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Character Profiles > Oliver Barnes David Hoflin

Oliver Barnes 2007-2008, 2011
Lived: 30 Ramsay Street
Born: 1981
Parents: Rebecca Napier and Richard Aaronow (biological); Clifford and Pamela Barnes (adoptive)
Siblings: Declan; Sebastian [Will] (adoptive)
Children: Chloe
Family Tree: Barnes/Napier
Occupation: Part-Owner of Lassiter's Hotel

Born 16th November 1981, then adopted by business executive Clifford Barnes and his wife, Pamela, Oliver often found himself as the neglected child when his younger brother, Sebastian came along. When Pamela and Clifford died, their hotel empire was left to the free-spirited Oliver, though his parents had always encouraged him not to take on the responsibility if he wasn't sure about it. Having always had his doubts about taking his inheritance, he decided to sign it all away, before leaving to go travelling. Oliver’s younger brother, Sebastian, was then left as heir, but before taking complete control, he decided to get a taste of the real world. Using his brother’s carefree personality and going by the name of Will Griggs, Sebastian moved into Ramsay Street, got work as a barman and started dating Carmella Cammeniti. However, when she finally found out that he’d been hiding his wealth from her, she told him that she couldn’t be in a relationship with no trust and ended things, while Will disappeared. Within days, Oliver had found out about his brother’s exploits and arrived in Erinsborough to apologise to Carmella and explain everything. Although shocked at first, Carmella soon wondered if Oliver was the man she should have fallen in love with all along.

As Oliver and Carmella grew closer, he stuck around in Erinsborough, and befriended Will’s former housemates, Rosetta, Pepper and Frazer. As Carmella and Oliver grew closer, Paul Robinson decided that his daughter, Elle, would be a better match for him - if Oliver could get his hands on the inheritance, not only would he be wealthy, but he’d own a 2% share in Lassiter’s hotel, which Paul owned a 49% share in himself. After getting Ned Parker into serious debt at a rigged poker game, Paul offered to settle the debt if Ned would do him a few favours and split up both Oliver and Carmella and Elle and her boyfriend, Dylan. During a weekend away, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Ned managed to get Dylan and Carmella drunk and, once they’d both passed out, put them in the same bed. A horrified Elle and Oliver then found them and although both relationships looked shaky, Oliver and Carmella patched things up.

When Carmella and her sister, Rosetta, were asked by their father, Rocco, who was in prison, to take over the family business and save it from being run into the ground by his vengeful brother, Ray, Carmella was happy to prove herself. However, Oliver’s attempts to help her financially came to nothing, when he was told that the contracts were watertight and there was no way that he could get his hands on his inheritance. Carmella instead used some money that Rocco had buried before going to prison, and she and Oliver started up the family fruit and veg business, Celestial Fruits. They quickly ran into problems when Ray, who held Carmella responsible for his daughter giving up her baby and having a mental breakdown, blackmailed the market suppliers into only giving Carmella a small range of the products in her orders. Realising that she’d have to play Ray at his own game, Carmella paid off the suppliers and was soon back in business.

Oliver was growing uncomfortable with Carmella’s ruthless streak, and soon, Paul and Elle saw a chance to make some more trouble. The Robinsons decided to play on Oliver’s concerns about Carmella and force the young couple apart, so that Elle could get her hands on him, and help him get to his money. However, things went a little too far when, hoping to scare Oliver and, pretending it was a warning from Uncle Ray, they planted a bomb in Carmella’s delivery van, only for it to detonate at the wrong time, almost killing her and Oliver. At the hospital, Elle told Carmella not to give up on her war with Ray, before warning Oliver that Carmella’s games were dangerous and she was showing no sign of giving up. As Carmella confronted Ray, he suddenly started having chest pains and, believing he was dying, insisted that he hadn’t been behind the bomb. Oliver arrived in time to witness the scene and decided that Carmella had gone too far and he had to get away from her.

