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Grown Up Kate stays at Home!

Guest Frankie

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Sunday Herald Sun. 3rd September 06

A fan stops actor Kate Ritchie as she walks along Southbank promenade:

"I've watched you grow up on television," the woman says.

Ritchie, 28, has heard this many times before, but is as gracious as if this were the first time.

"It has been almost 20 years," Ritchie says and agrees to pose with the fan for an impromptu photograph.

Later, she makes time for a chat with Kids' Best while waiting to meet the winner of the Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide Home And Away competition, Melbourne mum Jane Piotrowski.

"If you had said to me when I was seven that I would still be with Home And Away 20 years later I would have laughed," Ritchie said.

"Time passes very quickly. It doesn't feel like I have been doing the same job day in and day out.

"I really enjoy it."

Ritchie said she had to be committed and organised to juggle her acting career with her school work early on, but says her parents were supportive.

"If I was able to juggle my school work and going to work every day doing a job I really loved, then why not?"

She said her mum and dad were the opposite to stage parents.

"And my schooling was always really important to them, too," Ritchie said. "That made me realise, as much as I really enjoyed working on the show, school work had to be a priority. If that fell away, I would probably have had to leave the show."

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