Angie Russell first hit our screens towards the end of
2002. Was it really five years ago? She arrived as the new
deputy principal at Summer Bay High School. Not long
afterwards along came her teenage son Dylan who promptly
fell in love with Kirsty Sutherland the daughter of her old
High School sweet heart Rhys rubber lips Sutherland.
Needless to say this caused all sorts of problems as Angie
firmly believed old rubber lips to be Dylan's father. As it
turned out she was as deluded about this as she was about
Angie caused mayhem in the bay. She had
no morals, and manipulated anyone who stood in the way of
what she wanted. Fisher's office was set on fire, Scot's
boat shed burnt down, and some guy whose name completely
escapes me also turned up dead when she was around. She hid
Sally's OCD pills to try and ensure that Sally looked bad in
front of the school inspectors; she manipulated "friends" at
the department to get what she wanted. She had an affair
with a pupil at her previous school and when he turned up
she rejected him and he ended up in a psych unit. She had an
affair with Jesse and aborted his child. She screwed royally
with Nick Smith's head because he had argued with her son
Dylan, and falsely accused Nick of assaulting her. Nick was
taken to court and found guilty before Nick, Seb, Jade and
Kirsty presented their J'Accuse tape and the truth was
The denouement was fantastic and Angie's walk
of shame will go down in the annals of Home And Away history
as one of the most memorable scenes ever. Her exit line in
that scene, "you will die with my name on your lips", was
Angie slowly lost her grip on reality and her
descent into more and more disturbed behaviour was
compelling viewing. Her death seemed inevitable given all
that had gone before, and the hunt for her killer was the
stuff which TV headlines are made of.
changed the very fabric of the show while she was there –
and her influence was long reaching. The creation of her
daughter Tasha and the subsequent arrival of her cousin
Josie speaks volumes for the impact which this one character
has had. The introduction of this unique, disturbed, and
twisted female characters laid the ground for others to
follow. Angie is and always will be one hard act to follow.
There has never been a character like her before or since.
Angie was played with style and class by Laurie Foell. She
played Angie with complete and utter conviction and inspired
in viewers a shocking response to such a twisted character;
compassion. She’s a legend.
Laurie Foell was delighted to
hear that Angie is still such a favourite with the viewing
public. She has told BttB that she loved playing Angie and
sends her thanks, and love and best wishes to BttB members.
Here is what Coral Drouyn, Script Producer 2002- 2004,
and Angie's creator, had to say about her creation:
When I was headhunted to find a new direction for the show I
accepted, providing I could do something outrageous - and
Angie was about as outrageous as it gets!
In Prisoner Cell Block H I had created an 18 year old called
Angel... twisted and wreaking havoc but all the while
looking innocent...and I wondered how she might have grown
Initially I wanted Angie to physically seduce Nick...a
raging affair...but we couldn't do that with the timeslot.
John Holmes ( head of drama) suggested that a complete Mindf%$&
would be just as intense...and in fact it worked
better....so thank you John.
At the start EVERYBODY hated Angie - and I mean everybody. I
received hate mail and all the fan boards screamed "get her
off." I knew it was only a matter of time before they loved
to hate her...and then loved her....but I was reported to
the ABA ( broadcasting tribunal) several times because of
her, and parent and teacher groups were outraged.
Her stay was only ever planned to be six months - and I
always planned to kill her ( the network needed something
big to counteract Big Brother =D )
By the time she went
people were indignantly screaming that she should have
stayed - but truly it would not have been Home and Away as
we know and love it. She would have taken over the show.
I adore The Walk of Shame... and so much else I created for
her - and I was so glad that at the end people did pity her.
It's a great compliment that she made such an impact.
Characters that you create live with you forever. Sometimes
the problem is though that others cannot see them with your
eyes. Angie presented problems for the other writers and I
ended up overwriting all of her dialogue and spent many
hours in the plotting room explaining her subtleties and
delusions....which says a lot about me (shock, horror) as
well as her. But she was far more complex than the usual
soap characters and some people just did not "get" her.
Laurie gave Angie the life and personality I had always
envisaged for her and I'm very grateful. Interestingly Kate
Fischer was shortlisted to play her but as soon as I saw
Laurie's screentest there just couldn't be anyone else.
Though I've created more than 50 characters for shows, Angie
is my favourite - with Robbie and Tasha (as they were in the
beginning ) close seconds. Thank you so much for letting her
make an impact on you too.