With Oliver suitably upset, Elle put the next part of her plan into action. She offered Oliver the use of the Robinsons’ guest house for a few days and, later, went to see him, upset, claiming that she and Paul had been arguing. As she hoped, Oliver offered her the guest house, before she suggested that they go together. Once there, the pair went horse-riding together by the river, and Elle managed to “accidentally” drop his mobile phone in the water, making sure that Carmella couldn’t get in touch. She then pretended to be upset about the end of her relationship with Dylan, and faked a fall from her horse to win Oliver over, and before long the pair were kissing. Their passionate moment was interrupted by Carmella who arrived with Rosetta and Pepper to try and win back Oliver. He told her that he wasn’t interested and sent her packing, before sleeping with Elle, who happily reported back to her father that their plan was working perfectly.

However, it wasn’t long before a guilty Ned told Elle that he’d been behind the events at the Valentine’s Day retreat, and it had all been orchestrated by Paul. Elle reported it all back to Oliver and let him in on her plan to bring her father down. The pair pretended that their relationship was going swimmingly well, and even managed to convince a reluctant Carmella to avoid being seen in public with Oliver for a few weeks, and Paul was delighted when Oliver then managed to sign documents entitling him to receive his rightful inheritance. During the document signing, Alan Napier, the man who had been a faithful assistant to the Barnes family for many years, admitted to Oliver that he had long believed that Oliver had been treated badly and had finally decided to do something about it. As the meeting came to an end, an increasingly stressed Alan suddenly collapsed with heart problems and, as they waited for the ambulance, he tried to tell Oliver an important family secret, only to pass out. At the hospital, Alan survived surgery but fell into a coma. As Oliver waited for news, he and Elle continued with the plan, the next phase of which was to announce their engagement to Paul. He was delighted, and even more pleased when they told him of their idea to get Janelle Timmins, Dylan's mother, to sell her 49% hotel shares to Oliver.

In fact, Elle and Oliver let the Timmins family in on everything that had been going on and asked Janelle to go along with the plan. They then reported back to Paul that Janelle was refusing to sell, as long as he still owned half of the hotel. They convinced Paul to temporarily sign his assets over to Elle, Oliver then bought out Janelle and, a few days later at Oliver and Elle’s engagement party, Paul took great pride in rubbing Janelle’s nose in the fact that he’d got one over on her. Janelle pretended to be furious at the deception, only to be at the front of the crowd when Elle announced to her father, and everyone else, that she’d conned him and she and Oliver were now the owners of Lassiter’s. Paul was left with nothing and Oliver later made sure that the hotel staff knew that he wasn’t going to run the business like Paul – he would make it his business to know each of their names and treat them with respect. With the fake engagement over, Oliver’s attention returned to Carmella, who had been growing increasingly unhappy with the whole situation and become addicted to anti-depressants. As Carmella’s behaviour became more and more erratic, Oliver finally put his foot down and told her that the pill-popping had to stop. Carmella then disappeared to the country for a few days to visit some fruit suppliers, before returning and assuring her boyfriend that she’d given up the tablets for good.

As he became more involved in the running of Lassiter’s, Oliver found himself struggling to hide his attraction to Elle and, after securing a big deal with Erinsborough Hospital, the pair found themselves sharing a passionate kiss. Oliver admitted to Elle that, although he loved Carmella, he was falling in love with her too and wasn’t sure what to do. When Paul suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with a brain tumour, requiring an urgent operation, Oliver stood by Elle in her time of need, but an unsettled Carmella offered to take Oliver’s place. As Carmella’s jealousy continued, Oliver struggled to cope, particularly when she started talking about their first date, before realising that it was an experience she’d shared with Will, not Oliver. When Carmella then went missing with Ringo Brown one night, Oliver was uncomfortable, unaware that it was actually Ringo’s plan to get her to stop her pill-popping, having stolen her tablets and sabotaged the truck, leaving her to go cold turkey all night. The next day, Carmella returned with a new clarity and told Oliver that their relationship was going nowhere and they should break up. Though upset, it didn’t take Oliver long to jump into bed with Elle, though the pair agreed to keep their new relationship a secret to spare Carmella’s feelings.

