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Reference > Erinsborough News > Wedding Fever Hits Ramsay Street

Excitement as a soapie star heads down the aisle for a second time...

When Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan exchanged vows on Neighbours, thousands of viewers tuned in.

Wedding fever has erupted once again on the popular soapie. Ramsay Street’s favourite grandmother Helen Daniels, played by Anne Haddy, is to wed.

In real life, Anne is happily married to actor James Condon. However, he TV alter-ego has been less lucky in love. After the death of her husband Bill, Helen devoted herself to running the Robinson household. She attracted several suitors before meeting Bill’s cousin Michael Daniels (former Sons and Daughters star Brian Blain), and found she wasn’t too old for romance.

Anne is thrilled with the move: “It’s time that Helen was happy. People think that once you’re past 21, you don’t fall in love or need love. But when you get to 50 and 60, you think of yourself as being just as young as when you were 20. You just know a little bit more about life. There’s a need for love at all ages.”

Her co-star Alan Dale has attended many screen weddings and says: “There’s not the tension that everyone feels at a real wedding.”

It’s a misty winter morning. The cast and crew arrive at a quaint church in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Actors Stefan Dennis, Gayle Blakeney, Richard Huggett, Jeremy Angerson, Anne Charleston, Lucinda Cowden and Mark Little make their way to the pews.

It’s an Edwardian-style wedding with three vintage cars. Anne’s outfit suits the period, a pastel pink silk jacket and oyster-coloured skirt with matching top hat.

Melissa Bell, who plays Helen’s head-strong granddaughter Lucy, is bridesmain. She wears a dusty pink, three-quarter length dress made of chiffon and silk. Wardrobe supervisor Marian Boyce says: “It’s like putting together a real wedding. Everything has to be taken care of and ordered – flowers, shoes, pantyhose, jewellery, the lots. We decided on a bit of a period feel for the frocks. We thought Edwardian would be good because you can made up very fabulous tailored suits from that period. I went and had a look at dresses in shops, but there was something we needed that I couldn’t find within a label or a shop. I wanted particular colours on Anne that were very soft and, in many ways, it’s easier making what you want yourself and getting the right look.”

‘Groom’ Brian is a veteran of three screen weddings. “When I married Cornelia Frances on Sons and Daughters, we actually had a real marriage celebrant. We stayed away from pens that day – in case we signed something accidentally!” But for Melissa Bell, being a bridesmaid was a novel experience. “I have never been a bridesmaid in real life, so it’s really exciting.”

This article originally appeared in New Idea magazine, dated 20th July 1991

Article submitted by Steve


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