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Interviews > Melissa Bell

Amongst the returning characters for this week's 20th Anniversary episodes of Neighbours was original Ramsay Street resident Lucy Robinson. Having first been seen as a nine-year-old in episode one back in 1985, Lucy spent the next ten years going through all sorts of dramas - falling down storm drains, going blind, developing a brain tumour, being kidnapped by a crazed sociopath, working as a go-go dancer and marrying her wrinkly old modelling agent. And perhaps most famously, Lucy changed faces - not once, but twice. The final actress to take on the role, Melissa Bell, has played Lucy in one form or another since 1990, and we caught up with her for a quick chat about her latest stint on Ramsay Street...

Can you tell us a little about what you have been doing since you last played Lucy in 1995?
Well where do I begin? I have three children, a wonderful husband and have worked on many shows here. I released a book in the UK called Living Famously. I worked on Celebrity Overhaul here in Australia this year and am currently working on a new book on fitness & lifestyle.

After a gap of almost ten years, how did the return to Neighbours for the anniversary episodes come about?
The offer came around 6 months before shoot date.

What did it feel like to step back into Lucy’s shoes again?
I love Lucy so much. She is so me. I played Lucy at such a young age; only 18 years old. So playing her at 32 was wonderful for me, as she had changed so much over the years.

How did it feel to be reunited with the other returning cast members for the special episodes?
Wow, seeing people again was wonderful.

Do you think Neighbours has changed since you last appeared in 1995?
Yes and No. Still the same set and same green room. So, no, not really. In fact, it felt just the same. Just like old times- nothing had changed.

Which other former cast members would you have liked to see return for the occasion?

Have you seen the reunion episodes yet?
Yes, I have seen the reunion eps. The best thing for this time was that my children could sit down and watch the show. Now they are hooked!

A big birthday party was held around the time of the filming of the episodes, did you attend?
Did someone say party? Yes, I did attend. It was a great night, catching up with every one was a big must.

Did you find it difficult taking over the role of Lucy from Sasha Close (who had previously taken over from Kylie Flinker) back in 1991?
I did not find it difficult at all. I was the grown up Lucy Robinson, who was home from boarding school.

Now that big brother Paul Robinson is back on the series as a permanent fixture, do you think we might see Lucy back in Erinsborough again at some point? Would you be interested in a return?
I would love to work on Neighbours again.

Finally, what do you think accounts for the 20 years of success Neighbours has enjoyed?
It's about real life - that's why it works so well.

Interview by Moe. Added on 21st October 2005