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Reference > On This Day... Jan-Apr 2009

Cameron Hudson Departs
April 22nd

On this day... in 1993, lawyer turned stand-up comedian Cameron Hudson made his final appearance, after a year as a Ramsay Street resident. Though likeable, Cameron never really captured the public's imagination in the way that his cousins Brad and Gaby did, but he still got an interesting range of stories, most notably representing the mysterious Jacqueline Summers in court, and becoming one corner of the Cameron-Lauren-Brad-Beth love square that dominated much of 1993. It was the discovery that Lauren and Brad had slept together which sent a shocked Cameron out of Erinsborough, and although that was the last we saw of him, actor Ben Mitchell made a return to the series fifteen years later, as corrupt cop Matt Freedman.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Cameron's final appearance, click here.

Madge's Death
April 6th

On this day... in 2001, Neighbours caused an abundance of tears as legendary Madge Bishop passed away after a short battle with cancer. Madge had been introduced in the first episode of 1986 as Max Ramsay's no-nonsense younger sister; a role predominantly designed to fill the female gap in no. 24's household since Max's wife Maria had left. She went on to become arguably the most popular member of the clan and she stuck around far longer than any of the rest of her family. She married Harold Bishop in 1988, forming a tremendous pairing, but after Harold was axed in 1991, the actress behind Madge, Anne Charleston, decided to leave at the end of 1992. This left Ramsay Street Ramsay-less for several years until both Harold and Madge made a triumphant return to Erinsborough in 1996. Madge ruled her cul-de-sac for the next five years until Charleston once again decided to quit - this time forever. The man behind Harold, Ian Smith, still regards Madge's death as the hardest thing he ever had to film, and last year Perfect Blend readers voted it Neighbours "best" death.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the episode that saw the end of Madge and the Ramsay dynasty, click here.

The First Rebecchi Arrives
March 31st

On this day... in 1994, Kevin 'Stonefish' Rebecchi made his first appearance in Neighbours. Fifteen years later, that one minor guest character has been the catalyst for another four Rebecchis, as well as the numerous members of the Reeves and Timmins branches of the family who've put in appearances. Stonie joined the regular cast later in 1994, spending two years in Erinsborough as a permanent fixture, and joined in early 1995 by his parents, Angie and Big Kev, and brothers Toadfish and Shane. Angie became a Ramsay Street regular herself later in 1995, and they were joined permanently by Toadie by the beginning of 1996. Though both Stonie and Angie were victims of a cast shake-up in late 1996, Toadie remained behind, and is still part of the furniture 13 years later, while Angie, Big Kev and Stonie have all put in guest appearances since first returning for Toadie's doomed wedding to Dee in 2003.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of the episode that began the Rebecchi-Timmins-Reeves empire, click here.

Stingray Timmins Hits Erinsborough!
March 11th

On this day... in 2004, Scott 'Stingray' Timmins made his Neighbours debut, streaking across a football pitch. And, five years later, we sadly (or not, depending on your perspective) no longer have any members of the Timmins family in town. Stingray was followed by mum Janelle, brother Dylan and sisters Janae and Bree to Ramsay Street and the family spent three years causing chaos before one by one, they departed. Stingray was the first to go, after heroically donating bone marrow to save young Kerry Mangel's life, he developed an aneurysm and quietly passed away during a party in the street. Soon after, Dylan left for Queensland, joined a couple of months later by Janelle and Bree and finally, at the beginning of 2008, Janae joined her family in Cairns, and the Timmins name was gone for good.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Stingray's unusual entrance, click here.

Lauren Carpenter Departs
March 2nd

On this day... in 1994, Lauren Carpenter made a sudden exit, after accepting a job in Queensland. After only a year in Neighbours, Sarah Vandenbergh reportedly decided to quit after being told that there were no immediate plans for Lauren to get a new storyline and, having spent 12 months in love triangles, religious cults and being told she had an STD, Sarah didn't want to spend her time serving in the Coffee Shop. As Sarah found new acting and presenting roles in the UK, Lou provided regular updates on Lauren, who opened her own stables, got married and, despite being told her STD had rendered her infertile, she had a baby boy in 1999.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Lauren's final episode, click here.

Sindi Watts Returns
February 18th

On this day... in 2004, scatty Sindi Watts made a permanent return to the Neighbours cast. After appearances that saw her blackmailing Darcy Tyler, then plotting with him to split up Toadie and Dee, and finally a stint as the receptionist at Tim Collins & Associates, Sindi made Erinsborough her permanent home, as host of Channel 44's Making Mansions. She then spent a year flitting between careers, and boyfriends, as she left married Rocco Cammeniti for Toadie Rebecchi, then began seeing Toadie's mate Stuart Parker. Sindi's eighteen months living in Ramsay Street came to an end in 2005 as, after months of strange accidents and odd behaviour, it was finally revealed that Sindi had serious mental problems, as she pushed Toadie down a flight of stairs, believing him to be a threat to her new marriage to Stuart. Though Sindi was taken away for treatment, she and Stuart did get a happy ending, as he left town a few months later to reunite with her.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Sindi's return, click here.

