She may have driven off a cliff when she exited Neighbours in 2003, but Madeleine West is set to make a dramatic return to Ramsey Street, filming her first scenes this week.
Despite her character, Dee Bliss, appearing to have met a watery demise on her wedding day, West is thrilled to reprise the role which launched her TV career and seen her go on to land roles in series including Satisfaction, Underbelly and upcoming drama The Wrong Girl.
The ultimately tragic wedding day between Dee and Neighbours stalwart Toadie (Ryan Moloney) recently topped a national fan poll of favourite storylines.
The couple’s car plunged off a cliff into the ocean after their fairytale wedding. And while Toadie was pulled from the ocean, Dee’s body was never found.
Since airing thirteen years ago, the episode spawned countless conspiracy theories about what happened to the missing-presumed-dead bride.
West is keeping mum on the way in which Dee will return to the show, but said it’s a storyline she’s excited to be part of.
“Neighbours has become like part of our Australian heritage,” she said of why she decided to return to the series.
“I’ve always found it lovely when someone from the audience approaches me and feel like they knows me through Dee.
“That’s when you know you’ve done your job in breathing life into a character that allowed people to suspend their disbelief for half an hour a day, five days a week.
“It’s like you stepped into someone’s lounge room and become part of their family.”
The mum of six admitted she doesn’t have time to tune into the show on a regular basis these days, but she’s kept up to date on the goings on thanks to her longstanding friendships with those she worked with on the show including Carla Bonner (Steph), Kym Valentine (Libby) and Jackie Woodburne (Susan).
“We spent so much time together and were exploring emotional subject matter so you learn a lot about each other’s families and backgrounds, their hopes and their dreams,” she explained of why they’ve stayed in touch.
“You get the opportunity to form friendships that you’ll have for life.”
West’s first appearance as Dee will occur onscreens in December with the role continuing in 2017.