Meanwhile, Alan Napier started to stir from his coma and asked to see Oliver, who was stunned when the Barnes family employee broke the news that he was Oliver’s grandfather, and Pamela and Clifford weren’t his real parents. Alan then slipped back into the coma, and Oliver was left to deal with the news, and look for answers, on his own. Though unable to get a DNA test, since Alan was unconscious and couldn’t give his permission, Elle went ahead anyway, stealing a hair from Oliver and Alan, and giving the test over to lab worker John Coward, who she bribed to do the tests without the permission forms. The test showed that Alan had been telling the truth, so Elle organised for a private detective to track down the Napier children, Rebecca and Marcus, one of whom had to be Oliver’s real parent. Marcus proved easy to find, but immediately denied being Oliver’s dad and warned him off searching for Rebecca, as she would bring nothing but trouble. After thinking it all through, Oliver decided that he had to meet Rebecca and form his own opinions, so, with Elle’s help, he got her phone number and left her a message. She returned his call, and they arranged to meet, though Oliver was left upset when Rebecca told him that they could have no further contact, as she wanted to leave the past behind. But, as she looked through the clipping she’d kept about her son, Rebecca changed her mind and agreed to see him, but that she must initiate all contact, as she didn’t want her younger son, Declan, to know about Oliver. He agreed to this, despite Elle’s misgivings, and the pair agreed to meet for lunch the following day, which Rebecca then cancelled at the last minute.

Seeing how upset Oliver was, Elle decided to go behind his back and visit Rebecca to make her see how selfish she was being. It looked like backfiring when an upset Rebecca got in touch with Oliver and asked him to keep his girlfriend under control, but, after Oliver was involved in a minibus accident on the way back from Rosie and Frazer’s wedding, Rebecca visited to check on him and even started to get along better with Elle. Things were going perfectly until Rebecca spotted a photo of Paul on the table and, after asking who he was, fled from number 22. A confused Oliver went to visit Rebecca, telling her that he wasn’t going to let her treat him like this any longer, but was shocked when she suddenly suggested that perhaps he should stop seeing Elle. Unsure why she would say something like that, he later arrived at number 22 where he found a concerned Elle and Paul waiting for him, with the news that Rebecca believed that Paul was Oliver’s biological father, meaning that he’d been having a relationship with his half-sister. Paul and Oliver agreed to a DNA test to settle the matter and, as they waited for the results, Oliver assured Paul that there was nothing to worry about, lying that his relationship with Elle hadn’t reached a sexual level yet. With Oliver and Elle struggling to act normal around each other, the test results showed that Paul wasn’t Oliver’s dad. Devastated, Oliver vowed to have nothing further to do with Rebecca, but Paul convinced him to give her another chance, as he knew that she had honestly believed that her claims about his paternity were true.

As Oliver waited outside Rebecca’s house, he saw her with Declan, heading out for a driving lesson, and approached them both. Having had enough of the lies, he told Declan who he was, leaving Rebecca’s relationship with her younger son hanging by a thread. However, after seeing some of his mum’s newspaper clippings and realising that his newfound big brother was rich, Declan saw an opportunity to make some easy money. He went to see Oliver and started telling him about how he had nothing to wear for his upcoming school formal and, desperate to have some kind of friendship with his sibling, Oliver soon handed over some cash. Oliver then spoke to Rebecca again about his father, and, at first, she lied that it was a man named Andrew Butler, but, after talking to Paul, she realised that her son deserved to know the truth. She explained that his real father had been a cruel and violent man who she’d split up with soon after Oliver’s conception, but they had later reunited and he had raped her, resulting in Declan. Oliver thanked her for her honesty, finally understanding why she had hoped Paul was his real father, and why Declan could never know the truth. Meanwhile, desperate to impress his little brother, Oliver bought Declan a car for his 17th birthday, only for Rebecca to forbid her youngest from keeping it. But as the brothers went to take it back, Oliver agreed to let Declan keep it, as long as they kept it stored away and Declan only used it once he'd passed his driving test.

