This isn’t the first time, however, that the talented actress has paid a visit to our favourite coastal town.
Long-time fans of the show may recall that, more than a decade ago, Simone appeared in the recurring role of Ric’s (Mark Furze) on-again/ off-again love interest Vivian Anderson.
“It was a long time ago, but I also knew a lot of the gang from my Blue Heelers and Channel Seven days, and just being around the traps,” says Simone. “I’ve also known Lynne and Ada, who my character now has a lot to do with, and so it was a little bit like coming home. They’re so warm and welcoming and gave me a big hug.
“I particularly get to spend a lot of time on set with Lynne. She’s such a perfectionist and is so present and truthful. It’s like her heart is in her eyes.”
Meanwhile, Simone has only the fondest of memories of her role in the iconic Australian show that launched her career – that of Constable Susie Raynor on Blue Heelers.
“It was a real training ground and my first big break,” she says, reflecting, “I was very lucky to get that break. I worked with a wonderful cast and I’m still close friends with Ditch [Davey], who was my fellow actor on the show.” Calling London home for the past six years, Simone is thrilled to be back on home turf.
“I loved London and it was quite a big transition to come back, but there is something about coming back to your roots … I’m really happy here.”
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!