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Soaps Interview

Exclusive: 'Home and Away' producer Lucy Addario talks storylines, future plans

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Home and Away logo

© Channel 5

Home and Away fans have seen a mix of romance and high drama in recent months, as Summer Bay's love twists and triangles have been set alongside the darker side of life with Sasha's domestic abuse story and the eventful lives of the River Boys.

As the show returns to UK screens on September 3, some huge episodes lie ahead in the build-up to the much-hyped event week which recently aired in Australia.

To hear more about future plans for the long-running soap, Digital Spy recently chatted to Home and Away's series producer Lucy Addario. Read on to find out what she had to say!

You've been in charge of Home and Away since the beginning of the year. Can we start by asking how it's all going so far?
"I'm loving the new role. I feel very privileged to be supported by such a fantastic and hard-working cast and crew."

We know you were a part of the team for a while before taking on the top job, but once you started in the new role, was there anything about Home and Away you felt needed to be changed or improved?
"No, as Home and Away is an incredibly successful show that has its own identity. My plan is to continue to produce a show that is telling stories our ever-evolving audience can connect with."

What can you tell us about your overall vision for Home and Away? Is there anything in particular that you'd like viewers to notice as your episodes continue coming through?
"My vision for the show is to continue a balance of light and shade within our stories. From family fun to romance and heartache, from drama to action and adventure, and finally - at the heart of the show - the community spirit of Summer Bay. We really want the audience to resonate with our characters and the various journeys we take them on."

Is there a single episode we've seen this year which really encapsulates what you want to do with the show?
"There are too many to pick from. I couldn't pick out a single episode. I guess the most memorable episodes would be a block coming up in the UK that screened post the Olympics here in Australia - so much happened in that week! We had some incredible stories, an amazing stunt and many unforgettable performances."

The 25th anniversary of Home and Away is now rapidly approaching. Can you give us any early hints on how you're planning to mark this milestone?
"This is such a great achievement, and Home and Away will always nod to its rich history of storytelling and characters. In 25 years of the show we have seen the return of many much-loved characters, and we are all working towards a bright new future for the show without disconnecting with our past."

We've been flooded with reader questions regarding the Home and Away opening titles, as it seems that viewers are missing them! Would you ever bring back a full-length title sequence? Or even produce one just for the UK/overseas market even if one isn't needed for Network Seven?
"Yes, we have been asked the same in Australia, but I want to ensure we deliver as much drama to the viewers as possible - every extra minute counts!"

Brax realises his Dad hasn't changed at all.

© Channel 5

Lincoln Younes and Andy McPhee as Casey Braxton and Danny Braxton in Home and Away

© Channel 5



The River Boys have strong fanbases, but at the same time, we've heard from quite a few long-term fans who feel they've dominated storylines at the expense of other characters. Do you think there's any truth in this, and is it something you'd address?
"The River Boys - like every new family that enters the Bay - have given the scriptwriters many avenues to explore, but many of their stories have been based on interactions with established characters in Summer Bay and their integration into the community which continues to ruffle feathers. I think the River Boys have been so successful as they provide a contrast to the light that is Summer Bay."

On a similar note, some fans are keen to see more in the way of consequences or a comeuppance for the Braxtons when they indulge in criminal behaviour. Is this something you'd take on board?
"The River Boys aren't invincible, and we have seen Brax pay the ultimate price in losing Charlie. There are some tough choices ahead for the Braxton family and we will see there will be consequences to their actions."

Some fans have speculated over a possible arrival of a female Braxton sister. Obviously we have the mother, but would you ever add another female Braxton into the mix?
"Never say never!"

As some fan favourites have left the show, would you ever consider promoting Cornelia Frances (Morag) to a regular cast member?
"Cornelia is a much-loved part of the Home and Away family, and has been for many years as a long-running guest. Cornelia will always be connected to the Bay through her family and history with the other characters. We will definitely see Cornelia in Summer Bay again."

Are there any other returnees on the way, or characters on your wishlist who you'd really love to bring back? Some of our readers mentioned they'd love to see Sally back, for example…
"I was a huge Sally fan and would love for her to return one day. Vinnie is another much-loved character, and it would be so wonderful to see Leah and Vinnie reunited. Anything is possible in Summer Bay - is he really dead?"

Liam proposes to Bianca

© Channel 5

Bianca and Liam have things to discuss.

© Channel 5



Everything seemed to go downhill rather rapidly for Liam and Bianca after they got married! Would you rule out a future reunion for those two, or are you concentrating on Heath and Bianca?
"Liam and Bianca's relationship has certainly been tested over the last six months. The viewers can look forward to Heath and Bianca coming to terms with parenthood and navigating what that means for both of them. Can Heath be the father that Bianca wants for Rocco? We will have to wait and see."