Dorothy and Toby Depart
February 3rd

On this day... in 1993, principal Dorothy Burke and young Toby Mangel departed from Erinsborough. With Toby set to move to the country to live with his dad Joe and stepmum Melanie, Dorothy had found a new man in the form of school inspector Tom Merrick. With Tom heading home, Dorothy found the perfect way to keep him and Toby in her life, by scoring a job at Toby's new school, which was close to where Tom lived. In record time, she packed up her belongings, said her goodbyes and left. The departures of long-running characters Dorothy and Toby was another blow to Neighbours, having already lost Paul, Todd, Lucy and Madge in the second half of 1992, and about to lose original character Jim. Indeed, with so many senior cast members leaving and a newly-built school set, it still remains a mystery why the producers opted not to renew Maggie Dence's contract.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Dorothy and Toby's last episode, click here.

Kerry and Sky Arrive
February 1st

On this day... in 1989, Kerry Bishop and her daughter Sky first appeared in Neighbours. It's hard to believe that it's 20 years since Kerry walked barefoot into the Coffee Shop and introduced Harold to his granddaughter. Two years later, a pregnant Kerry was killed off in a shooting accident, leaving husband Joe to raise Sky, and the following year, he married Melanie Pearson and the three of them left Erinsborough. But that wasn't the end, as, in 2003, Sky returned, recast, to stay with her grandfather, Harold. Sky's four years back in Ramsay Street saw numerous mentions of Kerry, a guest return from Mark Little as Joe, and even an appearance from Linda Hartley, who'd played Kerry all those years ago, as Kerry-lookalike Gabrielle.

Click here to read a detailed, illustrated summary of Kerry and Sky's debut.

Taj Coppin Departs
January 23rd

On this day... in 2004, Taj Coppin left Ramsay Street for the bright lights of Sydney. The older brother of Erinsborough High bitch Tahnee, Taj found himself involved in several storylines, as a brief relationship with Nina came to an end when Jack Scully stole her away, while an ill-advised fling with his teacher, Libby, almost cost her her career and his final story saw him involved in buying exam papers to cheat in his VCE. After only arriving just over a year earlier, actor Jaime Robbie Reyne left with plans to follow a career in music, while Taj managed to put his exam shame behind him and was offered a job as a runner on a movie set.

Click here to read a detailed, illustrated summary of Taj's final episode.

The 1989 Season Premiere
January 17th

On this day... in 1989, Neighbours returned for its 5th season. 1988 had been a strong year for the show, despite losing two of its most important characters, as Charlene and Mrs Mangel set off for pastures new. 1989 would also bring high ratings, and begin with Joe Mangel proving himself to be a good father to Toby, who was facing abuse from his new stepfather, Ted, while Henry did his best to win back girlfriend Bronwyn Davies. As the year progressed, Neighbours celebrated its 1000th episode and saw a guest return from old favourite Clive Gibbons, but also said farewell to several long-running and popular characters, as Scott, Mike, Gail, Henry, Rob and Jane had all departed by the time 1989 came to a close.

Click here to read a detailed, illustrated summary of the 1989 season premiere.

Annalise Hartman Arrives
January 15th

On this day... in 1993, gorgeous blonde Annalise Hartman first set foot on Ramsay Street, and made an immediate impression on her new landlord, Lou Carpenter. Leading Lou to believe she was 21, Annalise began a relationship with him, but it came to an abrupt halt when Annalise's mum, Fiona, turned up, announcing that her daughter was actually only 17. Though that romance was over as quickly as it had begun, Annalise stuck around and, during three years living on Ramsay Street, made her way through many other men, and numerous career changes, before deciding that it was time to see the world and, after cheating on boyfriend Sam with Stonefish, she left to travel, later settling down in London. And in 2005, during Neighbours' 20th anniversary celebrations, Annalise returned to town to interview the residents of Ramsay Street for a documentary she was making about life in small communities.

Click here to read our newly-added Magic Moment, summarising Annalise's first episode.

Marnie Reece-Wilmore Turns 35
January 10th

On this day... in 1974, future Neighbours actress Marnie Reece-Wilmore was born. It's hard to believe, but the young woman we saw fight with her parents, get her heart broken by Rick Alessi and battle bulimia in the 90s is turning 35. Marnie first appeared as awkward teen Debbie Martin in 1992, the third actress to play the role, and went on to spend two years on Ramsay Street, during which time she had plenty of stories, including a dangerous involvement with Darren Stark and witnessing her stepmother, Julie, fall from a tower during a murder mystery weekend, but many fans remember her powerful performances during the eating disorder storyline as her best. After nearly two years away, Marnie returned for another 18-month stint from 1996 to 1997, and again for a cameo appearance during the show's 20th anniversary celebrations.

To read a detailed, illustrated summary of Marnie's first appearance as Debbie, click here.

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