Neighbours star Alan Fletcher has spoken to Digital Spy about his first stint on the show – playing a completely different character to Karl Kennedy.
The actor is best known to soap fans for portraying Dr Karl since 1994, but he'd actually made his debut in Erinsborough seven years earlier.
In 1987, Alan played the role of mechanic Greg Cooper, who worked with Charlene Robinson (Kylie Minogue) at the local garage. The guest character only appeared in a handful of episodes – but things could have turned out very differently.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy's new Soap Scoop podcast, Alan explained: "I was actually working in the theatre that year. I just got the call-up to say: 'Would you like to come out and do this small character?' It was three weeks' work.
"Of course I was delighted, but it was interesting doing theatre and TV at the same time. It was very tiring!
"But I got to work with a very young Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Alan Dale [was there] of course, and my best friend Stefan Dennis was there. It was a terrific time. I had a ball."
Sharing some behind-the-scenes gossip, Alan added: "It was a very nice self-contained three-week storyline. The only reason I was on the show, to be honest, was that Ernie Bourne who played the mechanic on Neighbours left the show.
"He was being replaced by Nick Carrafa coming on to play a mechanic, but there was this three-week hiatus between the two. Kylie, being the apprentice mechanic, had to have a supervisor.
"So they had this little character for three weeks to supervise her in her apprenticeship. It was a big win for me, I loved it.
"They did actually invite me back to do a full year as Greg Cooper but I declined at the time because I was having too much fun doing Shakespeare! But of course I was invited back seven years later and I'm very pleased that I was."
Fans can hit 'play' below to hear our full interview with Alan, where he shares more behind-the-scenes Neighbours gossip, reflects on his 26-year history on Ramsay Street and discusses future storylines.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).
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