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Home and Away

EXCLUSIVE: Home And Away’s Ada Nicodemou and Lynne McGranger open up about their 20-year friendship

''I trust her implicitly and I know that she trusts me.''

By Stephen Downie and Scott Ellis
Ada Nicodemou is trying to pinpoint the moment she and her Home And Away co-star Lynne McGranger went from being simply work pals to besties for life.
It was not long after the then fresh-faced Ada joined the long-running drama in 2000 as Leah Poulos, having just finished up on the short-lived Bondi Beach-set Network Ten series, Breakers.
With H&A going gangbusters in the UK, Ada, Lynne and some of the other cast travelled to London to publicise the show.
A little out of her depth in a foreign land, Ada clung to Lynne like a koala to a gum tree.
"It was the first time I'd gone overseas on my own," Ada, 43, recalls. "I was scared to be in such a big city on my own. She knew England a bit better than I did and she showed me around and we went shopping and went out for dinners.
"At the end of the long days, we'd go to each other's rooms and chat for a bit. That's when we become really good friends."
Lynne and Ada became instant friends. (Getty)
It's a friendship that has lasted close to two decades. Ahead of International Women's Day, Ada says she's always about "building each other up, not tearing each other down".
"We're both very positive, strong women who love other women," she says.
"I really cherish our friendship. She's a beautiful human being."
And they will always have each other's backs, no matter what.
"I trust her implicitly and I know that she trusts me," Lynne, 68, tells TV WEEK.
"I know that I can say something to her and it won't go any further and she's the same – and that's important because, as you can imagine, word can travel like wildfire in any office work situation. But I trust Ada with my life, absolutely."
These two are inseparable. (Phillip Castleton)
As close friends do, they support each other through the thick and thin. In 2006, Ada split from her restaurateur husband Chrys Xipolitas, following nine years of marriage.
She has since found love with partner Adam Rigby.
"Lynne and I have shared each other's many highs and many lows," Ada says.
Adds Lynne, "But it makes it easier to get through them when you have friends that you can trust."
Their friendship only strengthened when Ada moved into the dressing room Lynne shared with Kate Ritchie, when she left the show. Every day, Ada will bring in lunch, and a little more for Lynne, just in case she doesn't have any. It's what friends do, right?
And Lynne has an amazing bond with Johnas, Ada's eight-year-old son she shares with Chrys, who Lynne has watched grow up.
"He calls her Aunty Lynne," Ada says. "She was the first cast member who saw him. She goes to his birthdays and she knows all his hobbies."
Ada and Lyne started a book club together during lockdown. (Instagram)
Throughout last year's hard lockdown, when the show shut down production for nine weeks, Ada and Lynne started a book club together. The two likely spend more time with each other than most couples.
"Oh, absolutely," Lynne, who plays iconic straight-shooter Irene Roberts, agrees. As she says this, there is a loud crash and talking in the background. "Sorry,
"Ada is making a bloody racket and I'm trying to talk on the phone! But the good thing is we can tell each other to pull our heads in and not be offended. We're just good mates and enjoy each other's company."
Says Ada: "We still haven't got sick of each other. We even choose to go away on holidays together."
Ah, yes, holidays. Let's talk about Ada's 40th birthday extravaganza, where she and a few of her girlfriends, including Lynne, lapped it up in Italy. Ada's recollections are that she and Lynne, "basically ate our way through Italy".
"What Lynne and I do really well is we eat a lot," Ada says with a laugh.
"We love going to restaurants and having a glass of vino."

While Lynne had a fabulous time in Italy, there was that incident with a bollard in the middle of the night in Positano…
"Oh God! So, we had just left a restaurant and look, we'd all had a couple of drinks, but what they do in these narrow streets in Italian towns is they have these bollards which are lumps of concrete that in the day hold pot plants to brighten the streets up," Lynne says.
"At night you can't see them, and as I came around the corner, it wasn't well lit and there was no pot plant on top of it and I just smashed into it. And look, I'm clumsy on a good day, but I should have gone to the hospital because it pretty much went right the way down to the bone.
"I was in all sorts! It really took ages to heal. But having said that, Ada is the one that tends to face-plant if we're out walking. On this particular occasion, it was me and I was in a lot of pain."
The wound, Lynne says, took a year to heal and now she has a "whopping great scar" as a reminder of the incident.
Ada is heading back to the dance floor. (Instagram)
Now, Ada is facing one of her biggest challenges in years – taking the stage in this year's Dancing With The Stars, almost 16 years after she took home the mirror ball trophy.
"Before I said yes, we had a family meeting," she says. "I was contemplating not doing it because of the workload. I have a child now. It's hard."
Like the rest of Australia, Lynne will be cheering Ada on. With Lynne clocking up almost 30 years in H&A, and Ada more than 20, it's reasonable to think their rock-solid friendship is one of the reasons they've both lasted so long on the show.
"Do you know what? It's bloody helped!" Lynne says.
Ada would prefer not to think about the possibility that Lynne could one day leave Summer Bay.
"I don't know what I'd do if my bestie left," she says.

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