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'Neighbours' Bob Morley talks Aidan, Chris romance plot: Interview

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Bob Morley (Aidan Foster, Neighbours)

© Channel 5

Neighbours newcomer Aidan Foster comes to the forefront of the soap on UK screens in the coming days as his romance storyline with Chris Pappas begins.

Aidan is clearly interested in Chris (James Mason) after meeting him at the hospital, but when he tries to score a date, he's rejected by the mechanic - who doesn't want to upset his father by embarking on a gay relationship.

Despite protestations from those close to him, Chris is determined that he's done the right thing - but when Aidan starts to take an interest in another guy, a jealous Chris wonders whether he's missed his chance...

Former Home and Away star Bob Morley, who plays Aidan, recently chatted to Digital Spy about the storyline.

What can we expect from the character of Aidan?
"Aidan is confident and comfortable with his sexuality, who he is, and where he's going. He is a bit older than Chris and has been openly gay for quite a while, and unlike Chris, his family were very accepting. He's had a lot of romances, so he is definitely more experienced than Chris."

We first met Aidan a while ago, but it's taken a few months for his storyline to begin. Did you like the way they eased you in?
"Yeah, the slow introduction worked really well for the character and also for me. Aidan comes into the street incrementally and he isn't defined by his sexuality."

We're about to see Aidan start taking an interest in Chris. How does Aidan feel about him?
"I think that Aidan is endeared by Chris because of the time he spent in hospital caring for him. He saw a side of Chris that he is really fond of, and he thinks Chris is sweet and also naïve to the world in terms of being gay."

Aidan asks Chris out.
Lucas starts trying to play matchmaker between Aidan and Chris, doesn't he?
"Yeah, there are some funny scenes where Lucas is trying find out whether Aidan is gay or straight. It was a lot of fun playing around in those scenes and Scott Major is a funny guy naturally. The three of us bounced around ideas and it's nice to see the lighter side of what is considered a pretty intense subject."

How does Aidan feel when he's turned down by Chris?
"For Aidan it's a knock back, but it doesn't hurt too much. He takes it in his stride and like he says, 'You don't know if you don't ask'. Aidan is the kind of person who's very much like that - he'll seize the day, and if it works, great. If not, move on and don't dwell on it."

The two of them end up meeting again and play some volleyball. What's the atmosphere like?
"In that instance coming from Aidan's perspective it could be awkward since Chris has already rejected him, but Aidan is a little bit older and wiser. He is just having fun, while for Chris, it means something else."

Does Aidan realise how hurt Chris is when he starts taking an interest in another guy?
"I think Aidan is slightly aware, but he has already been rejected by Chris, so has no real reason to think he would be hurt by him doing this."

We know this is leading up to a relationship story for Chris and Aidan. How long does it take for them to get to that point?
"It certainly picks up pace from now, until a major turning point in the relationship…"

Chris rejects Aidan, but it's clear that he's denying his true feelings.
How have you found working with James Mason?
"James is a great guy - he's lots of fun to work with. He is really enthusiastic and cares a lot about his character, and in turn makes me care about our characters' relationship."

Are there any restrictions when it comes to portraying a gay romance on Neighbours?
"The writers and producers are treating Aidan and Chris's relationship as they would any other relationship in the boundaries of the G-rating."

We know that you're on a six-month guest contract. Would you be interested in sticking around for longer?
"Yeah, I would be quite happy to stay around, but the storyline would have to move beyond their sexuality for viewers to invest in them. There has to be more to Aidan and Chris than just being the gay couple."

How are you finding your time at Neighbours in general?
"It's been great. Everyone is very accommodating and I found it very easy to fit into the rhythm of the show."

Many fans will know you from Home and Away. How do the two shows compare?
"The filming pace is very similar, so having done Home and Away has certainly helped. The other thing is they are filmed in different cities - Home and Away in Sydney and Neighbours in Melbourne. As a Melbourne boy, I feel a lot more at home and relaxed. I can finish work and go home to my girlfriend, and catch up with my family."

> Read more Neighbours spoilers and news

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 in the UK and weekdays at 6.30pm on Eleven in Australia. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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