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Exclusive: 'Neighbours' character teasers from exec Susan Bower

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Susan Bower
Neighbours' executive producer Susan Bower recently had a chat with Digital Spy about her future plans for the soap in a very revealing interview.

For chat about the show's recent performance, a new family joining Ramsay Street, Chris's new love interest and more, make sure to read the first part of the Q&A.

Here, though, Soap Scoop asks Susan for teasers on some of Ramsay Street's residents...

The character of Jade has received a really positive response. Can you tease any future developments for her?
"She is going to continue to be a naughty girl and the audience will see she has very strong feelings for one of the characters and she fights them. She has a very dark secret from her past and she has put up a brick wall to protect herself. She loves and adores her sister and nephew, and from that we see she is not a cold fish - she isn't a tomboy, she just isn't going to go there, she wants to protect herself."

The character of Kyle Canning has also proved popular. Now that he's a regular, can you let us know anything about what's in store for him?
"Yes, Kyle is an example of a character we started as a guest and we developed, and could see how much the audience liked him. Plus we had time to really define the character. We have lots in store for Kyle. We see him as our resident bogan. He is a bloke with double standards - he goes out and shags indiscriminately, but the girl he wants to marry has to be an angel and therefore we are going to challenge that.

"He is going to have stories about his trade, the share house with Jade and various others, and we are going to introduce members of his family. He is also involved with a huge story about a property development in Erinsborough that challenges the community as a whole and will pit neighbour against neighbour, and it is going to have neighbours band together."

Karl and Susan Kennedy from 'Neighbours'
The upcoming problems for Susan and Karl sound like a really big storyline. As we've seen them run into problems quite a few times now, is it important to set this storyline apart from previous marital strife for the pair of them?
"This is what I see as normal married life. People have their ups and downs. We have started a story here in Australia where Susan befriends a dying man, Jim Dolan, which really goes to her urges to look after people. Her children have grown up and gone away, but she still needs to be needed and to look after people. They both realise at this stage of their lives they are moving in different directions and have different needs. They are in for a very rough ride and hopefully we will handle it very maturely. I can assure fans they will not leave the show and we hope and pray they will come back together."

Things have seemed a bit quiet for Lucas recently. Is there any good stuff on the horizon for him?
"Just wait, we have a rollercoaster for him. You're going to see in England soon some deeply moving stories which cause life changes for Lucas but he remains our gorgeous, blue-collar larrikin."

Valentina Novakovic as Natasha Williams
Would you ever explore Michael and Natasha's pasts? We've heard very little about Michael's wife, who's supposed to be dead. Could she make a shock arrival?
"Hold on, we have just begun filming a fantastic story. It is the beginning of Tash wanting to find out more about her dead mother, and we will find out the secret in three parts which will change their lives forever."

Will Kate be at a loose end without Mark or do you still have some big plans for her?
"Yes, hold on again - are you sure you don't have a spy in the writing department? Kate is going through some very interesting changes in her life and she has three stories coming up and they are small, medium and hold on to your hats!"

Would you ever bring in a new character over the age of 60 - perhaps a new patriarch or matriarch for the show to really balance out the age groups?
"You do have a spy! Yes, we definitely would. We are there for you and know where you're coming from. We have a lot of things we need to move through and we can't make sudden changes. And we know after 25 years and all the research we've done that fans don't like sudden changes."

Finally, are there any other teasers you can give us?
"Our Christmas cliffy which is in the middle of your winter has got a lot of things happening. We don't have car crashes, earthquakes or other disasters, but a lot of lives are changed in that particular block of episodes which will have major ramifications which will play out in our new year.

"And can I just finish by saying, the loyalty and respect the UK fans continue to have toward Neighbours is really humbling not only to me but also the entire cast. They are all aware how much the show is revered in England and never lose sight of it. Keep watching, I can promise some wonderful stories are coming up."

Read more of Digital Spy's exclusive Producer Season interviews:-
> Myar Craig-Brown: Holby City's series producer
> Peter Lloyd: Doctors' series producer
> Oliver Kent: Casualty's series producer
> Cameron Welsh: Home and Away's series producer
> Bryan Kirkwood: EastEnders' executive producer

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