”Why we quit:” Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor on leaving Summer Bay

All good things must come to an end!
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They may have arrived in Summer Bay separately, but Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor are departing as one.

In an emotional announcement, the real-life couple, who play Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson in Home And Away, have decided to leave the long-running drama series.

When TV WEEK catches up with the actors to say goodbye, the weight of their decision has just begun to sink in.

Sophie, who joined the show in 2017, reveals that she and Patrick found leaving their characters behind ”incredibly hard”, but they knew now was the right time.

Sophie and Patrick are excited about what lies ahead.

(IMAGE: TV Week)

”We have both done everything possible with our characters and it was time to start a new chapter,” Sophie, 30, says.

”It’s bittersweet and emotional, but we realise how lucky we are to have had such an incredible run.”

Onto the next chapter!

(IMAGE: Seven)

For Patrick, who came into the series in 2018 as rough-diamond River Boy Dean, turning 30 last year was a significant milestone that confirmed he was ready to move on.

”Sophie and I were 24 when we started on Home And Away,” he says.

”It’s a huge commitment and a massive chunk of my life. I felt I changed into six different people in the time we were there.

There’s a lot of growth both as an actor and a person. It’s a great place to work, but I was ready [to move on].”

Baby Izzy proved a joyous arrival this year.

(IMAGE: Seven)

Fast-forward to their final days on set, and the nervous energy was replaced by emotion as they said goodbye to friends and colleagues.

Sophie and Patrick admit they would have found it hard to walk away alone. But as they move on together, they’re thankful for the show that changed their lives – on and off screen.

”It’s been the best part of my life,” Sophie says.

”I’ve learnt so much. Everyone who was involved allowed us to do the best job in the world. I’m so honoured.”

Patrick echoes the sentiment:

”I was a bit overcome on the last day, because H&A has been such a big part of my life,” he says.

Read the full story – including what the couple are planning on doing next – in this week’s edition of TV Week, available where all good magazines are sold.

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