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Celia Stewart - Fiona Spence

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I know that she isn't on the show now, but I wanted to create a thread as she's my favourite character from early years. She is not an empty person, despite being a busybody and can be a very loving human being. Her tragic backstory makes her very sympathetic. Even though she had "friends", the only genuine friend she had was Ailsa. She would never open up about her feelings to anyone else (apart occasionally to Alf). Where as Ailsa's good friend Pippa didn't like her much. I was looking forward to her return this year, but it was disappointing, that she was allowed only to appear twice a week and her storyline about gambling was swept under the carpet. I don't think she works as a guest as part of her personality traits are needing to be concerned about life of the place where she is and she feel responsible for the morality of community. She can hardly participate in business of town she doesn't live in or gossip.


What are your thoughts about her? And what do you think about her return this year? Early years viewers, do you miss her in currently screening 1992 episodes?

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Celia's just that sort of well rounded complex character that you don't see in the show now because the writing is so different. I was shocked at her first episode by how horrible she was to Harvey. And judging him because he didn't own his own business. That would have been Morag's attitude. Also being in Africa all those years would have changed her, as you saw in her 2000 return, so she'd hardly be so superficial. She used to be very ignorant at times but her heart of gold always won out and she often listened to the other side and changed her views. But over the years I think she would have been more open minded. I didn't like the gambling story because I though it was unoriginal and not done with much care. The fact that Colleen also had the same problem was not even mentioned and I think Celia would have been much more ashamed of herself. She may have changed over the years, but I still see Celia as a deeply religious person. Old viewers may remember the way she carried on when Alf once betted on the 1990 iron man.

I thought the continuity about Les' engagement ring was fantastic. Can't believe sometime Home and Away can be so good at the little details like that but have some whopping continuity errors at other times. But I don't believe she would ever of given it away. I also hated scenes between her and Irene! All of a sudden Celia was so rude (going on about only owning a diner) just so Irene could have a reaction to her. Its like they gave Celia Morag's old lines.Celia and Morag both judged people. With Celia it was about morality, manners and old fashioned values. With Morag it was wealth and intellect. But about half way through her stint she felt more like herself. The last couple of weeks I felt were okay.

The scene in 1989 with Ailsa and Celia talking on the sofa in the Caravan Park will also stand out to me as one of the best in the shows history. I wish the writing would be half as good as that now.

I would love to have her in it full time as I think it could work.She seemed to mix well with the new characters. I would have her working in Alf's shop. Which I think we need to start seeing the interior of anyway. This would do well at making the bay feel more like a community. Pair her up with characters like Heath, Palmer, Irene and get some good comedy going again. But have her refer to her experiences in Africa a lot and have people respect her.

Edited by Blaxland 89
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Celia is definitely a character I would love to see come back again, like Morag does. I know most didn't like the scenes between her & Heath but I found them a joy to watch. I feel that it was their meeting that has led him to the place he is now, happy with Bianca and with fewer regressions to his old personality. There were rare scenes between Heath & Irene where you knew he kinda respected her but that was because they had Rocco as a connection to eachother.

But Celia & Heath? Just came together with no connection at all, and that is great. Made her return worth it because the gambling sure as hell didn't.

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Celia's a legendary character, there's no doubt about that. It was nice seeing her return earlier this year on the show but you do feel that the show is past her now in terms of her characterisation. She comes across as too old-fashioned at times, but as long they continually develop her character every time we see her, then I'll be happy. I'm sure her time in Africa has given her a greater and open-minded perspective on life as well.

Between 1988 to 1990 Celia was one of my favourite characters despite her gossipy nature. While she came across as an ignorant and narrow-minded person, deep down Celia was a complex character with a tragic backstory as she lost her fiancé Les in the Vietnam War. I'm glad the writers didn't forget about Les in her last stint as well and she used it as a way to bring Heath and Bianca together. Celia's connection with the church was shaped by Les' death so that played a big role in how her life started to play out as she was deeply involved in the church and then later on in volunteer work in Africa.

Her last guest stint was good and bad. The good elements of it was that we saw her again after being off-screen since 2005 and I liked the continuity from the writers in remembering Les, but her gambling storyline was handled poorly and I thought it was very out-of-character for Celia in the first place, considering she condemned gambling in 1990 with the surf carnival when Alf made a bet with Ben's (Carly's husband) mate.

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The one thing that annoys me with certain soaps (H&A & Hollyoaks mainly) is the lack of old fashioned characters because the reality is there are many. Though H&A has Alf, Irene & John I don't see them as old fashioned because they just aren't.

That is why I love Celia because of her old fashioned views. They were old fashioned back in 1988-1990 but to know that she still feels her heart will always belongs to Les (recognised by the fact that she still has the ring and talks about him) makes me feel a little warmth in my heart. It makes me sad to realise how fast characters get over their 'soul-mates' when they die when compared to Celia and her loss. She is a strong woman in a completely different way to Morag and that was shown when she scolded Heath like a child, even though she knew it was possible that he could be nasty.

Her interaction with Heath reminded me of Morag's friendship with Aden (and Seb). It is a friendship with a motherly aspect to it.

So no I don't think she is too old fashioned for the show now. I do think H&A need to take a leaf out of Emmerdale's book because they get the balance right, especially with the character Edna (who is kind of like Celia).

I want Celia to appear more ^_^.

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  • 1 year later...

I think the show could really do with a celia type character a general busy body that can upset the locals, her old fashioned ideas are great and I agree with the poster above that no her old fashioned ideas are not too old fashioned. I'd love to see her back she was a great character in the early years and I think it's a shame that she has appeared very rarely since she departed.

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Was there ever any explanation if Celia had become less religious or did we have to assume it?

I guess it was assumption-based more than anything else.

As time has gone on and we've become more progressive as a society, the types of religious views that Celia may have had a long time ago have mellowed or been toned down as the years have gone by. Also maybe her work in Africa has influenced her current thoughts on religion and politics.

Edited by Jezz
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