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'Neighbours' actor claims co-star was bullied

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The actress who played Mrs Mangel on Neighbours was forced to leave Australia due to harassment, her co-star has claimed.

Veteran actor Ian Smith said Vivien Gray moved to England to avoid constant bullying by viewers who could not tell her apart from her meddlesome character.

He told Star magazine: "The last I heard was that she moved to England. That dear woman was driven out of her home by the troublesome youths with weak brains who couldn't distinguish between the character that she played and her as a person."

Smith, who has played Harold Bishop on the soap for 21 years, added that he had also suffered at the hands of teenage boys.

He said: "I was bullied. Young males are the cause of all problems. They are such gutless wonders. They never do it on their own, they are always in a group.

"They haven't got two brain cells to rub together and they will never amount to anything. And I feel sorry for the women who have to try and pick a life partner out of that bunch!"

He recently revealed that he was mobbed by fans at his dad's funeral.

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