TV

Neighbours star Annie Jones opens up about an unsettling side of fame

‘Being famous is frightening.’

By TV Week team

She starred in Neighbours at the height of its popularity. But far from relishing being in the spotlight, actress Annie Jones sometimes found it rather terrifying.

"It was a little scary," Annie, 51, tells TV WEEK. "It was almost like Beatlemania, especially when we did a trip to London. It was just insane – quite frightening."

Now, the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning actress, who played Jane Harris in the iconic series from 1986 to 1989, is returning to the soap in an extended guest role.

It marks something of a comeback for Annie, who, apart from some small guest roles, has been mostly absent from our screens.

"I've had quite a bit of time away from full-on work becauseI was a carer for my mother, who had Alzheimer's," she explains.

Annie approached Neighbours about returning to the show.

Annie starred alongside Kylie Minogue's character Charlene.
Annie starred alongside Kylie Minogue's character Charlene.

She even pitched some story ideas to the producers for Jane's return to Erinsborough.

"I did I have a couple of suggestions, but I've been sworn to secrecy," Annie teases. "I'm not allowed to say a word."

What Annie can tell us is that her character has changed a lot since her "Plain Jane Superbrain" days in the late 1980s.

"Jane has been looking after Mrs Mangel [who was played by the late Vivean Gray] in London for the past 28 years," she says.

"So a lot of Mrs Mangel's views and attitudes have rubbed off on Jane. She's kind of absorbed that, because she's been locked away in 'Mrs Mangel World' for so long."

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