EXCLUSIVE: Sophie Dillman & Patrick O’Connor reveal how they keep their spark alive away from the Home & Away set

''Ziggy and Dean are very different to Pat and Sophie!''
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Their on-screen relationship may be floundering, but in real life, Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor have never been stronger.

In fact, 2020 has given the couple more time to themselves, away from the Home And Away set, to reflect on what’s most important – and throw in a few romantic date nights too!

“This job can be fairly hectic in terms of the schedule, so taking time off together has been great to reset,” Patrick, 28, tells TV WEEK. “We were able to see our families in Queensland before the lockdown began, which was great.”

The couple have made the most of lockdown.

(Phillip Castleton)

Sophie, 27, says she’s eager to get home to see the family’s newest addition: a puppy named Polly.

“Oh, he’s so cute!” she says. “It’s been really hard not to be able to see my family, but I count my blessings. A lot of people are in far worse positions and haven’t been able to work.”

“Christmas is so special to me; it’s a time to reconnect, ground yourself and relax. Christmas will be full of celebrations, lots of food and looking back on the year.”

The couple, who were both born in Queensland, now live together in Sydney and have worked closely on set for years.

Patrick says working with his partner is “a natural fit for them,” but leaving work behind can be twice as hard if they don’t remain conscious of switching off each day. Sophie adds that having date nights help.

“Our home is our sanctuary and I love our apartment, so after a long day it’s a good space to be,” she says. “We talk about work if we need to and we always support each other, but we’d much prefer a date night!”

Working with Sophie on set is a “a natural fit”, Patrick says.

(Phillip Castleton)

When we ask what date night looks like, the pair remain in sync.

“A burger can fix anything!” Patrick says with a laugh, as Sophie chimes in, “It’s true – sometimes an Uber Eats meal is exactly what you need. It’s a big thing in our house.”

On screen, their characters Dean and Ziggy look to be moving on from each other – much to the dismay of heartbroken fans. But who knows what 2021 may hold…

“Dean has been put through the ringer this year!” Patrick says with a laugh. “But hopefully, fans can see why things have ended up where they are between them.”

Sophie adds, “It’s Home And Away, there’s never a quiet moment!”

Things look to be over between Ziggy & Dean.

(Channel Seven)

While fans hope to see them reunite, only time will tell…

“We did get a bit of a backlash from fans when we broke up, but that means we did a really good job in conveying the storyline,” Sophie explains. “It’s been a good conversation-starter about right versus wrong, and heart versus head.

“However, Ziggy and Dean are very different to Pat and Sophie!”

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