Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap. As some of you may know by now, Mark Little is the latest Neighbours star to sign on for Emmerdale. This has naturally led to speculation about whether he’ll return to the show that made him famous in the first place. Neighbours fans, brace yourself for disappointment: Mark Little insists he has no plans to return to the Aussie soap.
The actor played ‘typical Aussie bloke’ Joe Mangel from 1988 until 1991. He reprised the role for a brief stint in 2005, but says that will be the last time he pays a visit to Ramsay Street. "I think I’ve done my bit in Neighbours. Joe Mangel is just a fond memory, and he certainly is that for a lot of people who still remember Joe. I was only three years in that soap, it’s long ago, so I did something right or something wrong, I don’t know."
Like many soap stars, he’s pointed to typecasting and claims the role affected his screen career. "Joe Mangel stopped me from doing a lot of film and television work, because producers think I’m some sort of gardener and not really an actor. It’s taken me 15 years to get back on the box," he said. Is anyone else seeing the irony of a soap star complaining about typecasting and then signing on for….another soap (OK, Emmerdale is a Brit soap….but still).
In his time on Neighbours, Joe Mangel’s memorable moments include:
- When his mother Nell Mangel remarried and moved to England, Joe (and a lot of his junk) took over 32 Ramsay Street
- Joe’s bond with Nell’s dog Bouncer was sweet to watch
- Joe started seeing Kerry Bishop, Harold’s (Ian Smith) daughter. They eventually got married in a butterfly sanctuary
- Tragedy struck later that year when Kerry was shot by a stray bullet while protesting against duck hunters. She died and also lost the baby she was carrying. Joe and Harold were grief stricken.
- Joe left Erinsborough in 1991 but briefly returned in 2005 for several months. Joe’s final words were "See ya round like a rissole!" to Kim Timmins
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