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Reference > Erinsborough News > Taking The Mickey

Ned’s world is rocked when he learns that he’s a dad…

Ned Parker receives the shock of his life this week, when a surprise package is dumped on his doorstep – the eight-year-old son he never knew existed! In coming weeks, we’ll see Ned take over as Mickey Gannon’s carer. And Dan O’Connor, who plays the stunned dad, tells us that he’s in awe of how his character copes…

“I must confess, I’d probably run a million miles – in the beginning, anyway!” admits the 29-year-old actor. “I suppose that, after a while, I’d realise running isn’t the solution and take on the responsibility in the same way Ned does. But I certainly couldn’t do it as fast as he manages to.”

The news that he’s a father comes out of the blue for Ned, who hasn’t had to look after anyone but himself since he turned up on Ramsay Street at the end of 2005. “One day, Ned’s going about his life as normal, and the next, he opens the front door to see his old high school girlfriend, Kirsten, standing there,” explains Dan. “Ned’s curious as to why she’s tracked him down, but then Kirsten drops a bombshell – her son, Mickey, is actually his son too.”

However, Kirsten’s careful not to say too much in front of the little lad, who remains oblivious to the true reason why he and his mum have come to Erinsborough. “Kirsten’s manipulative, and doesn’t want Mickey to think badly of her,” Dan reveals. “Naturally, Ned’s disappointed that she’s never told him about his son. But she twists things and makes out she’s the one who’s suffered. She says her parents are gone and her grandparents also died recently, and lays a big guilt trip on Ned.”

The surprises don’t end there, though, Kirsten soon announces that she’s leaving Mickey and his dog, Jake, in Ned’s care. “Kirsten’s obviously not in a good frame of mind,” sighs Dan. “She basically says, ‘I’ve looked after this child for eight years, and now it’s your turn for a while’. Ned’s chucked in at the deep end, and is left to break the news to Mickey that he’s his dad.”

As the shock subsides, the personal trainer is overcome by conflicting emotions. “There are good and bad feelings,” Dan shares. “Ned feels awful for not being there for Mickey, but also positive, because the child is his son. He’s a little human being whom Ned helped to bring into the world. Since the guy has always liked kids, there’s a part of him that feels proud. He’s just not sure how he’s going to cope.”

And if put-upon Ned starts looking a little deprived of sleep in upcoming episodes, it could be that his real-life alter ego’s new schedule is also playing a part… “I’ve got a lot more early starts these days, because Fletcher O’Leary, who plays Mickey, has to shoot all his scenes early in the morning, so he can head off to school,” laughs Dan. “He handles that a lot better than me, let me tell you!”

This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine dated 14th September 2007 and was written by Jason Herbison

Article submitted by Steve


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