Exclusive: Home and Away star Shane Withington calls for Jett James to make a return

Dan Seddon, Daniel Kilkelly
·4-min read

From Digital Spy

Home and Away's Shane Withington has shared his hope that Jett James star Will McDonald will make a return in the future.

Withington portrays John Palmer in the Aussie soap, and his current storyline has seen the character recovering from a stroke in a wheelchair.

Previously, his foster son Jett lost the use of his legs back in 2019 after joining the armed forces and getting caught up in an explosion, before McDonald left the show.

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

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Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Withington was asked if John's situation – while not identical to Jett but sharing some similarities – could pave the way for the latter to reappear.

"I would really like that! I would love young William to turn up, we get on like a house on fire," he replied.

"He's such a beautiful young actor – I hope so, that would be good if he turns up again as I do miss him. I'm lucky, all the young actors I've worked with all keep in touch with me. It's lovely.

"I haven't had a son either so having them with me and when they're having a tough time with auditions or if they're having a particularly good time or if they're passing through town, they always give me a call. One of the great takeaways of being on the show is the great friendships I've made with them."

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

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The actor went on to discuss his 11-year-tenure on the Aussie soap, admitting that he never imagined the role would turn into such a long-running commitment, but he's delighted that it has.

"When I first started, they offered me 12 weeks, that was the first contract I got, and then another 12 weeks, and then they offered me a year in the show and that was the first time it was a long-term thing," he explained.

"I had no idea that I would be there for 11 years and I'm very proud. I'm the fifth longest-serving actor on the show, and I'm very proud that I've been there and been such a big part of Australian history, Australian television and a great Australian show."

Withington continued: "Moving from show to show can be a bit precarious and can be hard on your ego. But I love staying in one show and playing one guy for such a long time.

"People ask, 'Don't you get bored of it?' and that's just not the case. [John] is a reflection of myself in many ways – he's my ego, he's my jealousy, he's my insecurities and I play them with laughs on television!"

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

And the actor is just as fascinated by his "complex" character as ever, suggesting that the changing nature of John's relationships with other Summer Bay residents is what makes him so interesting to play.

"He's a storyline carrier, John can move across every set, he's in the town as the free agent, he knows everyone's business," Withington explained. "I love it!

"It would be boring if he was always nice or sweet, but I like the fact that he picks a fight with everyone that comes to the bay and then a couple of months later ends up being the very best friends with them."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).

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