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Reference > Erinsborough News > Melissa's Fear Of Flowers

Formers Neighbours star Melissa Bell, who has moved from Ramsay Street to Sydney’s E Street, may miss some things about Melbourne… but not the flowers.

At the height of her popularity in Neighbours, Melissa was so frightened by male fans following her home and leaving flowers that she told police the name and telephone number written on one card left with a bouquet.

“I told the police because at least they then have a record of the guy’s name and number – just in case. They are probably harmless, but I think it pays to be careful and to be aware,” says the 19-year-old star.

Melissa now lives closer to her parents on the NSW Central Coast. She believes the first bunch of flowers may have been related to a magazine story.

“It was a story about how to impress on the first date,” she says. “I said I would be really impressed if my date showed up with 18 red roses. Well, when I got home one days there were 12 red roses on the doorstep and a note saying, ‘Call me for coffee – I think you’re wonderful’, or something like that.”

Melissa believes her secret admirer followed her home after one of her long walks through the city.

“I walk for hours shopping and just looking around,” she says. Her natural tendency is to be friendly. “I don’t want people to think I am unapproachable just because I am on television,” says Melissa, although she adds that living in a big city it is best to be cautious.

Her parents Sherry and Mark agree. “We constantly worry about Melissa,” says Sherry.

The ratings soared when Melissa joined Neighbours in February last year and before she left the show in July this year she received up to 40 letters a day, many of them from girls aged between eight and 20.

“I have worked hard to be where I am today,” she says. “All this hasn’t happened overnight. I have had lots of rejections going for shows and castings and for auditions. But when I got a knockback, I would just get up and try again and think ‘I’m not going to give up!’”

Melissa has joined the Westside regulars as 17-year-old Bonnie Tait. She previously had a brief role in E Street before joining Neighbours.

This article originally appeared in New Idea magazine, dated 19th September 1992 and was written by Pamela Lesmond

Article submitted by Steve


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