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Character Profiles > Lou Carpenter Tom Oliver

Louis 'Lou' Thomas Carpenter 1988, 1992-1996, 1996-
Lives: 32 Ramsay Street
Lived: 22, 24, 26, 30 Ramsay Street, West Waratah Caravan Park
Born: 1942
Marital Status: Kathy (divorced), Linda (divorced), Trixie Tucker (2003-2004; divorced)

: Brenda
Children: Ling Mai, Guy and Lauren; Louise (adoptive)
Family Tree: Carpenter
Occupation: Entrepeneur, Carpenter's Cars/Erinsborough Motors Owner/Used Car Salesman, Mayor, Chez Chez Owner, Radio Presenter, Little Tommy Tucker's Owner, Lou's Place Owner/Co-Owner, Carpenter's Mechanics Co-Owner, The General Store Co-Owner/Manager/Employee

Born in Brisbane, Queensland in 1942, fun-loving, lovable and warm hearted Lou Carpenter was the high school romeo in his youth, and his captaincy of the school football team earned him a legion of female admirers. The love of Lou's life, however, was the fiery Madge Ramsay, and he battled for her affections with the stuffy Harold Bishop, or 'Jelly Belly' as Lou called him. But both Lou and Harold were left without Madge when she opted to marry Fred Mitchell instead and left Queensland to start a family in Coff's Harbour with him. Lou, meanwhile, went on to marry Kathy and the couple had two children, Guy and Lauren, the latter child being the apple of her father's eye. Lou started his own car lot, which he gradually expanded as his keen entrepreneurial skills saw him dip his finger into various business ventures. He became a very wealthy man as a result, but his dedication to his business and eye for the ladies eventually led to the breakdown of his marriage and he and Kathy were divorced. Guy's relationship with his father suffered as a result, and the high expectations Lou had put upon his son was a further factor in the breakdown in communications between the two.

When Lou heard that Madge, who had divorced Fred and moved to her hometown of Erinsborough in the intervening years, had been reunited with his love rival Harold and they were planning to marry, he raced down to Melbourne to stop the wedding and whisk Madge back to Queensland to marry him instead. However, Madge was devoted to Harold and chose to stay in Erinsborough and become Mrs. Bishop. A deflated Lou was forced to return to Brisbane alone, although he married a younger woman, Linda, soon after. His feelings for Madge never faded, however, and when she was staying in Queensland in 1991 to nurse her father, Dan, back to health after a heart attack, Lou spent a lot of time with her, and Madge proved to be of enormous support to Lou in the wake of the break-up of his marriage to Linda. Before she returned to Erinsborough, Madge invited Lou down to stay with her and Harold for a while, but Harold was outraged when Madge told him this, and after a bitter argument with her over the idea, he suffered a massive heart attack. Although Harold made a full recovery, Madge decided to withdraw the offer she had made to Lou given the circumstances that had led to Harold suffering the attack.

Several months later, Harold was swept out to sea and presumed dead while he and Madge were beginning a trip around Australia, and a heartbroken Madge retreated to her family in Queensland to get over her loss. Lou was quickly on hand to console Madge, although it wasn't long before he began trying to woo her once again. After Madge returned to Erinsborough, Lou followed her down, under the pretence of visiting his younger sister, Brenda Riley, who had been renting Madge and Harold's house while they were away. Madge resisted Lou's attempts to wine and dine her, especially after it caused upset for Harold's grandson Toby, who took an instant dislike to Lou. And Madge herself was uncomfortable with the idea of becoming involved with someone so soon after Harold's death, especially Lou Carpenter! Guy was also staying at No. 24 at the time, and initially treated Lou with disdain. But in time, father and son managed to have a heart to heart about their strained relationship and Lou made Guy feel much better when he admitted he loved him very much and was very proud of him.

