Reference > Erinsborough News > Francis Quits
But Vivean Gray becomes a Neighbours regular…
Francis Bell out, Alan Dale to stay and Vivean Gray in. These are the cast developments on Network 10’s Neighbours.
Francis, who played bombastic Max Ramsay since the inception, has not worked on the show since April, when he took leave after a serious back complaint.
When he married Monica Dare later that month he said he was considering his future with the series, citing long hours as a reason for his possible departure. Francis’ agent, Garry Stewart, told TV Week: “His back has been a serious problem and we were unable to reach a suitable financial agreement with Grundys (the show’s producers).”
It now seems Gary Files, rushed into the show playing Max’s plumber brother Tom, when Francis first took ill, will remain.
The future of Alan Dale was also in the balance. Alan has no re-signed and will continue as Jim Robinson after taking a four-week break. Ally Fowler, who plays his on-screen love, Zoe, will leave the programme in June.
A new addition to the regular cast of Neighbours is popular former The Sullivans actress Vivean Gray. Vivean was briefly introduced to Neighbours fans last month as local gossip Mrs Mangel. She has signed a long-term contract, and Mrs Mangel will move into Ramsay Street in June.
A major behind-the-scenes move has been completed. Original producer John Holmes has left and been replaced by Phillip East.
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 31st May 1986 and was written by Stephen Cook