Oliver soon had new family problem when Elle, not knowing the truth, was adamant that he should meet his real dad. With Declan forced to get a job at Lassiter's to pay back the money he'd borrowed from Oliver, Elle found out the name of their father, Richard Aaronow and tracked him down to Alkrington Grammar School, where he was principal. After pretending that she was looking for a school for her little brother, it wasn't long before Elle's story started to unravel and Richard became suspicious, but as she rushed away, she dropped her bag and failed to notice that she'd left her Lassiter's I.D. badge behind. When Elle got back, Oliver realised that he needed to tell her the truth if she was ever going to let the matter drop and explained about the rape. Thinking that she'd narrowly avoided bring Richard back into Rebecca's life, Elle started to make an effort with Oliver's mum and the pair headed back to the Napier house for a Tom Cruise movie marathon, unaware that Richard was watching them. After being confronted by Richard at the General Store the next day, Elle realised what a horrible mistake she'd made and gathered Oliver, Rebecca and Paul together to explain everything. A terrified Rebecca started talking about leaving the area, but Paul convinced her to gather her and Declan's stuff and come to stay with him and Elle. Rebecca gratefully accepted but as they picked up some of her belongings, she received a call from Richard and, in a panic, started trashing her house, before calling the police, claiming that her ex-boyfriend had done it. Unfortunately, Oliver witnessed the whole thing, leaving him wondering just how much of Rebecca's word he could trust.

After deciding that he should get both sides of the story before condemning Richard, he went to speak to his father, who claimed that Rebecca was making the whole thing up, and she'd denied him access to Declan for no reason. With so much confusion over his own parents, the last thing Oliver was expecting was the news that he was about to become a father, especially from ex-girlfriend, Carmella. Though Oliver was delighted, he quickly realised that Elle wasn't quite so happy - having previously struggled when Dylan's ex, Sky, fell pregnant - but he was still surprised when Elle decided to end the relationship. Meanwhile, Oliver, Rebecca and Paul rushed to the river when they found out that Declan had gone on a fishing trip with Richard, intent of getting rid of him once and for all. As they arrived, they found Richard threatening Declan on the river bank, and that glimpse of his father's true nature was enough to make Oliver realise that he should have been supporting Rebecca all along. It also made Rebecca realise that she had to go to the police and report the rape, though, even with the police warning him to stay away, Richard continued to try and see his sons. Soon after, Paul took Rebecca and Declan for a short break in the country, where Richard followed them and, as he confronted Rebecca, ended up being knocked unconscious. At the hospital, they were all informed that Richard was actually seriously ill with end stage renal failure and could only have weeks to live. At first, Declan was determined to donate a kidney, so that Richard would be alive long enough to face the rape charges, but Rebecca refused to give her consent, so Oliver took his younger brother's place. Though things went well for Oliver, Richard's health was still poor and so the family decided to wait a while, until he was fully recovered, before taking the rape case any further.

As Oliver then turned his attentions to Carmella and their unborn child, she found herself desperate for a little independence and, after Oliver offered to buy a house for her and the baby, she responded by finding a shabby flat for him to purchase. Though Oliver was unsettled, he agreed to it, but, as Carmella headed off to Rome for the funeral of her Aunt Maria, he told her that he'd spend some money making the flat more habitable for her. Family issues were also about to grow more complicated for Oliver, as Alan passed away and, during the funeral, lawyer Tim Collins arrived to tell him that his adoptive brother Sebastian was contesting ownership of the Barnes hotel empire, having learnt that Oliver wasn't Pamela and Clifford's biological child. Oliver was determined to fight, but as he tried to pay for things for Carmella's flat, he found that his credit cards were being rejected, and learnt that Sebastian had had all of his assets frozen. When Sebastian then offered Oliver a cheque for $100,000 to step away from the battle, he accepted, but made it clear that he wasn't about to give up that easily.