Lou decided to make Erinsborough his permanent home, and opened his own used car business, Carpenter's Cars. He eventually succeeded in winning Madge over as time passed, and they started seeing each other again. Madge even invested in the car yard, although she agreed to be a silent partner and not interfere in the running of the business. After a marriage proposal from Lou, Madge insisted she couldn't betray Harold by marrying so soon, but after Lou proposed a second time soon after, Madge surprised and delighted Lou by saying "yes". However, the engagement had its rocky moments, especially when Madge suspected Harold's ghost of haunting the household and took it as a sign that Harold disapproved of her marrying Lou. As the nuptials got closer, Madge began to long for a return to Brisbane, after her daughter Charlene had given birth to a baby boy, Daniel. After talking things over with Lou, the couple decided to sell up and move up north, but when Madge sent a woman to the car yard to test Lou's fidelity, Lou realised that Madge would never fully love or trust him as much as she did Harold, and he broke off the engagement. Madge pressed ahead with her plans to move to Brisbane, but agreed to leave Lou in charge of No. 24, and they parted friends. Lou initially took Madge's departure pretty badly, especially since it left him all alone at No. 24 - Guy and Brenda has also since left - just days before his 50th birthday. Experiencing a sort of mid-life crisis, Lou began to dress younger and rented rooms to twentysomethings Beth Brennan and Cameron Hudson, in an attempt at reclaiming his youth. And with one more room to rent, Lou was only too delighted when Beth brought home the beautiful Annalise Hartman one afternoon to check out No. 24. Lou immediately offered Annalise the room, and started to wine and dine the sultry blonde. They even became engaged, but Lou was shocked when Annalise's mother showed up and announced Lou's new fiancee was only 17! Lou was quick to call off the engagement, and after admitting to himself that Annalise was never serious about him to start with, he put his days of trying to be a youngster behind him.

Madge's departure had left Lou on the lookout for a new partner in the car yard, and he managed to persuade neighbour Benito Alessi to invest. What pleased Lou most about the deal was the fact that Benito would be so busy managing Lassiter's Hotel that he wouldn't have time to involve himself in the day-to-day running of the car yard. But Lou was soon proved wrong, as Benito wanted to be involved in all aspects of the business, and even quit Lassiter's so he could concentrate fully on the car yard. Petty squabbling ensued between the two partners, culminating in them even painting a white line down the centre of the car yard to divide it between them. Lou was delighted when Benito announced his plans to move to Sydney and he sold his shares in the car yard to Jim Robinson, who pleased Lou with his intention to be a silent partner. However, Jim's death shortly afterwards meant the shares passed on to his daughter, the interfering Julie Martin. Julie was initially too caught up in her grief to bother herself about the car yard, but after splitting up with her husband Philip, Julie announced her plans to return to work full-time so she could support herself and daughter Hannah. Lou was horrified at the prospect of Julie becoming involved in the car yard, thinking she wouldn't be cut out for the world of used cars due to her sex. But Julie proved Lou wrong, and as sales increased thanks to Julie's way with the customers, Lou was grateful for the addition of Julie to the Carpenter's Cars team.

Lou was thrilled to have his precious daughter in town when Lauren rode into Ramsay Street on her beloved horse, Chukka Mental. Lauren moved in with Lou at No. 24, and began seeing Cameron for a time. However, Lauren was more interested in Beth's fiancee Brad Willis, and they embarked on an affair. Lou was shocked when Lauren told him about the affair, and he was torn between his love for his daughter and his fondness for Beth, who he hated lying to. Things eventually came to a head when Beth realised there was something going on between Brad and Lauren on the day of the wedding, and Lou breathed a huge sigh of relief that he no longer had to lie. However, Lauren provided further problems for her father when she was diagnosed with a pelvic disease that left her with only a 10% chance of conceiving. Lou was disgusted with Brad for the suffering he had inflicted upon Lauren, but after Brad assured Lou that he was in love with Lauren and wanted to be with her, Lou agreed to put the past behind them and even let Brad stay at No. 24 when he was experiencing problems living with his mother, Pam. Lou also opened up his home to 17-year-old Year 12 student Rick Alessi, Benito's son, after his mother became dissatisfied with Rick's living arrangements at the staff quarters at Lassiter's. Rick became like a surrogate son to Lou, and they remained very close, right up until Rick finished school and embarked on a career in hotel management at the Darwin branch of Lassiter's.

