Another list post… this time my top 20 Neighbours couples of all time
20 Didge and Dec – A bit marmite, and I wasn’t sure about them together at first, but James Sorenson and Eloise Mignon had enough spark to make this one work – and once they’d gone through the opposites attract thing, then a teen pregnancy and wedding all the way to tragic death by horse I actually felt sad.
19 Lou and Mishka – Of Lou’s many loves, only three have had ‘it’. One is yet to come, one is Madge (but they worked better when it was the love triangle with them and Harold) and the other is Mishka. Bad Russian accent? Perhaps. But she was still fab.
18 Helen and Reuben – On the Art of Neighbours there was mention of Helen’s unsuitable husbands. Of all of them, only Reuben made the cut. That he was played by her real life husband made it sweeter. And then he died. SOB. And then (later) she died. BAWLS EYES OUT.
17 Stu and Sindi – The way they wrote Sindi out was terrible – a bad portrayal of mental health problems and a bad betrayal of a lovely character. Fortunately, they reunited Sindi with Stu offscreen – because for quite a while they were a very adorable pairing, and they will probably make some very cute kids – although Stu is from the family that produced Mickey, so there’s no guarantee.
16 Lucas and Vanessa – they perhaps appear a bit lower in the countdown than they would have if their whole finance/buying a bunch of property storyline wasn’t so ridiculous. But given Vanessa was clearly a last-minute Emilia replacement, they’ve settled into a great couple and family, both of whom are much more likeable than they first appeared.
15 Pam and Doug – I just hope Brad being back on the street means these two aren’t far behind.
14 Karl and Susan – Heresy! But as much as I love the Kennedys they’re worse than Ross and Rachel for breaking up and reuniting (although clearly they have more chemistry). And I like them together but I also quite like them apart. I quite liked Karl and Izzy and Susan and Alex. And if you like a couple apart as much as you like them together, they just can’t be in the top ten, can they?
13 Philip and Julie – I also loved Phil with Ruth as well but there was something about the poor put upon Phil with his busybody wife that was very Neighbours – he grounded her a bit and she made him less boring. Hannah proved that they should never have been allowed to reproduce, though.
12 Henry and Bronwyn – I liked Melanie and Henry too but Bronwyn and Henry were a much more classic Neighbours match and I keep hoping they might bring them back one of these days (not while Neighbours is as Aryan as at present, mind)
11 Mike and Jane – Had they ended up together in the end, they would have made the top ten. They were destined to be… and then Guy Pearce selfishly went off to be famous and they matched Jane up with Des (NO) and Mark (Bleh) and it was all wrong.
She was the hippy single parent daughter of Harold Bishop. He was the blokey single parent son of Mrs Mangel. They fell in love and truly it was an Opposites Attract story for the ages. And then she got shot and it was the saddest thing EVER (/since Daphne died). Let’s just gloss over that weird time Linda Hartley came back as someone working in the coffee shop.
9 Janelle and Steiger
The matriarch of a family of bogan loudmouths. The local cop. ISTR in classic Neighbours style (most expertly demonstrated by Jim Robinson and Dr Beverley Marshall) they hated each other and then fell in love. And then they had a happy ever after. D’aww.
8/7 Paul and Gail; Paul and Rebecca
Most characters have one partner who is their true match and equal. Paul Robinson has two. Of his various ex-wives and lovers, it’s only Gail and Rebecca who were really a match for him. Who could forget the time Paul and Gail got sham-married to impress Mr Udagawa? Or the time Dame Rebecca of the wrap-dress tried to kill her husband? Classic love stories for the ages, folks. I want both of them to come back, maybe just alternating with each other so Paul doesn’t have to choose – just as I can’t choose which I love most.
6 Lou and Cheryl
Damn you, Neighbours producers! Of the 20 couples listed here, seven of them ended in tragedy as one partner died. (Another four split up, and one are Karl and Susan.) I was heartbroken when Karl Kennedy killed Cheryl (another reason he’s not in my top ten) (OK a car did the damage first, but Karl could have saved her) as she was such a great foil for Lou. And I have never forgiven the writers for the Cheryl has an affair whilst kidnapped/’Lolly isn’t Lou’s daughter’ nonsense.
5 Frazer and Rosie
Aww Frosie. The only couple who had a cheesy smooshed together name that actually got used on AoN. Two awesome characters making a super-awesome couple. They were destined to be the new Karl and Susan (except with less divorce). They even had a classic Neighbours fertility issues = magic pregnancy storyline and a horse-related incident AND a Toadie driving disaster. Everything you could possibly want. And then they left. Boooo. Still remembered fondly on AoN, they appeared in many people’s dream casts and everything. But they could only ever come back together, none of this Brad and Beth-style divorcing nonsense for them.
4 Toadie and Sonya
If Frosie could have been the new Karl and Susan, then Toadie and Sonya are probably the new Des’n’Daph. Thanks largely to the performances of Eve Morey and Ryan Moloney they have managed to overcome ridiculous storylines – not least the one about Sonya being Callum’s mother – and make them work. At long last Toadie is not a loser in love and they have real chemistry together and with Callum and Nell, which helps. The new first family of Neighbours? Give it a couple of years or so, and quite possibly.
3 Madge and Harold
They were childhood sweethearts who never were. Then they were a classic Neibs opposites attract pair. Then he died. Then he wasn’t dead. Then she died because everyone Harold has ever loved has died and it’s all so tragic and ridiculous – although if Harold can rise from a watery grave, so can David, Lil and Serena (such a stupid exit). I miss them both so, so much.
2 Scott and Charlene
Scott and Charlene’s wedding was truly the apex of the 80s. The best ever soap wedding bar none and the classic soap young love pairing that all others can only ever dream of being. The big hair! The peach dresses! Angry Anderson! The real-life romance and duet! Perfection. But as much as I loved Donna, the tribute to this wedding when she married Ringo was WRONG. Those two just didn’t come close to the iconic meeting of Ramsays and Robinsons (the offscreen nonsense with Anne Daniels/Robinson and Max Ramsay doesn’t even count because it was ridiculous). In fact not only is this the best soap wedding ever, it’s the best wedding ever. Charles’n’Di, Kate’n’Wills and Posh’n’Becks could only dream of being this iconic.
1 Des and Daphne
I LOVE YOU CLARKEY(S). He was the slightly square bank manager whose fiancee jilted him at the altar thanks to Julie Robinson’s meddling. She was the stripper at his bucks’ party. Shane Ramsay tried to be Mr Daphne for a while but he couldn’t stop the path of true love. Daphne was the proto-Susan/Kerry/Sonya/every do-gooder ever – except with more sass. Des was a proto-Phil/Doug/Robocop type except more loveable. They took in a stray in the form of Mike and set a pattern for Ramsay Street ever since! Daphne gave birth with her clothes on in the bush! They had a baby boy played by a girl! And then Elaine Clarke decided to leave and they killed Daphne off in the saddest TV death ever (only run close by Madge’s but that was diluted by her deathbed companions being, er, Tad and Paul McClain instead of Tom or Max or Henry or Charlene). Everything that happened to Des after that was kind of rubbish and then the scriptwriters shoehorned in that awful Jamie Clarke as a teen storyline that I like to pretend never happened. I’m watching my way through the Neighbours From the Beginning DVDs, and yeah, it was all about the Ramsays and Robinsons, but in the middle of that Des’n’Daph showed that there would be other characters outside of the main families who could be just as loved (it’s a lesson Richard Jasek could learn given his recent axings). It’s lovely seeing them again. Best soap couple ever.