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Home and Away is a Logie Award-winning Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydneymarker by the Seven Network since July 1987. It premiered in January 1988 and is the second longest-running drama on Australian television, winning more than 30 Logie Awards.

The show initially focused on the characters of Pippa (Vanessa Downing/Debra Lawrance) and Tom Fletcher (Roger Oakley) who ran the Summer Bay Caravan Park and lived there with a succession of foster children, most notably their adopted daughter Sally, played by Kate Ritchie.


The Surf Club's Outside Eating Area

In 1985 the Seven Network axed the poorly rating soap Neighbours, but they were unaware that Network Ten, a rival television network, was in talks with the production team to air the soap on their network in 1986.

When Neighbours returned to television on Network Ten in 1986, it initially attracted low ratings. The Network worked hard to publicise Neighbours and their hard work was paid off when its popularity grew, by the end of 1987 it was attracting high ratings in Australia.

In late 1986, Network Seven's head of drama, Alan Bateman, was tasked with creating a pilot for a soap opera that was in no way a copy of Neighbours. Bateman soon found his inspiration when he stopped in Kangaroo Point, New South Walesmarker on a family outing. Chatting to locals, Bateman discovered that the townspeople were angered over the construction of a home for foster children from the city. Seeing the degree of conflict the plan for the new youth centre had produced within the community, Bateman recognised the drama that could be generated by this situation and began to develop it as the basis for the new soap opera.

When the show piloted in 1988, it focused on Tom Fletcher and his wife, Pippa. They had four foster children, Frank Morgan, Carly Morris, Steven Matheson, Lyn Davenport and an adopted daughter, Sally Fletcher. They soon fostered Bobby Simpson, a local tearaway, much to the annoyance of Donald Fisher. They bought the caravan park and quickly built strong friendships with the locals, Ailsa Stewart, Alf Stewart and Neville and Floss McPhee.

Home and Away celebrated its twenty-first year in production with a celebration in Sydney on 23 July, 2009. Cast members were presented with the key to Palm Beach by the mayor of Sydney's Pittwater Councilmarker, where the show is filmed.


Main Cast Members

Actor Character Duration
Ray Meagher Alf Stewart 1988–
Cornelia Frances Morag Bellingham 1988–1989, 1993, 2001–
Jodi Gordon Martha MacKenzie Holden 1988–1989, 2005–
Lyn Collingwood Colleen Smart 1988–1989, 1997, 1999–
Lynne McGranger Irene Roberts 1992–
Ada Nicodemou Leah Patterson-Baker 2000–
Todd Lasance Aden Jefferies 2005, 2007–2010
Jon Sivewright Tony Holden 2005–
Amy Mathews Rachel Armstrong 2006–
Charlotte Best Annie Campbell 2007–
Lincoln Lewis Geoff Campbell 2007–2010
Josh Quong Tart Miles Copeland 2007–
Tessa James Nicole Franklin 2008–
Esther Anderson Charlie Buckton 2008–
Rebecca Breeds Ruby Buckton 2008–
Luke Jacobz Angelo Rosetta 2008–
David Jones-Roberts Xavier Austin 2008–
Bernard Curry Hugo Austin 2009–
Sonia Todd Gina Austin 2009–
Axle Whitehead Liam Murphy 2009–
Shane Withington John Palmer 2009–
Luke Mitchell Romeo Smith 2009–

Notable former cast members

Notable former cast members include Heath Ledger (Scott Irwin), Isla Fisher (Shannon Reed), Melissa George (Angel Parrish), Julian McMahon (Ben Lucini), Dannii Minogue (Emma Jackson), Simon Baker (James Healy), Guy Pearce (David Croft) and Naomi Watts. According to Kip Gamblin (Scott Hunter, 2003–2005), "the acting apprenticeship so many had received on the set of Home and Away had paved the way for their success."


All interiors for the show are filmed at Seven Sydneymarker's Eppingmarker studios. The exterior scenes are filmed on location mainly at Palm Beachmarker and at Fisherman's Beach, Collaroymarker in Sydney's Northern Beaches region.

Production team

Broadcasts and viewership


Home and Away is broadcast in Australia on weekdays at 19:00. The show airs for 46 weeks each year (except for occasions where worldwide events take priority such as the Olympic Games). Each new season usually begins on the second Monday in January and the season finale usually airs on the last Friday of November. The 2008 season (which started and ended two weeks later than usual) began on 28 January with episode 4561 and ended on 28 November with episode 4770. The show rates well and is often the highest rating programme in its time slot, usually receiving between 1 and 1.4 million viewers per episode (nightly).

During the 2004 Olympics, there was a 17-day gap beginning after episode 3805 on Friday 13 August, 2004 until Monday 30 August, 2004 when was a cliff-hanger of a similar sort in 2008.

In November 2009, Channel Seven utilised their new Digital TV channel 7TWO to start showing repeat episodes of the show from the start, beginning with the pilot episode. These episodes are shown weekdays at 9.30am.