When The Waterhole was blown up in a gas explosion, Lou was forced to find a new local while the pub was rebuilt. It was in The Manhattan that Lou met buxom Cheryl Stark, who owned the bar. Cheryl was instantly smitten with Lou, and when he left his wallet behind by mistake, Cheryl deliberately held onto it so that she could use it as an excuse to call upon him and try to wrangle a date out of him. But Lou was reluctant to embark on another relationship, especially after the disastrous union with Annalise and he rejected Cheryl's advances. But no-nonsense Cheryl knew 'Louis' was the man for her, and she started a determined campaign to win him over. It started with Cheryl - who had won $1.3 million on the lottery - buying up used cars left, right and centre so that she could be close to Lou, and even spread to Cheryl renting No. 22 next door to Lou on Ramsay Street. Lou eventually succumbed to Cheryl's advances and they started seeing each other. But it came as a huge shock to Lou when Cheryl took it upon herself to announce to half of Erinsborough at the re-opening of The Waterhole that she and Lou were getting married! A stunned Lou agonised for a few days over how to break the news to Cheryl that he couldn't marry her, and eventually told her the truth. Although Cheryl was upset by his decision, she put a brave face on things and after her wayward son, Darren, was arrested for attempted armed robbery, she bid Lou farewell to set sail on a world cruise. It was only after Cheryl was gone that Lou began to realise how much he liked her.

When Cheryl returned to Ramsay Street a few months later, Lou jumped at the chance of picking up from where they had left off. But Cheryl's two teenage kids, Danni and Brett had come to live with her having been expelled from boarding school, and she wanted to devote all her attention to them. Doug Willis suggested Lou start seeing someone else to make Cheryl jealous and come to her senses, and so, Lou invited local newsagent Wendy Slater over for dinner one night. His plan backfired, however, because Cheryl was too busy flirting with the younger Jack Flynn to notice. Lou then took to giving Brett a part-time job at the car yard in an attempt at impressing Cheryl, and eventually, Cheryl agreed to have dinner with him again. However, Danni was completely against the idea of her mother seeing Lou, and after persuading Brett that Lou had only given him the job at the car yard to get close to Cheryl, Brett, too, took a dislike to Lou. Lauren also objected to her father's choice of woman, and with their children united against their relationship, Lou and Cheryl decided not to pursue it. However, Cheryl came up with an idea of seeing each other secretly, so as not to upset the kids, and Lou agreed to go along with the plan. The couple found it increasingly difficult to find time to themselves, though, and after being caught in a compromising position at No. 28 one afternoon by Pam - Doug had given them the keys to the house and assured them there would be nobody home all afternoon - Lou and Cheryl resolved to be up front about their relationship from then on. Although the more sensible Brett took the news reasonably well, Danni was disgusted and after accusing Cheryl of forgetting their late father, Cheryl told Lou she would have to put her kids first and stop seeing him. In time, Danni came round to the idea of her mum finding happiness again, and gave her and Lou her blessing to date.

It wasn't long before Lou proposed to Cheryl, but she turned him down and instead, suggested they move in together. After an initial tussle over which house they should live in, it was eventually agreed that Cheryl, Brett and Danni would move in with Lou, Lauren and Rick at No. 24. Despite some teething problems, the Stark-Carpenters soon became a happy family, and although Lauren left Erinsborough to return to Queensland, she assured Lou it wasn't because of Cheryl. Just as the household had started to empty, however, Lou and Cheryl were hit with the surprising news that Cheryl was pregnant. At first Cheryl considered an abortion because of her age, but in the end went through with the pregnancy, and at the age of fifty two, Lou was delighted to become a father to a little girl, Louise - or Lolly as she became affectionately known - born on 25 July 1994. A minor dispute raged between Lou and Cheryl in the days following the birth, as Cheryl wanted Louise to have her surname while Lou insisted it be Carpenter. It was only when Lou pointed out to Cheryl that Louise would have the surname of Cheryl's late husband that she backed down and agreed to Louise having the Carpenter surname.

