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Alf turns 60 as 'Home' celebrates 4000

Guest kimishot

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Alf turns 60 as 'Home' celebrates 4000

17:58 AEST Tue Jul 5 2005

He flies off the handle far too easily and has been known to give a misbehaving child a clip around the ear on more than one occasion.

But for the past 18 years, the loveable Alf 'Flamin' Stewart has entertained viewers on popular Australian soapie Home and Away.

This week, the Summer Bay legend, played by one of the show's longest-serving actors, Ray Meagher, celebrates his 60th birthday.

The birthday coincides with the 4,000th episode of the award-winning program, which will screen on the Seven Network on Friday at 7pm (AEST).

"There was a lot of emotion on that day, that's for sure," Meagher admitted when talking about his birthday.

In upcoming storylines Alf, known for his constant use of the word "flamin", continues looking after his grandkids who are "getting into strife".

Sadly Meagher revealed the widower, who was married to Ailsa (Judy Nunn), has no romance on the cards.

"But it's really nice of you to ask," he joked.

"I'm happy to go along with what the writers dish up. They've done a pretty good job over the 18 years."

Meagher said he was proud of his character for his strong morals.

"He's got weaknesses in that he flies off the handle a bit too quickly," he said.

"But his basic life values are very strong."

Meagher often meets fans who poke fun at his character for his use of slang words but the actor said this was simply part and parcel of being on television.

"If those people weren't watching the show none of us would be in work," he said.

"They feel they know the character so well and they probably feel they know the person on the street so well."

But what is irritating are the prank phonecalls in the middle of the night.

"People get your phone number from somewhere and do a bit of that in the middle of the night here and there," Meagher said.

"Every time you do something somebody wants your number, whether it's a delivery of a lounge chair or an appointment at a dentist."

He said often the calls continued for a week, with the prankster's mates getting in on the act too.

Meagher is currently contracted to play Alf until August, 2006, and said he won't make a decision on his future until then.

"Like any job some days are gold and some days are crap and there's a lot of ordinary days," the actor said.

"But there's a lot more good ones than bad ones.

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