800 Words star Erik Thompson’s marriage confession: Our hardest year yet

It's tough being a showbiz couple.

With two kids and 19 years of marriage under their belts, actors Erik Thomson and Caitlin McDougall are more in love than ever. But having a successful showbiz marriage isn’t always easy.

In fact, Erik, 51, revealed that last year was a difficult one for the family of four. He had to spend a lot of time in New Zealand where he was filming the hit show 800 Words, while his wife and two kids, Eilish, 11, and Magnus, seven, stayed at their family home in Adelaide.

‘We had a bit of a hard year last year,’ he admits to New Idea. ‘I was away for big chunks of time and my kids are only young. I would ring up and there would be tears, it made things a bit more difficult.’

As a family they made the best of the situation.

‘We just dealt with it on a daily basis. We kept in touch and we would get together when we could.’

Despite having a tough year, they’ve come out of it stronger than ever and are considering working together again.


Erik and Caitlin both worked on TV series, The Alice, back in 2005, but they haven’t appeared on screen together since welcoming their two children.

Now the kids are growing up, the couple would love to appear on the small screen together.

‘After The Alice we went into family land,’ he says. ‘I’ve fortunately been doing Rafters and 800 Words and Caitlin has been able to be a stay-at-home mum, but we’re at that point where to get the opportunity to work together again would be great. So, we will keep an eye out for those opportunities.’

But before that happens, Erik is thrilled to see season four of his comedy-drama series 800 Words return to our TV screens.

‘I’m very ready for it to go to air and answer a few questions for our audience,’ he says. ‘They will get to see the next phase of the Turner family saga.’

After being left on a cliffhanger, fans will no doubt be thrilled to see the series return.

Picking up from where it left off last season, viewers will finally discover which woman columnist George said yes to.

‘[This season] explores how we traverse the new landscape of love at a different time of our life with different rules,’ he muses.

‘It’s a case of going, well that’s all well and good, but you’re not two 19-year-olds with no baggage attached. Romantic love is great, but then you’ve got the practicality of life and blending families.’

However, fans should prepare themselves because this could be the last time we see the lovable seaside community of Weld.

‘We made 40 episodes, we’ve told a lot of stories, the characters have had a pretty great journey,’ Erik says. ‘At this stage we kind of finish off the story.’

But before you get the tissues out, there is still hope…

‘Never say never in this business. If the opportunity arises we would all love to come back,’ he says

Meanwhile, the actor is about to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Packed To The Rafters, which first hit our screens on August 28, 2008.

‘It’s 10 years, I can’t believe it,’ he gushes. ‘It was a big night when that went to air and it gave the TV drama landscape a boost. Looking back, it was a pretty amazing achievement.’

Could there ever be a reunion special?

‘I think we would love to,’ Erik reveals. ‘We have discussed it, but the difficult thing is getting everyone together at the same time.’

For the full story, and more TV exclusives, see the latest issue of New Idea – on sale now! 

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