Not long after, Lou was about to become a father again - but this time to a thirty old woman he never knew was his daughter. When Ling Mai Chan contacted Lou to inform him that she was the result of a relationship he had had with her mother, Su, during a holiday in Hong Kong at the age of 21, Lou was shocked. He kept the revelation to himself initially, which led to Cheryl suspecting him of having an affair with another woman. Cheryl followed Lou to the park one afternoon, and was horrified to see him with this strange young woman and giving her an expensive watch. But after confronting Lou about her suspicions, Lou revealed that the girl she had seen him with was actually his newly discovered daughter. Although Cheryl was relieved that Lou hadn't been seeing someone else, she had a hard time coming to terms with the new addition to Lou's life. Lou was spending most of his time getting to know Ling Mai, and Cheryl felt he was neglecting their own new daughter. After discovering how Cheryl felt, Lou was disgusted that she appeared to begrudge him the chance to make up for thirty years of fatherhood and such was his annoyance that he threatened to move out. Luckily, Brett and Cheryl's mother Marlene, managed to make Cheryl see sense, and after Ling Mai came to see her, Cheryl realised how hard she was being on Lou. Marlene and Ling Mai both worked on getting Cheryl and Lou to sort out their differences, and before Ling Mai returned to Hong Kong, Cheryl told her she was welcome in their home at any time - much to the delight of Lou.

Never one to shy away from a new opportunity, Lou was delighted to land his own radio show on local station Radio Erinsborough. He also went into partnership with Phil Martin when they bought a greyhound, Suede Tess, and began indulging in track racing. But it was entering local politics that was to prove the most significant new venture Lou had ever embarked upon. It all started when Lou learnt that the council planned to construct a freeway running behind Ramsay Street, and decided to run for local council in order to put a stop to the plans. The campaign went well for Lou up until an article appeared in the Erinsborough News claiming he fiddled his books and slamming him as a shonky car dealer who constantly sold cars that weren't road worthy. To make matters worse, Lou's office at the car yard - and the proof that he wasn't a shady businessman - caught fire before he could prove his innocence to the electorate over the allegations in the paper. However, it transpired that Peter, who Lou had recently hired as manager of the car yard, had been responsible for the fire, the article in the newspaper and defrauding the business. Lou was delighted when his long-time right hand man at the car yard, Alex, showed up at No. 22 with the books from the car yard - he had cottoned on to Peter's scam and hid the books - enabling Lou to prove that Peter was the arsonist and have him arrested. Despite resolving the matter, Lou decided not to run in the election the following day because he didn't have enough time to prove his innocence. However, Cheryl and Marlene put their heads together to counter the bad publicity and organised for Cheryl to use a slot on the radio station to declare Lou's innocence and urge the electorate to vote for him. It worked - and Lou was duly elected to the council.

After attending the inaugural ball for new councillors, Lou and Cheryl found themselves on the receiving end of grief from the snooty wife of a councillor who proclaimed her disdain at the fact Lou and Cheryl were living together out of wedlock. In response to this, Lou proposed to Cheryl again, but she turned him down once more. After yet another rejection from Cheryl, Lou decided to challenge her once and for all on why she was so reluctant to marry him. Cheryl finally revealed that she had visited a fortune teller in her youth and had been warned if she ever married, her husband would die in his fifties. As this had happened with her first husband Maurie, Cheryl was afraid to marry Lou in case the same fate would meet him. Lou laughed off Cheryl's fears, and persuaded her to see renowned local fortune teller Madame Zolgar in the hope of receiving a more favourable predication from her. Cheryl was delighted when Madame Zolgar told her that it would be perfectly okay for her to marry again. But just as it seemed as if Cheryl and Lou could marry after all, Madame Zolgar warned Lou that if he married again, there would be disastrous consequences, thus putting an end to Lou's desire to marry.

