Lisa McCune on Blue Heelers and her TV WEEK Logie Awards

'I didn't want her to die'

On September 10, 1993, almost 25 years ago, the debut episode of Blue Heelers aired on Channel Seven across the country.
A young, determined constable named Maggie Doyle had just arrived in the small country town of Mount Thomas for her first day on the job.
It took a while for Maggie's colleagues, including detective PJ Hasham (Martin Sacks), to warm to the idea of a female joining the ranks. But Australia instantly fell in love with Maggie and the actress who portrayed her, Lisa McCune.
"When characters or actors come into your home every single night of the week and you get to know them, it's kind of wonderful," Lisa says of her time on the hit drama.
'I'm very luck to be doing what I love.'
Lisa was only 22 when she landed the role, starring alongside actors such as John Wood and William McInnes. In 1997, after just four years playing the policewoman, she took home her first TV WEEK Gold Logie Award.
"It was a humbling experience," Lisa, 47, recalls. "I'm very lucky to be doing what I love, so I was incredibly proud."
It was the beginning of Lisa's winning streak. Little did she know she would win Gold again the following year, and in the two years after that as well.
"I was in my late 20s at the time and was overwhelmed by it all," Lisa recalls.
"I was kind of fearful when I kept winning. I remember thinking, 'Oh, my gosh – I have so much to live up to now.' You realise you have to keep coming up with the goods."
Lisa wins her first Gold Logie in 1997.
That's exactly what Lisa continued to do until her departure from Mount Thomas in 2006. Devoted fans of the drama were understandably devastated when the much-loved Maggie was shot and killed.
"I felt I didn't want her [Maggie] to die," Lisa says of her emotional final episode. "Many years later, I can understand why they did it [killed off her character]. But at the time, I was sad to see her go, because she was a gorgeous young girl.
"She represented a hope, I guess. And she ticked all the boxes in the right way, in that she was feisty, came from an Irish-Catholic background, with a strong father. I loved those qualities about her – we all love those qualities in characters on television."
Lisa believes there hasn't been an Australian drama quite like Blue Heelers since.
"Blue Heelers was comfortable," Lisa explains. "Even all these years later, I still have people coming up to me to say how much they loved the show. What they probably loved about it was the experience of sitting down as a family and watching. That's a huge part of where television first started."
For more from our interview with Lisa McCune, and for more incredible exclusive stories, pick up a copy of TV WEEK's 60 Years of Logies souvenir edition.

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