With today’s announcement of the forthcoming departure of fan favourites Jon Sivewright and Amy Mathews (Tony Holden and Rachel Armstrong), we felt that reassurance was needed over the number of departures in recent months. Last week in Australia saw the exit of Lincoln Lewis‘s character Geoff Campbell, and it is already public knowledge that both Todd Lasance (Aden Jefferies) and Jodi Gordon‘s (Martha MacKenzie’s) final scenes will also be airing later this year. We can also tell you that Rachel and Tony will be on screen for at least the first half of the year, so ‘Tachel’ fans still have plenty of airtime to go before we say goodbye to them.
Whilst some may be alarmed at the amount of cast members leaving the show, this isn’t something unique to 2010. There have been several years with major cast shuffles on the show, as is to be expected when contracts come up for renewal (the standard contract being 3 years). The last major change was in the first half of 2008 which saw characters such as Sally, Lucas, Cassie, Ric, Matilda, Drew and Dan depart the show within the space of a few months.
Just as he did back in 2007 concerning the upcoming departures, Seven Network’s Script Executive Bevan Lee has once again been kind enough to provide the following statement for us:
“Home and Away” is a serial that over its 22 year life has had a constant revolving door of characters. There are a number of reasons for this. Many actors choose to leave when their contract is up to seek work elsewhere, especially in this time of the lure of Hollywood, and others are written out because their time in the balance of the show is over. No departure of a character, that is not forced on us, is decided upon lightly and the decision is always taken for what is perceived as the long-term health of the show.
There have indeed been a larger than usual number of characters being written out in the last few years, but the vast majority of those departures were brought about by the choices of the actors playing the roles. The fans can rest assured that no character is ever written out without the greatest of thought and consideration being given to the decision. They simply have to trust the creators of the show, trust their love for the show and accept that we would not make any choice we did not feel was for the best for “Home and Away” in the long run.
Whilst the departures may disappoint some viewers, rest be assured that the show will go on as always – with the new characters, direction and storylines that we brought news of last month already proving very popular with long-term viewers.