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Reference > Erinsborough News > When Friends Become Lovers

It only takes one kiss for Ren and Luke to realise that they’re more than just good friends.

Housemates Luke Handley and Ren Gottlieb may be used to fighting over the last drop of milk in the morning, but the flat sharing friends have never gazed into each other’s eyes over the top of their cornflakes… until now that is.

When Luke is hassled by some thugs in the coffee shop, Ren rushes over to help him. To thank her for helping him out of a scrap he gives her a kiss and the passion burns hotter than Luke’s deep-far fryer!

Raelee Hill, 23, who plays the Ramsay Street hippy chick Ren, explains: “They end up falling into bed together that evening. When they wake up the next morning, they realise that their relationship has changed forever.”

With so much at stake for both Luke and Ren, they have to take things slowly. It’s always very awkward for friends who become lovers. But Ren is certain about her feelings for Luke, and although she’s ready to announce their romance to the whole of Ramsay Street, Luke isn’t so sure.

Desperate to be close to Luke at any cost, Ren suggests that they continue sleeping together, but see other people too. At that point Luke begins to have serious doubts about the relationship altogether.

He finds it hard to make any kind of commitment reckons Raelee. “He’s got a lot of hang-ups from the past – the death of his little sister has made him afraid to get close to anyone,” she explains.

Although, the lovestruck pair get their act together in the end, Ren fans can forget seeing their heroine trip down the aisle in a white floaty frock. When Luke is offered a job teaching in Japan, he proposes to Ren and they head off into the sunset together. “After much talk, Luke realises that he does love Ren. They work out their differences and leave Ramsay Street as a couple,” says Raelee. But when Bernard Curry who plays Luke returns to the show, he’ll be alone, as Raelee is packing up her tie-dyed t-shirts and heading off to pastures new.

“I’ve been concentrating on my other interests like singing and dancing,” reveals Raelee. “I’m having vocal lessons at the moment and managed to hit the top ‘F’ on the scale the other day! I’ve also done lots of auditions for films and am keeping my fingers crossed.”

With a history of hit television shows such as Paradise Beach and Neighbours behind her, Raelee shouldn’t have too much trouble landing another big role. Just look at her old Paradise Beach co-stars!

“I’m still in touch with Isla Fisher and Kimberley Joseph – who are both in Home and Away these days,” says Raelee. “I don’t think I would want to take on another soap role at the moment, but guest spots would be great,” she says. “I’ve spoken to the producer of Neighbours and told her that I’d be interested in coming back – especially as my storyline with Bernard (who plays Luke) is unresolved. He’s the major reason I’d consider returning – he’s a dream to work with!”

This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine, dated March 1996 and was written by Jason Herbison

Article submitted by Steve


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