Meanwhile, Lou's quest to prevent the freeway being built behind Ramsay Street led to him discovering that the mayor's wife and local councillor Ellen Karney sat on the board of directors of the construction company who had landed the contract to build the freeway. Brett also uncovered an environmental report that the council had failed to publish, in which it was concluded that the building of the freeway would be damaging to the health of local residents. Lou took his findings to the council, leading to the resignations of Mayor Ozturk and Ellen Karney. But Lou was stunned when the council then asked him to run for mayor and after unanimous support all round, he was proudly elected Mayor of Erinsborough.

With the extra responsibilities he now had as mayor, as well as his continuing slot on Radio Erinsborough, Lou decided to re-mortgage the car yard in order to provide Cheryl with some extra financial support in her bid to buy the Lassiter's shopping arcade. However, within months of buying the business, Cheryl and Lou were in debt, and were forced to sell the arcade back to its original owner, Rosemary Daniels - at a knock down price, and Lou's beloved car yard. However, they managed to retain The Waterhole pub as part of the sale, and ran it together, renaming it Chez Chez. Meanwhile, Marlene irritated Lou by muscling in on his radio show after the show's producer Marilyn Tanno was impressed by Marlene's skills after she filled in for Lou one day. Lou's nose continued to be put out of joint when Marlene produced a copy of a new promo she had written in which she would do all the talking and Lou would only get to say his name. And the real blow came to Lou when Marlene announced she had thought of a title for their show - 'Marlene and the Mayor'. Luckily, the pair managed to put their creative differences behind them in time, and went on to happily co-host the show together for several months.

When the council commissioned a portrait of Lou in full mayoral attire, Lou could think of nobody he would like better to do the honours than good friend Helen Daniels. However, there was widespread shock all round when Helen unveiled her painting at a special ceremony down at the council and it turned out to be an extremely abstract portrait, and certainly a departure from Helen's more traditional form of painting. While Cheryl was disgusted by Helen's portrait, Lou shocked her by admitting that he liked it. Cheryl refused to understand Lou's acceptance of the painting, but he insisted that Helen had managed to capture all the different elements of his character, and he was pleased with it. Helen was hugely relieved when Lou told her he approved of the portrait, having feared for a moment that the painting might have damaged their good friendship. In fact, it was Lou who almost destroyed the lengthy friendship he shared with Helen when some time later he began buying up as many of Helen's paintings as possible and Helen realised that he was doing it to make money out of them after her death. However, after seeing how devastated Helen had been by Lou's actions, he felt awful and after apologising to Helen for his behaviour, scrapped his plan.

When the mayoral portrait was auctioned off for charity, Lou was intrigued when a message was left on his answer machine from a woman claiming to be the mystery buyer. While Cheryl dismissed the call as a crank, Lou was sure he knew the voice from somewhere, and replayed the tape over and over in an attempt at remembering the voice. There was further confusion when the portrait was delivered to Lou as a gift. While Cheryl was disgusted that the painting she so detested had found its way back to them, Lou was puzzled over why the mystery buyer would pay so much for the painting and then send it back to him. But all was revealed when Lou was shocked by a visit from the buyer of the portrait - his ex-wife, Linda. Cheryl was instantly suspicious of Linda's arrival, as was Lou, who hadn't parted with Linda on the best of terms. However, Linda revealed she had bought the portrait out of a massive inheritance from the death of her aunt Mavis, and Lou was genuinely saddened to hear of Mavis' death because she had been the one member of Linda's family who he had gotten on well with. Linda's true motives for getting back in touch with Lou were revealed a few days later when she told Lou that Mavis had stipulated in her will that Linda would only gain the full inheritance of $400,000 if she re-married Lou. Linda wanted to re-marry Lou and split the money between them, and while Lou was keen to give the idea a go, Cheryl was appalled by the prospect. Lou was determined to win Cheryl over on the idea, and he suggested Linda work on trying to befriend Cheryl. The plan worked after Linda and Cheryl bonded on the golf course, and Cheryl gave them her blessing for the re-marriage. However, by that stage, Lou decided it wouldn't be right to go through with a second marriage to Linda, and called off the plans.

