When you've been around Summer Bay as long as Ray Meagher has, you get to see some eye-opening things.
There have been gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and, of course, plenty of beachside dramas.
But for Ray, the highlight of his 30 years (so far!) working on Home And Away has been the talented folk he's been fortunate enough to work with.
"So many wonderful young people have come through that show that I'm proud of," the 73-year-old tells TV WEEK. "Some are still there."
Here, Ray, who plays Alf Stewart, reflects on some of the colleagues he's enjoyed spending time with over the decades…
Ray has always had a soft spot for fellow original cast member Kate Ritchie, who played Summer Bay sweetheart Sally Fletcher from 1988 to 2008.
"She's a delightful kid, for a start," Ray says. "Well, she's not a kid anymore."
Kate briefly returned to H&A in 2013 for the show's 25th anniversary. These days, she's a radio presenter on Nova.
But back when H&A first started, Ray recalls Kate was "a little natural".
"She was so polite and was such a nice kid," he smiles. "Then, when somebody called 'Action!' she just jumped into character.
"It was fantastic to watch her. And to see her grow up from [the age of] eight to 28, by time she left [the show], was terrific."
Along with Kate, Ray has worked with several standout women on the show.
He describes Ada Nicodemou, who plays Leah, as a "champion".
Ray also speaks highly of co-stars Emily Symons (Marilyn) and Georgie Parker (Roo), as well as the actress who originally played Roo, Justine Clarke.
"You shouldn't mention names, because you're going to leave out somebody you shouldn't," Ray says. "But so many people who have worked on the show are fantastic."
In the early days, many of Ray's scenes were with Judy Nunn, who played Alf's wife Ailsa, and Norman Coburn, who portrayed school principal Donald "Flathead" Fisher.
Ray says he's remained friends with both actors.
"I've been down to Tasmania to catch up with Norman not that long ago," Ray reveals. "But I'm long overdue for another visit."
Ray says he's also ready for another catch-up with Judy.
"But it takes a little while to recover from a lunch with Judy," he laughs.
Ray also has fond memories of working with Stephen Peacocke, who played River Boys leader Darryl "Brax" Braxton.
"He did such an amazing job on the show, and he's such a down-to-earth bloke," Ray enthuses.
Perhaps controversially, Ray believes the River Boys had a bit too much screen time.
"I thought the River Boys' domination of storylines got a little out of whack," Ray says. "You had 80 per cent of screen time for three characters.
"But having said that, Steve and Lincoln [Younes] were putting in really good performances."
It's tempting to think of Ray as something of a father figure for the younger actors. But Ray shakes his head.
"I don't see myself as that," he insists. "What I try to be is as approachable as possible without telling people how to do it."
But Ray hopes his work ethic might rub off on others.
"In 30 years, I've never been late for work once," he says. "And never had a sick day."
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