Neighbours has announced a speedy recasting of one of its regular characters due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a dramatic turn of events, Pierce Greyson will no longer be played by Tim Robards – who has starred as the billionaire businessman for two years.
Tim was scheduled to finish filming with the series in Melbourne next month, but due to changing Covid-19 regulations and travel restrictions, he opted to wrap four weeks early to return to Sydney to be with his wife, Anna Heinrich, as they both prepare for their next starring role as first-time parents.
While Tim gets ready to be a dad, acclaimed actor Don Hany, whose credits include White Collar Blue and Offspring, will step into the expensive shoes of Pierce to film the character’s final scenes commencing this week.
‘I would like to thank the amazing cast, crew, Fremantle and Network Ten for the incredible opportunity to play Pierce Greyson,’ Tim announced.
‘I have absolutely loved my time on the show and will miss it immensely.’
He continued: ‘I made the gut-wrenching decision to depart Neighbours early as my responsibilities as a husband and father have to take precedence.
‘If I’ve learnt anything in this pandemic it’s that the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first.’
Tim’s final episode on Neighbours will air in the UK on Monday 9 November and Don will assume the role from Friday 13 November at 5.30pm.
Don already has a connection to Neighbours as his real-life wife Alin Sumarwata played regular character Vanessa Villante from 2011 to 2013 and has made several guest appearances since.
‘I’m thrilled to have been invited to be part of a show that is part of Australian television history,’ he enthused.
‘I’ve never done the show before so it’s all new and I’m so happy to be here.
‘It’s a testament to the resilience of the show that it’s still running at a time like this.’
Neighbours’ Executive Producer, Jason Herbison, added: ‘With Covid-19 restrictions continuing to limit movement and with the risk of Tim potentially not being able to travel, we all felt that in these astonishing times, Tim should return home to Sydney to be with his wife Anna ahead of the impending birth of their first child.
‘We thank Tim for his passion for Neighbours and wish him and Anna every happiness as they embark on parenthood.’
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