Reference > Erinsborough News > New-Look Beth To Quit Neighbour!
Neighbours star Beth Buchanan is set to drop a bombshell on the producers of the long-running Network Ten soap.
The popular young actress has decided to leave Ramsay Street. She is openly telling friends that when her contract expires in June she will not be renewing. Beth is keen to travel overseas and there is also talk of a movie role.
“She has a movie project lined up which she is keen to pursue,” a close friend of Beth told TV Week. A spokeswoman for Neighbours says: “Beth’s contract is up for renewal mid-year and we haven’t even talked to her agent yet.”
When Network Ten producers wanted to “freshen up” a tired Neighbours, one of the first actresses they looked at was Beth Buchanan. It was felt not enough was being made of the potential of the young beauty, sister of Hey Dad! star Simone. And with her character Gemma finishing school, it seemed the perfect opportunity for producers and scriptwriters to give her a “facelift”. Beth’s blonde hair is now a shorter, more stylish cut, her on-screen wardrobe has improved dramatically and she is now working with more mature storylines.
“I’m happy about it, sure,” Beth says. “We talked about it. I wanted to get my hair cut anyway, so it worked out well. Gemma is dressing in much more modern and mature stuff. There’s much more care going into her appearance than before. There’s a lot of time and money being spent on the show generally – it’s in our wardrobe, the set, everything. It’s good.”
Beth is happier now Gemma has left school and is looking for a job. “When you’re one of the school kids, you end up hanging around corridors gossiping and talking about homework,” she says. “When you’re out of school there are much more interesting storylines for you. There’s just much more for the character to do.”
In this week’s Neighbours episodes, Gemma hits rock-bottom when, after an argument, her boyfriend Matt (Ashley Paske) ends the relationship and returns to Adelaide. Gemma’s other friend Ryan (Richard Norton) also leaves the series this week.
Beth is tight-lipped about the job Gemma eventually lands, but is outspoken about other areas her character could tackle. “I’d like to see her get involved with current issues,” she says. “They don’t bring a lot of that into Neighbours unfortunately. Gemma is excitable and quite determined. It would be good if they could use that side of her personality in things like environmental or social problems.”
This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine dated 16th March 1991 and was written by Chrissie Camp and David Brown