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Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson, 'Neighbours')

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Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson, 'Neighbours')
Paul Robinson has had something of a rollercoaster year after losing his memory, his shares in Lassiters and girlfriend Rebecca. Still, landing the role as editor of Erinsborough News should keep him occupied for at least two weeks... With filming winding down for the Christmas break and Stefan Dennis preparing his beach bag to spend the festive season by the sea, we gave the actor a ring to see how life is for the ever-popular Paul Robinson.

The year's big storyline for Paul was his memory loss. Is he a changed man?
"Yes he is, he's changed back to where he was 18 odd years ago. What he has become is the same Paul he was back then when he was a very ambitious young entrepreneur with Lassiters and Robinson Corporation. But the difference now is that he is older and wiser and therefore a lot more shrewd and a lot more careful. Post brain tumour, he is no longer evil, more ruthless than evil. Ruthless with a conscience and emotion."

There are occasional hints that he may return to his old ways. Is that fair to say?
"Oh yeah! I like to keep that boiling under the surface so that the audience will always think 'what is he up to next?'. You never quite know if he will burst out into Mr. Evil or stay as the character he is at the moment. Alan Fletcher (Karl) keeps it alive as well, by always looking out the corner of his eye and thinking 'I just don't trust you!'"

He's not been left with many allies on the street. Who would stand by him?
"Elle would definitely be the one to stand by him. Not Rebecca at the moment as they are not together. But definitely Elle. As much as all the terrible things they have done to each other, they are blood, so she is the one who cares most in the world about him. Otherwise, someone left of centre, like Toadie or Harold if he was still there, just because of the history."

Even after trying to strangle him?
"That was a moment of insanity on Harold's side - Paul was indirectly responsible for killing his family. If Harold had strangled Paul and killed him, he would have gotten off a murder rap because he could plead insanity."

What are the chances of Paul and Rebecca getting back together?
"Right at the moment, as we speak, absolutely zilcho! None at all, b*gger all! But that doesn't mean that next week they wont be together. I'm not allowed to divulge too much, but I have been in constant contact with the writers recently about the storyline. Its an ongoing thing and its going to take a lot of little windy turns along the road."

How might their relationship develop?
"I want to see Paul and Rebecca be like Ange and Dirty Den. I think Rebecca is capable of that. She plays a fiery character and is a very strong. Paul needs somebody who is absolutely there for him and adores him, but will take no s**t from him and stand up and fight as hard as she does."

Paul has had quite a history with the women, hasn't he?
"When he was Mr. Evil, the women were just toys. The Lynne story was quite sincere, but he had the good sense on the day of the wedding to tell her that he was no good. So he obviously cared about Lynne, but then she came back and haunted him."

Which relationship was the most fiery?
"The Paul and Izzy relationship was fantastic, it was very popular. Izzy was an interesting character because she was very emotional and insecure. That's what drove her evil ways. She had a bit of a soulmate in Paul, but it couldn't work in the end because they would just destroy each other."

Do you get the same sort of attention from the ladies as Paul in real life?
"Yes and no, as I've got older it has died down a bit. It was manic 15 years ago - a lot of female adulation happening there. These days its a bit more gentle, probably as I attract the 30-somethings now who are a little cooler and more sedate. Saying that, I am doing music gigs again and I was at a show the other night and the place was filled with 18 to 25-year-olds screaming. I thought that's not so bad. If I was single, man oh man!!"

There are rumours going round you may be leaving. How true are these?
"I don't have any plans to leave in the foreseeable future. I'm very happy working on the show and I know it sounds clichéd, but Paul really is a multi-dimensional character to play and I have so much fun with him. I enjoy the fact I have a full-time job but would like to try other things alongside Neighbours. I'd love to be able to a film or another show every year to satisfy my thirst as an actor."

Neighbours airs weekdays on Five at 5.30pm and is repeated on Fiver at 7pm Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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