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Character Profiles > Xanthe Canning Lilly Van Der Meer

Xanthe Canning 2016-
Lives: 26 Ramsay Street
Parents: Brooke and Gary Canning
Siblings: Kyle
Occupation: Student, Waitress at Harold's Cafe

Tottering into Erinsborough on heels that were too high, and with a bagful of beauty tools, Xanthe Canning quickly made an impression on the locals, who were quickly suspicious of the newcomer after a speight of break-ins in the area. Having snooped around 26 Ramsay Street, she went to the Waterhole for lunch, where manager Sheila refused to serve her for being under-age. But after Xanthe spun her a sob story about how she'd been travelling and hadn't had anything to eat, Sheila agreed to let her stay and went to get her some food. Xanthe then tried another of her tricks, claiming that she'd found a hair in her food, and when Sheila didn't fall for it, she attempted to do a runner, stopped at the exit by Sheila's grandson, Kyle. Sheila then called the police, but Mark Brennan let Xanthe off with a warning, as she claimed that she was desperate and had nowhere to go. He gave her the number for a shelter and sent her on her way, but Sheila and Kyle were surprised when, later that day, they spotted her in their back garden. Sheila quickly turned the hose on the young intruder, who explained that she was looking for Sheila's son, Gary. When Sheila demanded to know why, Xanthe then revealed that Gary was her father.

As Sheila pressed Xanthe for more information, it became clear that she was telling the truth, and that she had no idea that Gary was actually in prison. After calling Gary, Sheila started to soften towards her newfound granddaughter, realising that she was family and needed help. Kyle, however, was still frosty with his half-sister, as she spoke of her life on the Gold Coast and how close she was to her dad. Xanthe claimed that her mum, Brooke, had gone away to a yoga retreat, and had sent her down to stay with Gary, but Sheila quickly uncovered the truth - Brooke had actually done a runner after endorsing a dodgy lonely hearts scam, which had conned many people out of a lot of money. With things already very tense, Xanthe told a friend on the phone that she was going to try and get as much money as she could out of Sheila and Kyle, then leave. However, the next day, as she saw Sheila's wallet, she managed to resist the temptation to steal from her, instead just leaving a note for her granddaughter, explaining that she had gone.

Xanthe spent a few days hiding out in a nearby display home, but with little money, she turned to Piper Willis for help. The two teenagers quickly struck up a friendship and Piper suggested that Xanthe could throw a party at the house, unaware that it was a display home and believing that it belonged to Xanthe's friends. Xanthe loved the idea, and started publicising the party on social media, promising celebrity guests for a small entry fee. However, the party was soon closed down by the police and although Piper managed to get away, Xanthe was returned to Sheila in a police car and was warned that she either had to stay with her grandmother or she would be taken into care. Xanthe reluctantly agreed to stay with Sheila and Kyle, but refused outright to go to Erinsborough High, until Kyle had a word with her. Having finally realised that he and Xanthe had a lot in common, and that he couldn't continue to blame her for Gary's actions, he managed to talk her into going to school and trying to fit in. Xanthe's friendship with Piper was strengthened as they both faced problems on the first day of school - Piper due to her involvement in a fire that had destroyed much of the building the previous year, and Xanthe due to her problems with reading in front of the class. As the girls got into an argument with Alison Gore, the three of them ended up with detention, but Xanthe was surprised when Sheila gave her cake instead of a lecture, having decided that the tough approach had failed with her daughter, Naomi, so she would try to go easier on her granddaughter.

However, still believing that she wasn't really wanted, and desperate to get the money to get back to the Gold Coast, Xanthe spotted an opportunity and stole teacher Brad Willis's iPad, which had an exam on it, and she made some money from selling the exam paper to the other students. When Piper found out what her friend had been up to, she was forced to be loyal to her dad and she told him what had happened - though neglected to reveal that she'd been given a copy of the exam - and Xanthe found herself suspended from school for a week, leaving Sheila horrified. Matters only got worse when Ainsley, who'd bought one of the papers and had subsequently found herself in trouble, confronted Xanthe, who decided to rent a room at Paul Robinson's motel, to throw a party and make it up to everyone. Having told Sheila that she was going to do some study and needed to borrow her library card - when she was stealing her credit card to fund the party, Xanthe was soon found out, leading to an angry confrontation between grandmother and granddaughter. When Sheila then collapsed clutching her chest, Xanthe felt awful and vowed to be more respectful, so when she found out that it was actually just a panic attack, and not a heart attack, Sheila decided not to say anything.

It wasn't long before Xanthe caught Sheila dancing around in the garden and realised that she was faking it, but as Sheila tried to defend her actions, she collapsed again. Thinking that her gran was faking it again, Xanthe marched off, but was shocked to learn later that it had been a heart attack and Sheila was in hospital, recovering from having a stent fitted. Though Xanthe was once again desperate to make up for her mistake, Kyle had had enough and decided to give her a wake-up call by contacting the DHS. Unfortunately, this resulted in Xanthe being taken into care and struggling to forgive her half-brother, and Kyle, his girlfriend Amy, and Sheila were forced to convince Xanthe's case worker that she was wanted and would be perfectly safe in their care.

As Xanthe started to realise that she was wanted by Sheila and Kyle, she started to relax a bit more, and found herself fitting into Erinsborough after getting a new job at Harold's Cafe. Though she continually dropped things and managed to cause a food poisoning outbreak during her first week, the responsibility proved to be good for Xanthe. She was still easily distracted - particularly by Piper's dramas with her older boyfriend Brodie - and soon found herself falling for Susan and Karl Kennedy's grandson Ben Kirk, who arrived to spend the holidays being tutored by his grandma. Desperate to impress Ben, Xanthe decided to show him how edgy she was by turning up at the house and getting them both drunk - a plan which backfired spectacularly when Karl and Susan returned, and Xanthe ended up being sick all over Susan's shoes. This incident left Ben banned from spending time with Xanthe, but she wasn't about to give up, and she managed to get access to a hotel suite at Lassiter's which had just been vacated by Tom Quill. She then convinced Ben to meet her there, claiming that she'd arranged for him to meet his idol, Angus Young, the lead guitarist of AC/DC.

Trivia Notes
During April 2016, Xanthe and Ben were the subject of an Instagram spin-off called Xanthe ♥ Ben, which charted the teens' involvement in the Lassiter's explosion over twenty 15-minute episodes

Magic Moments
Episode 7285: Xanthe's Arrival


Biography by Steve