TV Week
14th October 1989

Another Ramsay Street shock

AS Henry Ramsay farewells his friends in Ramsay Street and Craig McLachlan packs to head for Summer Bay, Neighbours fans are in for another shock.

Rachel Friend is also looking to quit the show.

Rumors began circulating a few weeks ago that, after just over a year with the hit series, Rachel had said she wants to move on

Sources close to the show say the producers, the Grundy organisation, tried to persuade her to stay

“For a while she couldn’t make up her mind,’’ one insider said. “First she was going, then she was having second thoughts. But I think she’s now determined to leave.”

Rachel is contracted until January and it is believed the possibility of a role in a new mini-series, to begin filming next year, has been dangled in front of her.

There is also the matter of the man who has clearly won her heart, both on-screen and off — her Neighbours co-star Craig McLachlan.

The two are sporting Bali tans after their recent holiday together.

But after publicity surrounding the break-up of his marriage, Craig has remained tight-lipped about his private life.

When Craig dropped the bombshell that he was leaving Neighbours and had been signed by the Seven Network in a rumored million-dollar deal which will see him move to Home And Away, as well as a major role in a U.S. mini-series, Rachel said: “It was a business decision, not a personal one. I think everyone will miss him, but everyone has to move on, too.”

Meanwhile, as the producers adjust to another imminent departure — this year has seen Annie Jones, Fiona Corke, Jason Donovan and, now, Craig McLachlan quit — the cast are reportedly not happy about rumors that Ten’s new owners could be looking to renegotiate the show’s contract.

With the new owners just back from a flying visit to the U.S. to see if distributors of overseas shows are prepared to rewrite existing contracts, speculation has been rife that Ten is trying to do the same with Australian programs.

A spokesman for Equity told TV WEEK: “We would certainly take a dim view of anything like that happening here if it was to affect payments to actors.

“It’s only in the past couple of years the cast have been paid reasonable salaries, although the success of the show internationally began long before that.”

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