Lou's stint as mayor came to an end when he resigned live on air after he began receiving criticisms from locals who believed it was inappropriate for the mayor to be clowning around on radio. A relaxing break up in the high country of Queensland followed for Lou when he travelled up to help Lauren in the opening of her horse stables. In fact, the break was just what Lou needed for when he returned to Erinsborough, the family were thrown into crisis after Brett, who had been travelling around the world, was wrongfully arrested in Ecuador for drug smuggling...

Cheryl immediately flew out to Ecuador to help Brett, but the journey was to change the family that Lou had formed with her forever. Cheryl was a passenger on a bus taking her from the airport when it was taken over by rebels and all the passengers on board were held hostage. Back home in Erinsborough, Lou, Marlene and Danni spent a month waiting for news on her fate, and even found themselves going through the added trauma of being duped by a local who claimed to be part of the group who was holding Cheryl hostage and came very close to extracting a ransom from Lou. Luckily, the family's fears for Cheryl's safety were ended when she was released, hot on the heels of Brett, and Lou flew to Ecuador to bring her home.

But Cheryl had changed after her kidnapping ordeal. Gone were her bright flashy clothes and big hair, and instead, Cheryl wore mainly black and grey colours, and straightened her hair. Lou put Cheryl's change in appearance and mood down to the horrifying kidnap ordeal, but his concern for Cheryl's well being grew after she consistently refused to talk about what she had gone through. It was only when Cheryl gave an interview to Real Woman magazine that Lou realised things hadn't been as bad for Cheryl in Ecuador as he had thought. It transpired that the conditions were clean and pleasant enough, and that the rebels had treated the hostages very well. Afterwards, Lou angrily confronted Cheryl about why she had led them all to believe things were awful in Ecuador when they clearly weren't, and he was shocked when Cheryl revealed that she had an affair with one of her fellow captors, Charles Humphries. Lou was sickened by Cheryl's revelations, and threw her out of the house. Cheryl sought solace at Marlene's next door, and it was several days before Lou would even speak to her again. Cheryl pleaded with Lou to give her a second chance, and insisted that she loved him, and had only had the affair while held hostage because she needed some emotional comfort. Lou agreed to see a marriage guidance counsellor with Cheryl but while he found the sessions to be helpful, Cheryl was less impressed with them. After a dinner with Lou at No.22 led to Cheryl staying the night, Lou began to think they could put what happened in Ecuador in the past and get things back on track. He asked Cheryl to move back in with him, but she was reluctant and used the release of Darren from prison as an excuse to buy her some time.

Lou pressed on with his determination to renew their relationship, and started by having a bouquet of flowers delivered to Cheryl at Marlene's. But that same morning, Cheryl had received a phone call from Charles to see how she was, and when the flowers arrived in the afternoon, she mistakenly thought they had come from him. When Lou asked Cheryl if she had received the flowers he had sent her, Cheryl was noticeably surprised and disappointed that they had come from Lou. Her reaction led Lou to realise that Cheryl had thought they had come from Charles. Lou was so hurt and betrayed by Cheryl's evidently continuing interest in Charles that he reached a difficult decision about their relationship, and told Cheryl that they were finished.

Cheryl tried to get Lou to reconsider, because her emotions were all over the place in the wake of the kidnapping, and she still loved him deep down. But Lou couldn't face any more heartbreak, and made plans to start sorting out their assets between them. Cheryl told Lou she would never be able to buy him out, and also didn't want to sell up, but she was stunned when Lou told her that she could keep the house and pub herself if he got custody of Louise. Cheryl vowed to fight to hold onto Louise, and began trying to raise the capital to buy Lou out of their assets. However, Cheryl and Lou failed to reach any agreement over custody of Louise, despite their decision to attend mediation sessions. It was only when Lou made plans to leave Erinsborough and return to his native Queensland that the couple realised that the best thing for Lolly would be to remain in the care of her mother, and in familiar surroundings. Lou agreed to let Cheryl have custody of Lolly, and Cheryl, in turn, assured Lou that he could see Louise whenever he wanted, and thus, the couple parted on more amicable terms than they had expected to.