In France, the show is not referred to as Home and Away, but is referred to as Summer Bay. The digital network NT1 commenced airing episodes on Monday 4 September 2006.


The show has been showing in Flanders (northern Belgiummarker, with Dutch language subtitles) since Kanaal Twee (VTM's commercial sister channel, renamed 2BE in 2008) opened in 1995. Episodes currently being shown aired in Australia in October 2007. The show originally aired once a day at 18:30 but since January 2008 airs twice a day; currently each 25 minute episode first shows at 17:55 and is repeated the next day about 13:30. Episodes airing currently are thought to be those that aired in Australia in November 2007. Belgium will begin airing episodes from 2008 in June 2009.


In Ireland, the national state broadcaster, RTÉmarker, has shown the programme since its inception.

The show airs every day of the week but there are no new episodes on Saturdays or Sundays. New episodes air at 13:25 weekdays on RTÉ One, but on special occasions such as Christmas, episodes have been known to start airing as early as 11:15. An encore presentation is screened on RTÉ Two weekdays at 18:30 with an omnibus played over two days (Saturday and Sunday). The show has consistently been RTÉ TWO's most popular televised drama, regularly topping the ratings over the past 21 years. (Average ratings for the show are in the region of 250,000 viewers, with 130,000 for the RTÉ ONE lunchtime showing.)

The 2009 Season Premiere aired in Ireland on Tuesday, 3 February at 13:25 on RTÉ One. Due to the UK's Five having the rights to premiere the show in Europe, it cannot be shown on RTÉ when it is not shown on Five.

RTÉ are currently only 11 episodes behind Australia.

New Zealand

Home and Away airs weekdays at 5:30pm on TV3. The previous day's episode airs the following afternoon at 12:30pm, with the exception of Friday's episode, which airs the following Monday afternoon. An omnibus also airs on Sunday mornings, which includes all of the week's episodes, at 10:40am.


Home and Away first appeared on British television on Saturday, 11 February, 1989. It was broadcast on ITV for the first 11 and a half years of its British history, showing episodes 1-2840. The last episode on ITV aired on Thursday 8 June, 2000. At the time, ITV were 9 episodes behind Australia, hence the reason for the regular breaks at Christmas and Easter.

Home and Away made its long awaited début on Five on Monday 16 July 2001. At this point, there were still 24 weeks worth of episodes from 2000 to air. The night before the first episode premiered on Five on Sunday 15 July, 2001, there was a special hour-long recap episode, which had not been aired in any other country around the world. As well as a recap, there were also hints of things to come such as the arrival of the Sutherland family, which had taken place three weeks into its run on Five. Episodes did originally air on Five at 6 p.m. weeknights with a re-run at 12.30 p.m. (until 30 December, 2005) and then noon (from 3 January, 2006–8 February, 2008). When Five picked up Neighbours the re-run slot was moved to the 6.00pm slot and the episodes now have their first airing on the channel on weekdays at 2.15 p.m. In the event of a football match, Home and Away will air one of its slots (the 2.15 p.m. one normally) and then do two repeats the following night from 6.00 p.m.-7.00 p.m. The 2009 season started on Five on Monday 2 February 2009. This is the first time that Five has ever aired episodes ahead of New Zealandmarker.

Home and Away was first shown on Five Life (now Fiver) on Monday, 16 October, 2006, the day after the channel's launch. Home and Away is no longer sponsored by Ragú in the United Kingdommarker. Alan Dale, who appeared in the role of Jim Robinson in rival soap Neighbours between 1985 and 1993, was the voice of the sponsor. On 2 June, appliance rental retailer BrightHouse became the new sponsor. Fiver is 1 week and 4 days worth of episodes behind Australia and the 2009 season started on Friday 30 January 2009. For the first time in ten years, this will mean that the UKmarker is ahead of New Zealandmarker by a fortnight. The last time this had occurred was in 1999, a year prior to the year-long break in the UK.


During the 1990s, Home And Away was a runaway hit in Canadamarker (while airing on YTV). However, due to intentional competition with other afternoon soaps such as The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of our Lives, both Home And Away and Neighbours were taken off the schedule.

In Cyprus the show was first shown on CyBC 2 from September 1992 until March 1999 when it was cancelled.

Theme song

The theme's lyrics have remained the same since the pilot episode, but have been gradually reduced in length to keep newer versions of the song at a shorter length. The theme was released as a single in the UK in 1989 and peaked at #73 on the UK single charts.The single track includes the opening and closing themes and an additional saxophone section. Since the launch of the 1995 version of the theme tune, extracts from the second verse of the full-length soundtrack have been used to close the show, as opposed to an edited version of the opening song which was used until this point. The theme was shortened in 1996, and again in 2004. John Holmes, executive producer of Home and Away, explained the erosion of theme music in 2007. He said, "That's been a casualty of the accelerated flow which is the abolition of opening credits and having our closing credits condensed to such an extent that they are put on the screen at the same time as we are promoting the next episode."