We know that Romeo will be trying to win back Indi in the coming weeks. What are his chances? Can you see any hope of a happy ending for the pair?
"Romeo and Indi married very young, and sadly realised that you need more than love to make a marriage work. Liam will be present as an obstacle for Romeo, as he and Indi lean on each other and question whether there is more than just a friendship there.

"Ultimately, Romeo and Indi will always have love for each other, but Romeo may need to face letting Indi go."

With the happy news of Ada Nicodemou's pregnancy, can you give us any gossip on when Leah will depart screens and what her exit storyline is likely to be?
"I can't give you any hints on that, but Leah is a very important part of Summer Bay so it's going to be something huge that will impact the Bay for months to come…"

For a while, there were rumours that Ada's pregnancy would be written into the show. Was this in the pipeline at one stage, or were the rumours false?
"No, never! Leah went through so much with her miscarriage with Miles last year and ended their relationship because she didn't want children. Therefore we didn't feel a pregnancy story would be truthful to her character."

Emily Symons as Marilyn Chambers

© Channel 5

Emily Symons as Marilyn Chambers

Alf Stewart from Home and Away

© Channel 5



Marilyn has recently played roles in other peoples' stories but hasn't had as much material in her own right. Are there any stories on the way for her?
"Marilyn's inherent nature is to see the good in everyone and that is a big part of why we love her. The character of Marilyn lights up the screen as a breath of fresh air, bringing so much light and humour to Summer Bay and will continue to do so.

"Marilyn believes everyone, including Danny Braxton, deserves a second chance in life and that is exactly what UK viewers will see her doing in the coming weeks. She will also play a fundamental role in uniting the Braxton family when it matters most."

Summer Bay stalwarts like Alf, Irene and Morag are held in huge affection by long-term viewers. Are there any plans to utilise this by giving them bigger storylines?
"Alf and Irene are part of the fabric of the show, and they will always be involved in many other characters' storylines as well as their own."

Would you ever delve into Roo's past by exploring her life during the long period of time she was away from Summer Bay?
"A blast from Roo's past is just around the corner on UK screens, so stay tuned!"

Can we expect to see more of Roo and Marilyn's friendship, which proved popular with viewers?
"Absolutely, Roo and Marilyn have formed a genuine connection and they are a joy to watch on screen together. The energy they bring to the screen is infectious. It's always a great day on set when Georgie and Emily are in the room together!"

Gina Austin from Home and Away

© Channel 5

John talks to Jett at the beach.

© Channel 5



When we asked for reader questions, a couple of people pointed out that Home and Away's roots always revolved firmly around fostering and the emotional, long-term effects of it, which set it apart from other soaps. Obviously we have Jett on screen now, so can we expect this to be explored a bit more?
"Yes, Home and Away has a great history of young characters coming into the Bay looking for guidance and a parental influence, we can see that on screen at the moment with John, Gina and Jett.

"There are future plans for more foster kids. I would love to see the Summer Bay House return to its roots as a haven for foster children."

Will Jett continue to present big challenges for John and Gina?
"John and Gina's steady bond balances out the often rocky path to love some of the younger characters are dealt, but the future holds the ups and downs that many other real life couples face. Jett presents a real challenge for them and is hopefully someone who will bring them closer together as a family."

Can you tease any future developments for Sasha?
"Demi [Harman] is such a talented actor and has tackled some very big storylines, such as her domestic abuse from Stu when she first arrived in the Bay. We have seen more stability and acceptance for Sasha since she has settled in the farm house with her family, but Sasha is in for some heartbreak ahead…"

Some of our readers who follow the show at Australian pace will know the answer to this one, but can you tease where the Danny storyline is heading on screen in the UK in the coming weeks?
"Danny is a master manipulator and we have watched him play emotional chess with Heath, Brax and Casey since his arrival to Summer Bay. He is a chameleon who can be charming and dangerous at the same time. Casey will try to match wits with his father and it will prove to be the ultimate test…"

Is there any other gossip you'd like to share with us?
"I am very excited about an upcoming storyline that will unwillingly take characters out of the familiar comfort and landscape of Summer Bay. This emotional, action-packed race against time will have long lasting repercussions on all the characters of Summer Bay…"

> Read the latest 'Home and Away' spoilers and news

Home and Away returns to Channel 5 in the UK on Monday, September 3 at 1.15pm and 6pm. The show airs weekdays at 7pm on Network Seven in Australia. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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