Reference > Erinsborough News > Madge Could Be A Cow Sometimes!
As Anne Charleston leaves Neighbours she’s quick to admit… “Madge could be a cow sometimes!”
It’s the end of an era – the last of the Ramsays is about to leave Ramsay Street. Ever since Neighbours began in 1985, there has always been a Ramsay at number 24 of Australia’s most famous cul-de-sac. But this month Madge finally leaves her home of seven years to join the rest of the Ramsays in Brisbane.
“It’s Ramsay heaven!” jokes Anne Charleston who plays Madge. “Max, Maria, Shane, Charlene and Scott – they’re all there so she’ll still have plenty of neighbours!”
Anne, however, has none! She’s swapped the whirl of Australian showbiz to live in a tiny village in Galway, Ireland. “I actually live just outside the village in a tiny hamlet. It’s quite sad actually, because my neighbour was a sweet old man who used to keep an eye on the house for me when I was away, but he’s just died.” And as the only other house around is a holiday home which is empty for most of the year, Anne – who lives by herself – doesn’t have anyone she can borrow a cup of sugar from! “But I have lots of friends in the village,” she assures.
However, Anne won’t be seeing much of her beloved home (and garden) for a while as she is about to start a national tour of The Cemetary Club, “a very funny play that will make you cry.” And after that she’ll be doing Cinderella at the Grand Opera House in York with Debbie McAndrew and Frazer Hines at Christmas.
But after panto, it’ll be back to Galway and her garden. “I’ve never owned a house before and, it’s nice to have a garden without poisonous snakes lurking at the bottom of it,” she says referring to Australia’s notorious lethal asps.
Anne has no plans to return to her homeland. “I don’t want to go back,” she insists. “Obviously there are people there I love and miss, and I will visit them. But I never want to live in Australia again.”
But Anne says she can’t rule out a return to Ramsay Street – although strictly in a guest role. “If I was on holiday in Australia and they wanted me to do a few weeks work, then of course I would. I had a very pleasant time on Neighbours. I enjoyed every moment and I really loved playing Madge. But she could be a cow sometimes!”
Her Neighbours co-stars gave Anne a send-off that she will always remember. “It was a lovely day,” she recalls. “And because I finished filming in the morning I got to go home and wash and tart myself up before going back in the evening for the party.” And what a party it was! “There was plenty of wine and champagne. And we all just stayed at the studio in the courtyard there. It was just at the start of Australia’s summer and it was really lovely.”
And the cast and crew gave her a couple of presents to remember them by. “I got this lovely silver photo frame and a leatherbound copy of my first script – which is just a lovely thing to remember them all by.”
This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine, dated November 1993