Reference > Erinsborough News > It’s Goodbye To The Anti-Neighbour (And The Wackiest Girl On The Street!)
Two popular Neighbours characters, newlyweds Joe (Mark Little) and Melanie (Lucinda Cowden), depart the series this week.
In emotional scenes at an airport, the couple and Joe’s daughter, Sky (Miranda Fryer) leave for the UK. The farewell episode screens on October 24th.
“For Mark, it closes the door on three years as the amiable hothead Joe. “He’s an incredible character because he’s the typical Aussie – a union man, likes a beer, works hard, but not a mindless yobbo,” Mark says.
“He was a mean bloke when he started. He was more the anti-neighbour! I’ve worked very hard to make him grow and bring out more sensitive sides. I’ve tried to make him a Nineties kind of Aussie guy – that’s maybe why he’s been so popular. But I’ll be glad to have people call me Mark again, not Joe.”
Since finishing Neighbours, Mark has been working day and night – literally. At night he’s been doing a stand-up comedy season in Sydney and, by day, filming the lead role in a new Australian film, Green-Keeping, also featuring Brides of Christ star Lisa Hensley.
“It’s set in a lawn bowls club, and I’m playing Lenny, the green keeper,” Mark says. “It’s a nice, simple comedy of manners – one of those ‘feel-good’ films. And lawn bowls for four weeks… that shouldn’t be too taxing!”
Lucinda Cowden is also ready for the next phase of her career – even if it means unemployment. “It is very hard to give up a soap, to give up earning a wage,” she says.
“I know about going on the dole and being a waitress – I’ve done that and it’s not fun. I’m pleased with the work I’ve done as Melanie but if I’d gone on, it would be easy to get typecast as a dizzy blonde. I’d like something with a harder edge now, maybe theatre. I know there are a lot of actors unemployed, but I feel positive – it’s onwards and upwards from here!”
Lucinda and her husband David leave next month for a four-month trip to the UK, where she has signed to star as Dick Whittington in a holiday pantomime.
“It’s two shows a day, six days a week. I play a young lad and I have to sing a few songs, so it should be interesting,” she says with a grin. “I’m really looking forward to it, because I’m yet to see how big Neighbours is over there and experience all that.”
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 19th October 1991 and was written by Chrissie Camp