Neighbours has announced that Maria Thattil has joined the cast as Haz Devkar’s big sister Amira, who will arrive in Erinsborough in the new year.
Maria has joined in a guest capacity as Amira Devkar, described as “the older and sometimes bossy sister” of Haz Devkar (Shiv Palekar), who joined the show as a permanent cast member earlier this year.
It’s an emotional reunion for the siblings who have had challenges with their strict parents. However, despite having her brother Haz’s best interests at heart, not everyone on Ramsay Street is thrilled with Amira’s arrival.
Maria said: “I’m so excited to be heading to Ramsay Street to bring Amira to life, and best believe she’s coming in with a bang! It’s a pretty surreal thing to get to play a queer woman of colour on one of the most iconic shows in Australia, as seeing that representation was unheard of when I was growing up.
“I couldn’t be prouder to join the Neighbours cast and I can’t wait to stir up a little fun.”
The show announced the news on its social channels this morning, with a post reading: “We’re delighted to announce that Maria Thattil will be joining the cast next year in the guest role of Haz’s big sister! But just why she turns up suddenly at Harold’s is yet to be revealed ?”
Maria is a published author, speaker and actor, has appeared on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020.
She also uses her voice to campaign for change, having headlined global campaigns for inclusivity and LGBTQIA+ rights, and received Marie Claire’s 2023 The Voice of Now Award.
Maria also took to Instagram to announce the news:
“I’ve been a few places this year – from the Drag Race panel to the big red TEDX stage – but I’m pretty excited about this next destination …. I’m SO excited to be heading to Ramsay St in 2024! Get ready to meet Amira Devkar ??
“I couldn’t be more proud to join the beautiful Neighbours cast at a time when the show is evolving to tell even more Australian stories. Imagining 10 year old me turning on the telly to see herself is pretty surreal … even more so because I can’t remember ever seeing a gay female South Asian character on an Australian TV show. Can you?
“See you in 2024! #NEIGHBOURS“
Amira’s little brother Haz Devkar was one of the small number of new characters who formed part of the newly revived Neighbours when it returned earlier this year.
The new manager of Harold’s, he’s currently living in the No. 32 sharehouse alongside Mackenzie (Georgie Stone) and Byron (Xavier Molyneux), and recently began dating Holly (Lucinda Armstrong-Hall).
His arrival was announced back in June, again on Instagram, as the show wrote: “Harold’s is under new management! We’re thrilled to announce that Shiv Palekar will be joining us in the new role of Haz Devkar in all new episodes of #Neighbours later this year.
“(Plus, he’s had the seal of approval from Harold himself…)”
He brought with him his dog, Trevor, whose poor training has caused Haz and his fellow flatmates countless issues since the show returned, thanks to his penchant for destroying toys, clothes, and anything else he can get his hands on.
New episodes of Neighbours air Monday–Thursday on Network 10 and 10 Peach in Australia, and on Amazon Freevee in the UK.
Neighbours has released its next batch of spoilers and pictures, covering episodes airing up until Thursday 21st December – and it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit!
Here are the Neighbours spoilers for the next two weeks:
Monday 11th December (Episode 49 / 8952)
Byron receives a rude awakening.
Chloe faces a heartbreaking decision.
Paul’s confronted at the Christmas Fair.
Tuesday 12th December (Episode 50 / 8953)
Haz jumps to conclusions after seeing something he shouldn’t.
Terese and Jane navigate uncertain territory.
Cara and Remi discover an unsettling truth.
Wednesday 13th December (Episode 51 / 8954)
Holly faces a new threat following a surprising revelation.
Toadie is left shaken by powerful memories.
A familiar face returns to Erinsborough.
Thursday 14th December (Episode 52 / 8955)
Chloe and Elly make a life-changing decision.
Wendy’s work crisis has an unlikely saviour.
Tensions mount on the street after a change in dynamic.
Karl turns a critical eye towards his daughter’s relationship.
Monday 18th December (Episode 8956 / 53)
Paul finds a new target to fixate on.
Nell’s birthday brings unanticipated challenges.
A familiar face returns with a startling new appearance.
Tuesday 19th December (Episode 8957 / 54)
Back in town, a familiar face ruffles some feathers.
Holly’s emotions get the better of her.
Chloe and Elly reassess their future.
Wednesday 20th December (Episode 8958 / 55)
Holly finds out the hard way that actions have consequences.
Erinsborough reels after a shock confession.
Jane and Terese put their best foot forward.
Thursday 21st December (Episode 8959 / 56)
Jane and Terese face a moral dilemma.
Byron is tempted by a blast from the past.
Aaron takes pity on Paul as he faces Christmas alone.