It’s the return to Summer Bay we’ve been waiting for – that of Home And Away’s original power couple Bobby (Nicolle Dickson) and Frank (Alex Papps). And you won’t want to miss the once wildly popular duo’s emotion-charged comeback in the special Seven presentation, Endless Summer – 30 Years of Home And Away.
For Nicolle, now 49 and a mother of two, heading back to Summer Bay was an opportunity she simply couldn’t pass up.
‘I was really excited to go back,’ she says. ‘There are not many “oldies” left, but I was so excited to see Ray [Meagher] especially, and also meet some of the new cast members. I have such fond memories of my time on Home And Away and I just thought: “This will be so much fun!”’
Only 18 and an unknown actress when she won the role of tearaway teen Bobby over 400 other aspiring young performers, Nicolle certainly wasn’t prepared for overnight fame.
‘It’s such a blur, because it was such a long time ago,’ she laughs. ‘I was straight out of school and it was an incredibly exciting opportunity, although none of us had any idea at the time of how successful it would become. I think we all went into it a bit blind.
‘It was my first big acting job and so it was a huge break for me. Doing a shopping centre appearance with hundreds of people screaming was a bit surreal – it was a bit of a frenzy.’
Life has undoubtedly changed for Nicolle since she left the Bay – her character dramatically dying in a 1993 speedboat accident, only to later make a brief but unforgettable return as a ghost.
Now living in NSW and working as an accountant, Nicole and her policeman husband of 28 years, James Bell, have two grown-up sons, Lincoln, 22, and Winston, 20. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
‘I’ve had a completely different life,’ she agrees. ‘I had a bit of a break when I left the show, then started a family before studying accountancy.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.
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