Home and Away's Sophie Dillman and Patrick O'Connor explain quitting soap

sophie dillman and patrick o'connor
Why Home and Away real-life couple have quit soapSean Foster - Getty Images

Home and Away actors and real-life couple Sophie Dillman and Patrick O'Connor have talked about why they decided to quit the soap.

The duo joined the soap as Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and filmed their final scenes in the summer of last year.

Speaking to Australia's TV Week magazine, they talked about why they decided now was the time to leave Summer Bay.

sophie dillman as ziggy astoni in home and away
Channel 5

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"We have both done everything possible with our characters and it was time to start a new chapter," Dillman said.

"It's bittersweet and emotional, but we realise how lucky we are to have had such an incredible run."

O'Connor added: "It's a huge commitment and a massive chunk of my life. I felt I changed into six different people in the time we were there. There's a lot of growth both as an actor and a person. It's a great place to work, but I was ready [to move on]."

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If the future for the couple includes having kids, Dillman stated that her time on the soap has actually prepared her for it.

"You know, Ziggy got everything – she got nausea, fatigue, mood swings, pain, Braxton Hicks, all that sort of stuff," she said.

dean thompson in home and away
Channel 5

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"Going through all of that, especially with your real-life partner, actually brings up a lot of conversation that I don't think a lot of people would have unless they are literally carrying a fake pregnancy belly around. It is in a way.

"But at the same time, Ziggy and Dean are very different from Sophie and Paddy, so sort of going home and taking the bump off and all that sort of stuff means that it is very separated. It's actually been really fun."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR. First-look screenings air at 6.30pm on 5STAR and the show also streams on My5.

In Australia, the show airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 and streams on 7plus.

Selected classic episodes are available via Prime Video in the UK.

Read more Home and Away spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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