Raised on Ramsay St: Neighbours at 30

I remember 27 November 1998 like it was yesterday. As torrential rain ripped through outer Erinsborough, Anne and Billy had sex for the first time, Joel got pinned under Pinhead’s vintage “ute” the Beast in a rapidly rising river, and Dr Karl tried to save the day with a cut-in-half water bottle and a length of black-plastic tubing.

Episode 3,220 of Neighbours – that year’s season finale – had our entire family glued to the screen. As Joel began to slip beneath the water and Karl cried out, “Oh God, please don’t let this happen”, just before the end credits rolled, I sprang from my seat and yelled: “WHAT?” We now had to endure the unbearably long summer holidays before finding out if Joel had met his watery end. (Spoiler alert: he was fine).

Flash forward to October 2014, and it’s an altogether sunnier day in Australia’s favourite fictional suburb. Cast and crew are midway through the show’s 30th anniversary filming schedule, and I am standing in Ramsay…


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