Reference > Erinsborough News > Profile - Peter O'Brien
When Peter O'Brien, who plays Shane in the hit television show Neighbours, came to London he was amazed at the reception that he received.
"I love the fresh open air life," he says, "and really didn't think it would be any trouble going for a stroll. So I left my hotel and went out to the park only to find that practically everyone recognized me and I was deluged by autograph hunters.
"So I had to rush back to my hotel. This is all a bit strange for me, because in Australia I hardly spend any of my time indoors at all.
"Most people in my country live on the beach in the sense that all the towns and cities are on the coast. So beach barbeques, swimming, surfing and water sports are part of our every day lifestyle."
Peter is also starring in the series The Flying Doctors, and says: "Playing the role of pilot Sam Patterson is a lot of fun, but the trouble is that in real life I'm terrified of flying. To try and combat my fears I've even been trying out a few flying lessons, but in the series I try to stay on the ground as much as possible."
His acting career started quite by accident.
"I tried to break into acting, but it was difficult after I left University," he says. "I did some teaching in school and then decided that I needed a break from it.
"So I left my job and travelled up the north west of Australia where I managed to land a job working on a dry oil rig. Before I'd gone up there I had done a number of auditions for television stations but hadn't heard anything from them.
"The new job went fine, but then we were told that there was to be a hurricane heading our way and that everyone ought to clear out of town. I took a bus ride to another town some miles away where I had some relatives and when I got there I discovered that my parents had been trying to get in touch with me because one of the television companies had chosen me for their new series. It was Neighbours, but because I'd been out of touch for a long time I had only four days to get back to start filming. There was a bus and train strike, no planes and I was desperate. But I eventually made it just in time and I'm pleased I did, because Neighbours and the rest of the people in it like Jason Donovan, Charlene Fenn and Kylie Minogue are great to work with."
Whether Peter is going to follow in Kylie's footsteps and make a record we'll have to wait and see. But he certainly has the pop star looks with his long blond hair and suntan!
This article originally appeared in Sindy Year Book 1989, published in 1988 by Grandreams