After winning the TV WEEK Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor, Ray Meagher was one very happy man at this year's awards.
"I'm incredibly proud," the 73-year-old, who took home the Gold Logie in 2010, told TV WEEK.
"I honestly thought Rodger Corser or maybe Aaron Jeffery would win.
"It was a genuine surprise. I think bookies would have made a lot of money on me!"
If the television legend was interested in leaving Summer Bay on a high, you could be forgiven for thinking now might be the perfect time.
But Ray, who's played Alf Stewart since Home And Away hit our screens in 1988, was adamant retirement was not on his agenda.
"The way it's looking, that's not going to happen at the moment," he said of leaving the show.
While Ray remained tight-lipped on the details, it's understood he's poised to sign a new deal with Channel Seven that will see him remain in the Bay for some time yet.
"We've agreed to do a bit more," he hinted.
That's good news for the legion of H&A fans who can't imagine Summer Bay without Alf.
As the longest-serving member of the cast, it was fitting that Ray dedicated his Logie to former co-star and close friend Cornelia Frances during his moving acceptance speech.
The actress, who played Alf's sister Morag Bellingham, died in May.
"The only thoughts I had in saying anything about Cornelia were that I should do it right now, because I might not get another opportunity," he explained. "I didn't want to miss out."
The actor said he was sure Cornelia would be celebrating his Logie win.
"If you believe in such things, I believe she would be propped up at the bar with a glass of champagne in hand," he smiled.
"And I don't think you'd have the temerity to knock her for doing that."
For more exclusive chats from the TV WEEK Logie Awards, pick up a copy of this week's issue of TV WEEK.
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