However, things grew considerably more complicated when Oliver found himself caught up in Paul's murky past. Suffering terrible flashbacks, Paul was convinced that he was responsible for the murder of Gus Cleary three years earlier, and got in touch with his sister, Laura to ask for forgiveness. But Laura and her boyfriend Nick saw the chance to bleed Paul dry and make him pay for what he did, and, after learning that Oliver was heir to the Barnes empire, they kidnapped Declan and held him to ransom. But when they called and asked for $500,000, Oliver realised that he had little choice but to turn to Sebastian for help and, during a meeting with Tim Collins, was forced to sign a document declaring that he wouldn't fight for ownership of the Barnes hotels, in return for the extra $400,000 he needed. Though Oliver and Rebecca had agreed not to involve the police, they, along with Paul, were spotted leaving by Adam Rhodes and his partner, Sophie Cooper. With the police waiting to pounce, Oliver, Rebecca and Paul arrived at the drop-off point, only for Nick to arrive without Declan. During the chaos that followed, Nick tried to grab the bag containing the money, only for it to come open, and, as everyone watched the money fly off down the coast, Nick and Laura were arrested, with Laura eventually agreeing to tell them where she'd last seen Declan as he made his escape. As they searched into the night, they finally found Declan, tired and injured, and took him home.

Though he was physically fine, Declan struggled to deal with what had happened, and it was left to Oliver to try and help him. When he suggested that Declan find an outlet for his anger, he was later alarmed to realise that he'd gone to the caravan where Nick and Laura had held him hostage, with a plan to blow it up. Oliver arrived just in time to stop his brother, who then turned on him instead and a fight broke out, though Declan stopped before he did his brother any real damage. Declan then admitted that he was scared that he was going to turn out bad like their father, something which Oliver assured him would not happen and, back in Ramsay Street, they bonded further as Oliver showed Declan how to use a punching bag to take out his frustrations. Unfortunately, Oliver then failed to take his own advice as his jealousy over Elle's new friendship with Riley Parker boiled over, and the pair ended up brawling across the finish line at the Erinsborough fun run.

As Elle made it clear that she had no interest in getting back together with Oliver, he focused his efforts on impending fatherhood. As Oliver became increasingly unsettled by Carmella's partnership - both business and personal - with Marco Silvani, the petty squabbles were forgotten when Carmella suddenly doubled up in agony and was rushed to hospital. Though she was told that she would be fine, Carmella was shaken by the incident and decided to confront Oliver, explaining that she was still in love with him, and her feelings were the one thing that was preventing her from moving on with Marco. When Carmella then asked Oliver to be honest about his feelings, he stumbled over his words and finally admitted that he wasn't in love with Carmella any more.

Tensions between Oliver and Marco continued to be strained as the birth approached, but Oliver was looking forward to being a dad, and buying clothes for his child. The tensions were briefly forgotten when Carmella went into premature labour and had to have an emergency Caeserean section, but after a tense wait, both mother and daughter survived the ordeal. Although Oliver immediately blamed Marco for the situation, claiming that Carmella had been concentrating on him and not worrying about the baby or her health, he soon realised how unfair he was being, and the two men in Carmella's life patched up their differences.

Only days after Chloe was born, Oliver was beginning to panic about whether he was ready to be a father, but things took an unexpected turn when his own dad, Richard, made a surprise return to his life. Richard was rushed into Erinsborough Hospital after suffering renal failure again, and Dr Karl was faced with a dilemma when Richard forbade him from telling Declan or Oliver that he was there. However, Paul happened to be at the hospital when Karl was treating Richard and spotted him there, just as Oliver was considering visiting his father at the care facility to tell him about Chloe. When Oliver found out that Richard had checked out, he and Declan became concerned that their mum was in danger, but Paul finally told them where Richard was, and admitted that Rebecca was never going to get her day in court now - the best she could hope for was to see dying Richard and get an apology from him. And so, in Richard's final hours, he was visited by Rebecca and their two sons, and he told Rebecca that he'd done some terrible things to her and was sorry for them. He then died shortly afterwards. The following week, Richard's funeral took place, and Rebecca, Oliver and Declan said their goodbyes and got the closure they had all needed to move on.

