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The day Josh brought Milco to life

Guest Jazer

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The day Josh brought Milco to life

13 February 2008


JOSH Quong Tart was more surprised than anyone to hear that Milco was real.

The former All Saints star learned that the imaginary childhood friend of Home and Away's Sally Fletcher (played by Kate Ritchie) was to become a new character when he was offered the role.

Quong Tart says he was both flattered and perplexed about why he was the producers' first choice to bring an imaginary character to life.

"They called me up and said they had a role for me that was top secret,'' Quong Tart says. "When they told me it was Milco I said `Are you serious? Everyone knows Milco isn't real'. "I mean, how do you play Milco? When they explained to me what they wanted to do I was interested. I think people will be intrigued by it, too.''

In the early episodes of Home and Away, Ritchie's character Sally spoke often about her friend Milco.

Because no one else could see Milco except Sally, it was widely accepted he was an imaginary friend -- until now.

To mark Ritchie's final episodes in the series, writers decided to revisit the character's past and Milco turns out to be Sally's long-lost twin brother, Miles Copeland.

To deal with being separated from Miles -- who Sally affectionately called Milco -- she pretended he was still with her.

Quong Tart says Milco has become part of Australian television folklore and is thrilled and nervous about turning that story on its head.

He is also excited to have been part of Ritchie's final episodes on the series after 20 years on the show.

"I think it's really important for people to see Kate's journey on the show,'' he says.

"She's an exceptional woman and her story is very unique. It's a really dignified way for her to exit the show and to see what a talented actor she was as a kid, too.''

Though Sally is set to leave the Bay -- Ritchie has already filmed her final scenes and they will air in April -- Milco won't be leaving town any time soon and Quong Tart couldn't be happier.

"It's certainly not boring,'' he says.

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