SHOCK EXIT: The heartbreaking reason Tim Robards has quit Neighbours

The former Bachelor is set to become a first-time father later this year with the woman he chose during the series.

By Bella Brennan
They've been forced to spend the majority of her pregnancy apart due to strict border restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Tim Robards, who has spent 2020 filming Neighbours in Melbourne, and his pregnant wife Anna Heinrich, who is based in Sydney, are finally counting down to being reunited with Network 10 announcing Tim Robards is bowing out of the show all together.
In a unique move, instead of Tim's character billionaire businessman Pierce Greyson being written out of the show, lookalike actor Don Hany will be taking over the role.
"For the past two years, Tim Robards has played billionaire businessman Pierce Greyson on Neighbours and was scheduled to finish filming with the show in Melbourne next month. But due to COVID-19 regulations and travel restrictions, Tim has wrapped early to return to Sydney to be with his wife, Anna Heinrich, as they prepare for the exciting arrival of their first child," a statement from Channel 10 explained on Thursday morning.
"So while Tim gets ready to be a dad, what's planned for the fictional, heart-throb Pierce Greyson, you might ask? Never fear, Don Hany is here! Celebrated for his roles in Offspring, White Collar Blue and East West 101, Don will step into the expensive shoes of Pierce Greyson to film the character's final scenes over the coming weeks," it concluded, confirming Pierce's time on the show is indeed coming to an end, but will be carried out by Don.
Seeing double: Tim's character Pierce Greyson is being taken over by lookalike actor Don Hany. (Image: Channel 10)
Tim's final episode on the long-running soapie will air on Monday, 19 October, and Don Hany will take over the role of Pierce from Friday, 23 October, at 6.30pm on 10 Peach.
"I would like to thank the amazing cast, crew, Fremantle and Network 10 for the incredible opportunity to play Pierce Greyson. I have absolutely loved my time on the show and will miss it immensely," the soon to-be dad said in a statement.
"I made the gut wrenching decision to depart Neighbours early as my responsibilities as a husband and father have to take precedence. If I've learnt anything in this pandemic it's that the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first."
Meanwhile Neighbours' Executive Producer, Jason Herbison said: "With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit movement and with the risk of Tim potentially not being able to travel, we all felt that in these astonishing times, Tim should return home to Sydney to be with his wife Anna ahead of the impending birth of their first child."
"We thank Tim for his passion for Neighbours and wish him and Anna every happiness as they embark on parenthood."
"I'm thrilled to have been invited to be part of a show that is part of Australian television history. I've never done the show before, so it's all new and I'm so happy to be here," Don said of taking over the reigns of Pierce. (Image: Channel 10)
It's not the first time a soap has replaced a popular character with a new actor.
In 2005 following Bec Hewitt's departure from Home And Away, her character Hayley Smith was replaced by actress Ella Scott Lynch.
The 37-year-old is due to welcome a daughter with wife Anna Heinrich later this year.
Tim and Anna announced they were expecting a little girl in June. (Image: @annaheinrich1/Instagram)

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