The 2007-2008 theme was recorded by 20-year-old actor and musician Luke Dolahenty. Originally, Israel Cannan sang the theme in early 2007, but due to complaints from fans, Network Seven decided to re-record it, making it the shortest running theme song in the programmes history.

The Home and Away theme is also used as an instrumental underscore on special occasions. It was last used during Sally's final scene and was heard several times throughout the storyline (most notably Sally and Flynn's wedding).

In 2009 the show debuted with a revamped opening and closing theme; however, for timing reasons the lyrics have been shortened slightly and the tune now runs at 15 seconds. The theme has returned to a male/female duet, after eight years of male group/solo singers. As it is much shorter, the theme will once again play at the start of every episode. From June 2006 to November 2008, the opening titles were played on a completely random basis, depending on the episodes' length. The theme is accompanied by the show's first set of castless opening titles. The design of the titles is that of a collage, made up from many pictures of Palm Beach, the location used as Summer Bay.

Version Artist Duration
1 Karen Boddington & Mark Williams 1988 - 1994
2 Doug Williams & Erana Clark 1994 - 1999
3 The Robertson Brothers 1999 - 2003
4 The Robertson Brothers 2004 - 2006
5 Israel Cannan January - April 2007
6 Luke Dolahenty April 2007 - 2008
7 Luke Dolahenty & Tarryn Stokes 2009 -


In March 2009, it was alleged that the Seven Network agreed to censor a scene with a lesbian kiss, after pressure from religious groups. This action was publicly condemned by several parties, including media commentator David Knox and award-winning novelist Jack Heath. Heath was quoted as saying "Imagine they decided to feature a black actor in an upcoming episode. And then the Klu Klux Klan started yelling about protecting the children. Would the network be justified in cutting all the scenes with the black actor? Of course not. Because the KKK doesn't represent the general population — they're just good at making noise." Bevan Lee, Seven Network's Head Of Creative Drama, later denied the censorship allegations, calling it a media beat up.

In July, 2009, a former Home and Away actor, Bryan Wiseman, wrote in The Sunday Telegraph alleging a culture of drug and alcohol abuse among the younger members of the cast. The allegations followed incidents involving cast-members Lincoln Lewis and Jodi Gordon. Lewis was "disciplined" by Channel Seven after it became public that he had filmed himself and a "starlet" engaged in a sexual act and then shown the film to Home and Away colleagues. Gordon and a male friend reported to police that they had seen, on a security camera, men armed with guns in the backyard of the friend's home. No men were found and the pair later admitted to police that they had consumed drugs during the day. No charges were laid.

Other media

Books and magazines

Name Release Date/Year Publisher Author ISBN
Home and Away Annual 1989
Home and Away Special 1989
Home and Away Annual 1990
Home and Away Special 1990
The Official Home and Away Annual 1992
Home and Away Annual Authorized Edition 1992
Home and Away: Behind The Scenes 1989
The Frank Morgan Story 1989
The Carly Morris & Steven Matheson Stories 1989
The Bobby Simpson Story 1989
The Matt Wilson Story 1989
Home and Away: Carly's Crisis 1989
Home and Away: Bobby & Frank 1989
Home and Away: 2 In 1 1990
Home and Away: Dangerous Ride 1989
Family Matters 1990
Home and Away Volume 1: Summer Bay Blues 1990
Home and Away Volume 2: Scandal At Summer Bay 1990
Home and Away: Hearts Divided 2003 Pan Australia Leon F Saunders ISBN 9780330364614
Home and Away: Dani On Trial 2004 Leon F Saunders ISBN 0330364952
Home and Away: Prisoner No. 2549971 2004 Pan Macmillan Leon F Saunders ISBN 978-0-330-36496-6
A Place In The Bay October 2004
The Long Goodbye November 2004
Mayday June 2005
Second Chances September 2005
Home and Away: Celebrating 21 Years (Official collector's edition) January 2009 Pacific Magazines

DVD, VHS & soundtracks

Name Release Date/Year Type Of Annual/Book
Classic Home and Away 1993 VHS
Home and Away: The Official Summer Bay Special 1996 VHS
Home and Away: Secrets And The City 2003 VHS/DVD
Home and Away: Hearts Divided 2003 VHS/DVD
Home and Away: Romances (Includes Pilot Episode) 2005 DVD
Home and Away: Weddings 2006 DVD
Home and Away: The Sounds of Summer Bay 1996 Soundtrack
Home and Away: Songs From and Inspired by the Television Series 2000 Soundtrack
Home and Away Hits 2002 Soundtrack
Home and Away Hits 2 2003 Soundtrack


Name Release Date/Year Type Of Annual/Book
Fan Cards 1988 - present Cards
The Game Of Home and Away ??? Board Game
Home and Away The Magazine: Issue 1 1993 - 1994 Magazine
Home and Away Calendar 2005 Calendar


External links

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