Meanwhile, Oliver grew close to Marco's sister, Mia, and learnt from her that Marco had been married before meeting Carmella, adding her own suspicions that he was still in love with Marisa, his ex, and would eventually break Carmella's heart. This revelation was enough to reignite the rivalry between Marco and Oliver, who tried to do some digging of his own and find out why the marriage had ended. When Mia caught him with her phone, she began to realise that he had just been using her, but he insisted that wasn't the case and they agreed to try and make things work. Marco, however, was furious when he learnt that Mia had been seeing Oliver, so the couple decided to keep things secret for a while, eventually revealing their relationship during Chloe's Christening, and leading to a fist fight between the two men, when Oliver worked out the truth - Marco's marriage had ended because he was infertile, and Marisa had wanted a family. Appalled, Oliver accused Marco of only wanting Carmella because she was pregnant, leading Mia to end their relationship for good - and Oliver to make the surprising decision to apply for sole custody of his daughter.

With Oliver moving back to 22 Ramsay Street to help his case, and Carmella and Marco renting number 24 from Harold, they all struggled to avoid each other as the case began. Living under the same roof as Elle once again, Oliver couldn't resist some flirting, and the pair kissed several times and almost got back together again, but Elle realised that a relationship wasn't a good idea for either of them. However, after dropping the custody case and repairing his friendship with Carmella, Oliver told Elle that she was the only thing missing from his life, and she agreed to give things another try between them. Meanwhile, events took a tragic turn for Carmella when, during a picnic in the bush to celebrate his birthday, Marco proposed, but soon after a fire broke out and quickly spread. As Oliver and Marco, amongst others, sought shelter, Marco realised that Carmella's ring was missing and went back outside to look for it, finding himself caught as the fire hit them. With seriously internal injuries from the heat and smoke, Marco was taken to hospital, but his life was slipping away, and he and Carmella were married there in his hospital room, with Oliver as best man.

In the wake of Marco's death, a confused Carmella ended up kissing Oliver, which heralded the end of his relationship with Elle when she found out. In the weeks that followed, the lines of Carmella and Oliver's relationship became more blurred, but when Oliver was headhunted by a hotel chain in New York, he made immediate plans to fly to the UK to organise business matters with Sebastian, before going to the US, and he asked Carmella and Chloe to join him. Carmella, however, couldn't face moving on from Marco so soon after his death, while Oliver realised that some space between them could do their relationship some good. After a tearful goodbye to Rebecca, and then another with Carmella and Chloe, Oliver bid Ramsay Street goodbye. He later settled in Portugal, and again asked Carmella to join him; this time, she was ready to move on, and Oliver was delighted when she and their daughter flew out to join him.

Early in 2011, Declan contacted Oliver with news that Rebecca was facing serious problems, following the breakdown of her marriage to Paul. Rebecca, in a moment of rage, had pushed Paul from the mezzanine at Lassiter's and he was now holding this information over her, in an attempt to control her life and relationships with other people. Oliver, Carmella and Chloe returned to Australia, determined to take Rebecca back to Portugal with them, helping her escape Paul's clutches, but there was the small matter of Michael Williams, Rebecca's new man, to deal with. Michael didn't want to uproot his daughter and his life in Erinsborough, and proposed to Rebecca in an attempt to make her stay. After arguing with Oliver, Michael quickly realised that he was being selfish and told Rebecca that she should go and start afresh, away from Paul. And so, after only a couple of days back in Erinsborough, Oliver, Carmella and Chloe returned to Portugal, with Rebecca, Declan and baby India.

Trivia Notes
• Although Oliver departed in episode 5515, he made two more appearances via video messages from Portugal; the first invited Carmella and Chloe to be with him, and the second showed the three of them together. Both were filmed before David Hoflin left Neighbours. Carmella, Oliver and Chloe then returned to two more episodes in 2011, to facilitate the departure of Jane Hall

5137-5515, 5595, 5600, , 6116-6117

Magic Moments
Episode 5137: Oliver's Arrival
Episode 5515: Oliver's Departure

Biography by Steve