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Reference > On This Day... Mar-Apr 2008

The Hancocks Move In
April 19th

On this day... in 2001, the short-lived, and rather unpopular, Hancock family moved into Ramsay Street. Eldest son Matt and father Evan had both arrived already, with Matt taking a job as barman at Lou's pub, and Evan a teaching job at Erinsborough High, before winning the auction for number 32. As they moved in, they were joined by Evan's second wife, Maggie, and their two younger children, Leo and Emily. During their twelve months as residents of Ramsay Street, they were at the centre of some gripping stories, such as the time Emily's doll went missing and the side-splitting occasion when Matt took a job as an Elvis impersonator. But, as their stories become more exciting - Matt almost killed Harold in a drag racing accident, while Maggie was on the verge of an affair with colleague Toadie - their fate had already been sealed, and they bid farewell just before Neighbours celebrated its 4000th episode.

Were the Hancocks doomed to fail? Why not take a look at The Hancocks: The Eldorado of Neighbours? and make up your own mind.

Charlene Arrives In Ramsay Street
April 17th

On this day... in 1986, the actress who would go on to become an international superstar and one of Neighbours' most recognised stars - Kylie Minogue - made her first appearance as the fiery Charlene Mitchell. In a scene that has now become famous, Charlene was caught breaking into 24 Ramsay Street by her future husband Scott Robinson, who she proceeded to punch in the jaw. Originally intended to only stick around for a few weeks, the character quickly became one of the most popular the show had seen and, the following year, the hugely popular romance between Scott and Charlene ended with a wedding. Another 12 months passed, and Charlene's two years in Erinsborough came to an end as she headed off to Brisbane, while Kylie's music career went from strength to strength, with her tenth studio album, X, released in November 2007.

Why not revisit Charlene's arrival, here.

Darren Stark Departs
April 8th

On this day... in 1998, Neighbours said goodbye to one of its bad boys made good when Darren made his final appearance. He's returned twice since, but back then it looked like being the end for Libby and Darren's relationship as he - having already left Erinsborough days earlier - bumped into Libby as she was making her way to visit Grampa Tom. After helping her to get her scooter fixed, they said a final goodbye, shared a final kiss and went their separate ways... it would be another six years before they were reunited - Libby had been widowed and become a mother, while Darren was running his own business, but the old spark was still there and she ended up leaving Ramsay Street to be with him. Another three years then passed, and it seems that Darren's cheating ways are once again threatening the couple's happiness...

Also on this day, death stalked Ramsay Street when the Martins' beloved pet pooch Holly died after being poisoned. You can revisit both events here.

Myra De Groot Passes Away
April 4th

On this day... in 1988, Neighbours actress Myra De Groot lost her battle with cancer. Following a long stage and television career, Myra had joined the Neighbours cast from its fifth week playing meddling mum Eileen Clarke. Despite her status as a recurring cast member, Myra still appeared often and managed to steal every scene she appeared in as Eileen - just one of her facial expressions in the background could turn a mundane moment into something memorable.

Today, we take a fond look back at Myra - and Eileen - with our Myra De Groot tribute.

Janae and Bree's Arrival
April 4th

On this day... in 2005, two more members of the ever-expanding Timmins family made their debut, when young Janae and Bree turned up in Erinsborough. From the beginning it was clear what these two girls were made of; as the girls became stranded on the outskirts of town, Janae tried to flirt her way into a lift, while wily Bree pretended to cry, and quickly got them a ride, lying to the driver that they needed to get to Erinsborough, where their siamese twins were being separated. They then joined mum Janelle and (non-siamese) brothers Dylan and Scott at 26 Ramsay Street. A couple of years later, with the boys gone, Janelle and Bree moved up north, leaving Janae - now all-grown-up, divorced and running her own garage - to keep the Timmins flag flying on Ramsay Street.

Revisit Janae and Bree's arrival with our detailed episode summary.

Daphne's Death
March 25th

On this day... in 1988, the residents of Ramsay Street lost one of their own, as Daphne Clarke became the first regular character to be killed off. Elaine Smith had actually made her official departure the previous year, as Daphne went off, with baby son Jamie, to care for her dying father, but that was never going to be a long-term solution to the problem of losing one half of popular couple Des and Daph. So, a few months later, as she returned from her father's funeral, Daphne was involved in a car accident which left her in a coma. Elaine returned to film the tragic conclusion to Daphne's story, as her beloved Des heard her whisper the words 'I love you too Clarkey' before slipping away. In the 20 years since, few characters have come close to achieving the wonderful mix of personality traits that made up agony aunt, mother, lover and coffee shop owner, Daphne.

Look back at Daphne's tragic demise with our detailed episode summary.

Neighbours Is 23!
March 18th

On this day... in 1985, everyone's favourite Aussie soap was born. 23 years later, and Neighbours is still going strong. Plenty has changed, but a lot remains the same - the drama is still centred around the same six houses in suburban cul-de-sac Ramsay Street, and Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) is still around from that very first episode. 23 years of ups and downs have included 3 bouts of amnesia, hundreds of long-lost relatives and more comas than you can shake a stick at, but at the heart of it all, there has always been a warmth and sense of humour that makes Neighbours special, and we hope to see it continue for another 23 years. Happy birthday Neighbours!

Revisit that very first episode with our detailed episode summary.

Karl's Heart Attack
March 16th

On this day... in 2005, Karl Kennedy's dramatic love life came to a shocking conclusion when he collapsed on a country road, having suffered a heart attack. Finding himself increasingly drawn to ex-wife Susan, much to the jealousy of current girlfriend Izzy, Karl decided to escape his problems with a drive out in the middle of nowhere, only to find himself with a flat tyre. As the pressure built, he collapsed in pain as he tried to change the tyre, and called Susan to apologise and say his goodbyes, then Izzy, who ignored his call, before finally contacting the paramedics. Though his heart stopped briefly (which the Neighbours publicists sneakily trailed as him 'dying from a heart attack'), he was revived, though sadly his dying relationship with Izzy was beyond help and, within a few months, it was over for good.

Revisit Karl's brush with death with our detailed episode summary.

Dorothy Burke's Arrival
March 7th

On this day... in 1990, new Erinsborough High principal Dorothy Burke made her debut. Originally written to be the grandmother of character Lochy, actress Maggie Dence made it clear that she wasn't quite old enough for such a role, and so the part was changed into Lochy's aunt. Dorothy would go on to spend three years in Erinsborough, using her firm but fair hand to guide many of Ramsay Street's teens, and taking several, including her nephew Ryan McLachlan, as well as Phoebe Bright and Toby Mangel, into her home. She also had to defend her reputation when her jailbird ex-husband Colin turned up, beat breast cancer and managed to save Erinsborough High from closure.

Take another look at Dorothy's first episode with our detailed episode summary.

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