
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine, dated May 2002, and was written by Jackie Brygel