With the return of Home and Away on Channel 7 and 7plus, two of the show’s most beloved characters are toasting not only another year in Summer Bay, but also their 22-year friendship.
Irene and Leah, played by Lynne McGranger and Ada Nicodemou, are fan favourites, and the two said their off-screen connection is as strong as ever.
“It’s incredible; I’ve been doing the show for 20 years or so, we share a dressing room, we travel together, and we’re still not sick of each other.”
“I’m bringing her out for brunch after this (interview),” Nicodemou explained.
“I’ll probably get a cornflake for my birthday brunch… she’s a little tight,” McGranger joked.
McGranger, who had already been on the show for five years, was on a promotional trip in the UK with then-newcomer Nicodemou when the two first met.
McGranger continued, “We were staying in a hotel.”
Nicodemou continued, “The hottest hotel in London, the air conditioner didn’t function.”
“It was one of those scorching English summers,” McGranger said, “and your room wasn’t ready, or they didn’t have one for you.”
“That’s correct,” Nicodemou agreed.
“I think that’s probably where we kind of gelled and became pals,” McGranger said. “You ended up sort of dumping all your stuff in the room that I was in, there was maybe 10 of us all in one room, and I think that’s probably where we kind of gelled and became mates.”
Larry Emdur of the Morning Show asked Nicodemou if she was looking forward to a quieter year for her character Leah, who had recently dealt with kidnappings and the death of her husband.
“I despise that stuff; all I want to do is serve meals in the diner,” she joked.
“I suppose I’ve been kidnapped a few times too many times, so I’m not in the season cliffhanger; they’ve given me a break, which is nice.”
“I prefer the two-handed, simple drama stuff over jumping off cliffs and that sort of thing,” Nicodemou said. “Others appreciate it and they do it extremely well.”
McGranger then discussed whether or not her character Irene will find love in the future season.
“She might, because I’m a little like Ada.” I just like to deal with this problem and that, pour someone a cup of tea, and have a talk with Leah in the kitchen, and that’s all I want to do.
“I’ve always found the whole romantic stuff a little unsettling. “It’s not only because I’m 153 now,” McGranger explained.
“Even when I was 80, I found it rather unsettling… this may come as a shock, but I’ve never played the romantic lead, I’ve always played the village idiot or the town bike.”
“I’m afraid that would make me really nervous.” “I did it with a guy who was old enough to be my son a few years ago, and I was so nervous about it, it still creeps me out,” she said.