Twenty-seven years ago, Debra Lawrance took on the role of Pippa Fletcher in Home And Away – a character she happily portrayed for eight years.
But despite having made sporadic returns in the years since she left the show, the TV WEEK Logie-winning actress says she’s unlikely to make a trip to her former TV home in the future.
“It’s a different show from when I was on,” Debra, 60, explains.
“It has moved a bit away from the fostering thing. We didn’t have a lot of drugs and alcohol and riots. It was a more nostalgic time and a lovely, gooey show.”
Debra is currently back on our screens as a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen Australia.
She says she doesn’t watch Home And Away often, but she does keep in touch with the actors who played Pippa’s foster children during her time on the series.
Debra and her husband, Dennis Coard (who played Pippa’s husband Michael), are still close to Kate Ritchie, who starred as Sally Fletcher for 20 years.
“We’re always very proud of everything Kate does,” Debra enthuses. “She’s an amazing actress and mother.”
When Isla Fisher, who played Shannon Reed, was in Australia last year, Debra and Dennis spent a “joyful” evening with the actress and her husband, Hollywood star Sacha Baron Cohen.
“It was like no time had gone past at all,” Debra says, adding she can’t help but feel a sense of pride now that Kate and Isla have children of their own.
“There’s a little part of me that feels like a grandmother,” Debra laughs.
“You feel that same sense of pride as you would if you were their own mum.”