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Neighbours' Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne celebrate 25 years together as Karl and Susan Kennedy

''Oh, I’m so sick of her!''

By Maddison Hockey
Love, in particular marriage, is never easy. And if there's one TV couple who knows that well, it's Karl and Susan Kennedy of Neighbours.
While Alan Fletcher, 62, and Jackie Woodburne, 63, have stayed strong on and off screen, both say the way storylines weave in and out of the show has them at a loss for an exact number of years their characters have been together.
But when it comes to their own anniversary – 25 years playing husband and wife – it's impossible to forget.
Twenty-five years working together, what a milestone!
Alan: Oh I'm so sick of her!
Jackie: Help me, I just can't get away from him!
A: All joking aside, it's really marvellous. It's just a real honour to be part of television history in Australia.
J: 25 years is an incredibly long time but it feels like yesterday! Time has gone so quickly and we've seen so many people come and gone. It's been wonderful.
Cheers to an incredible milestone.
What's been your favourite storyline to film together?
J: I think the Karl/Izzy/Susan love triangle that had everything but I think we both enjoy the little moments where we just get to muck around and play the comedy.
A: I think my favourite scene I filmed with Jackie was when she swept all the food off the dining room table so we could have intimacy.
J: And it was breakfast time! I remember an entire box of cornflakes flying through the air. It was great fun.
What's the biggest hurdle Karl and Susan have faced?
A: Well! [laughs]
J: Obviously his betrayals! TWICE that I know of. When we got the first storyline about the Sarah affair we wondered how is the couple ever going to come back from that? But of course, like life, people do come back from these things. And then there was Izzy…
A: I have to jump in here, as always Susan and Jackie have things completely wrong. Karl had already left Susan at that point.
J: Oh, here we go…
A: We were on a break!
Break or no break, they've stayed together, what is the secret to their success?
J: I think there are people, or someone, in your life and you just get them and they get you and it's a profound connection – it's a warts and all thing.
A: They both make mistakes, too. Karl's made mistakes, Susan's made mistakes, but they look at each other and say, 'I can't not love you'. So they pick and up and get on with it.
Jackie and Alan celebrate 25 years!
What has it been like working together all this time?
A: I mean, I've never been to her house.
J: I'm not telling you where I live, are you insane?
A: In seriousness, we think the same way, we laugh at the same things…
J: …And we have no ego with each other, we work well and have shorthand.
Did you celebrate the occasion together?
A: Jackie gave me a beautiful gift on the actual day we celebrated 25 years of work. And of course, my present wasn't organised by that time.
J: He only had 25 years to shop! But let's not dwell on it.
A: Karl and Susan have been married a lot longer than 25 years, of course. Time is a shifting thing on Neighbours. But we estimate they've been together over 30 years.
J: It's been a very long time.
Neighbours airs weeknights, 6.30pm, on 10 Peach.

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