Main Pages

Year by Year
Magic Moments
Weekly Reviews
About Us

Message Board


Reference > Erinsborough News > My Drive From Hell

Like Lucy, Neighbours actress Melissa Bell has had her fair share of car trouble!

Neighbours’ Lucy Robinson is about to grow up. Despite all the trauma that’s been packed into her eighteen years, Lucy has never really matured and has always acted like a spoilt brat. Until now.

“This is the incident that really shakes her,” explains actress Melissa Bell about her character’s drink driving experience. “She realises that she could have killed someone, and that really makes her stop and think.”

Lucy gets in a bad mood after another argument with her dad Jim, and goes out for a drink to calm herself down. “She gets in the car without thinking, and Brad gets in the passenger seat. Lucy just can’t concentrate – she’s all over the place – and the car ends up in the lake.”

Filming the crash scene was a memorable experience for Mel. “It was about ten at night, and obviously I didn’t really have to drive a car into a lake, but Scott (who plays Brad) and I did have to get into the lake.”

“We had to wear weight belts to keep us from bobbing around, but they only helped drag us down into the mud at the bottom! I won’t be forgetting that in a hurry!” she laughs.

Mel knows about the perils of dangerous driving all too well herself. “I had only been driving for three months, and wasn’t a particularly confident driver. I was driving along one day and I bent down to fix my shoe – that was a bit stupid wasn’t it? – and the next thing I knew, the car was wrapped around a telegraph pole.”

Thankfully, Mel walked free from the wreckage without a scratch, but her car had to be written off. “It was totalled,” she explains. “But I knew I had to get back behind a wheel again. So I went straight out that week and bought another car!”

There can’t be many teenagers who can afford to go out and buy another car, but Melissa points out that she has been working since she was a kid.

“People think that soaps must be really well paid, but when you consider how hard the work is, it’s fair. And you start out at the bottom – I did – and it pays to scale. So if you’re a really respected star, or your character’s well established, you’ll be paid more.”

Melissa’s real life crash horror meant she was pleased to get a chance to teach people about the dangers of drink driving. “That’s the one thing that TV does best. It can help people learn about things they wouldn’t normally go through. And hopefully, Lucy’s stupid mistake will make other people think twice.”

“Being involved in a car crash is a really nasty experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!”

Melissa’s other soap role also offers her a chance to teach young people about important issues.

“In E Street, which I’m filming at the moment, I play a really environmentally aware teenager, Bonnie Tate. She’s a politician’s daughter and a pretty together chick – if a bit hot-headed! Through playing her, I’ve become much better at separating my rubbish so that the glass and plastic can be recycled. And I always re-use plastic bags and ozone-friendly deodorant!” Right on Mel!

This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine, dated February 1993.

Article submitted by Steve


About Us | Contact | Press Ctrl + D to bookmark this page
The Perfect Blend website is an unofficial site of the television programme Neighbours © Grundy Television Pty Ltd, distributed by FremantleMedia Limited.
Grundy Television Pty Ltd, FremantleMedia Ltd, the BBC and their associated companies are not responsible for the content of The Perfect Blend website and hereby disclaim any liability in relation to any content or services provided by The Perfect Blend