And now we’re up to those on 19-24 points, not long before we hit the big guns!
23. Ailsa Stewart (24 points)
Played by Judy Nunn
Hovering just outside the Top 20, Ailsa feels like one of the show’s stalwarts, mainly because she was, but like Pippa before her and Sally after her, the show has gone on without her, which would once have seemed unthinkable. It also seems Alf was lying to her about his first wife during almost all their marriage, but let’s try and forget that.
24. Billie Ashford (23 points)
Played by Tessa de Josselin
The ever tragic Billie continues to be more popular with forum members than she appeared to be with the people who actually made the show, who had her raped, burned, run over, nearly blown up, kidnapped and finally die of cancer a day after being diagnosed. I know she told a nasty lie about Nate but that seemed pretty disproportionate…
24= Ryder Jackson (23 points)
Played by Lukas Radovich
A fairly high debut showing for Ryder, Alf’s grandson from one of the long-forgotten branches of the family. Ryder can be a bit annoying at times but his heart’s in the right place and he earned a lot of credit with his reaction to Ty’s coming out. He now appears to be friends with Dean, probably because there aren’t any other teenage boys on the show.
24= Vinnie Patterson (23 points)
Played by Ryan Kwanten
The highest placed of Leah’s husbands, Vinnie’s another one who tends to be thereabouts despite a fairly short stint that ended a pretty long time ago now. He started out as a spoiled rich kid but the magic of Summer Bay saw him develop into a reasonably responsible husband and father. Officially, he died off screen, but they’ve changed their mind about that so many times it’s hard to be sure.
27. Leah Patterson (22 points)
Played by Ada Nicodemou
The show’s most married character, with three on screen weddings to different people. If Leah’s still on the show come the next poll, she’ll have overtaken Sally’s tenure. Unfortunately, attempts to make her prominent have largely failed: The large extended family she’d acquired all left within a couple of years and she’s left stuck as Alf and Roo’s lodger.
27= Miles Copeland (22 points)
Played by Josh Quong Tart
Miles maintains level pegging with Leah. One of her predecessors as a caravan park house resident, it was his relationship with Leah that saw him inexplicably moved out of there and turned into a rather aimless supporting character, so he’s probably haunting her. Prior to that, he had a romance with Kirsty before going off to live with his similarly unlucky-in-love sister.
29. Jett James/Palmer (21 points)
Played by Will McDonald
John and Marilyn’s adopted son has proved better than a lot of recent departees at continuing to exist once he’s no longer part of the regular cast, with the result that he can actually be counted on to turn up when they have a crisis rather than having a cold. He had a decent friendship with VJ going before turning out to be a year older than him. Yes, really.
29= Kyle Braxton (21 points)
Played by Nic Westaway
Oh, Kyle. After a few years as the closest thing to a voice of reason the Braxtons had, he turned into a masterclass in how not to write out a popular character, as he inexplicably decided to get himself sent to jail in order to protect a character who was pretty much universally hated. Making a Foxtel special that implied his reward would be ending up with her didn’t help matters.
29= Shane Parrish (21 points)
Played by Dieter Brummer
Shane cracks the Top 30, a bit of a rise from his performance last time round. 7TWO were kind enough to keep going long enough for us to see Shane die of an infection at a lookout point on his first wedding anniversary. Over twenty years on, he’s still one of the first characters people think of when you mention Home and Away. Especially if they stopped watching twenty years ago.
32. Charlie Buckton (20 points)
Played by Esther Anderson
Charlie’s another one that was up in the Top 10 during her time on the show and continues to hang in there seven years later. Another one of those formerly by-the-book cops, who somewhere along the line seemed to forget where the book was and how to read it even if she found it, she seems destined to go down in history as a Braxton girlfriend.
33. Angie Russell (19 points)
Played by Laurie Foell
We will die with her name on our lips. Still one of many people’s favourite villains, Angie’s had a bit of a rise since last time and managed to shrug off being mistaken for Charlotte King, or indeed her cousin Josie. This slightly unhinged deputy principal of Summer Bay was finally taken down by a bunch of teenagers and Sally. Those were the days.
33= Ruby Buckton (19 points)
Played by Rebecca Breeds
One place below her sister-turned-mother, Ruby managed to lose every single blood relative apart from a couple of quickly forgotten half-siblings and possibly an aunt (it wasn’t entirely clear whose aunt she was). After an ignominious exit in the back of a police car after trying to kill her love rival, Ruby went to stay with Morag, who completely failed to mention her on any of her later visits.
33= Tori Morgan (19 points)
Played by Penny McNamee
Last time round Tori was in 70th place with five points, making her the highest climber this time round. After her rather bland debut, Tori has developed a vaguely quirky neurotic personality and been nice to Robbo, making her officially the forum members’ favourite of the original four Morgans. If you need a doctor, you could do worse.
33= Ziggy Astoni (19 points)
Played by Sophie Dillman
And another reasonably high debut for another of last year’s introductions. On the same number of points as her sister-in-law and more popular than her husband, father or sister, Ziggy’s undergone a bit of a personality change from her initial rather bratty portrayal and turned into quite a likable and caring character who now pretends she always had a close relationship with Coco.
And the highest absentee from this poll is Nate, who polled in this bracket at No 29 last time round but is nowhere to be seen this year. Keep an eye on this lot, they’re an endangered species.