Although Lou loved being near Lauren up in Queensland again, the time away from Erinsborough made him realise how much he missed Cheryl. And after returning from a few days in the bush, he was thrilled to find that Cheryl had written to him, expressing a similar design to try again. Lou wasted no time in rushing back down to Erinsborough to try and patch things up with her, but he was stunned to arrive at No.24 in the midst of Cheryl's funeral. She had been knocked down and killed a few days previously while rescuing Louise from the path of an oncoming car. Marlene explained to Lou that the family had been trying desperately to get hold of him since the death but with him being uncontactable in the bush, they had had to go ahead with the funeral. Aside from the grief he felt at losing Cheryl, Lou's thoughts quickly turned to Louise and he recognised he would have to raise her single-handedly. Marlene offered to help Lou out, however, and she decided to rent out No.24 and move in with Lou and Lolly next door at No.22 so that Louise would have plenty of people around to look out for her. And Darren – despite having a serious grudge against Lou – put the well being of his little sister first and also moved into No.22.

When Lou was left the pub in Cheryl's will, Darren was furious and resolved to fight Lou for control of the business as he felt Cheryl wouldn't have wanted Lou to have it given that they had split before she died. There was further trouble when Marlene arranged a family barbecue at No.22 in the hope of bringing Darren and Lou closer together. Just as things were running relatively smoothly, Marlene read out the inscription she had organised for Cheryl's headstone, and Darren was furious that she had forgotten to include his late father but had included Lou. But gradually, Darren and Lou came to put their differences aside and learned to trust and actually like each other.

Lou thought Helen Daniels had lost her marbles when she told him she had seen Harold Bishop alive and well collecting some of Cheryl's old clothes from Marlene for the Salvation Army. Helen had recently suffered a stroke and her family put her insistence that she had seen their late neighbour down to the stress she had been under since. But Lou was able to back up Helen's protestations himself when he eventually saw Harold with his own two eyes one afternoon. It transpired that Harold had been washed ashore alive and well in Tasmania five years previously, but had lost his memory and was now calling himself Ted. Lou and Helen had a difficult task of trying to persuade the rather frightened 'Ted' that he was actually Harold, and even the return of Madge – thrilled, stunned and relieved to learn her late husband was actually alive – didn't help restore Harold's memory. But he gradually came to want to recall his former life and everyone set about doing all they could to re-jog his memory. And it was a dinner at Lou's one evening that brought about the return of Harold's memory, as Lou served jelly for dessert and Harold suddenly recalled that Lou used to tease him at school by calling him 'Jelly Belly'.

As Harold's memory fully returned, he and Madge moved back to Ramsay Street permanently and the stage was set for the resurgence of the rivalry that had long existed between Lou and his old school mate. It was quickly evident to Harold that Lou still had – and probably always would have – a soft spot for Madge and this unease regularly translated into petty squabbling and bickering between the two, whether it was competing to play Santa Claus at the Ramsay Street Christmas party or renovating a disused bus (Lou wanted it as a mobile restaurant to make a fast buck; Harold wanted it to be a mobile shelter for street kids).

Having renovated Chez Chez and renamed it Lou's Place, Lou decided the time was right for him to start getting his fingers into several other business pies all over Erinsborough once again. He opened his own little restaurant, Little Tommy Tuckers, and went into partnership in a local garage with mechanic Ben Atkins. Philip was eventually brought in to control a 2 per cent interest in the garage after Lou initially treated Ben more like an employee than an equal partner. Although the new arrangement wasn't exactly what Lou had in mind, he was at least able to console himself when the business was named after him – Carpenters Mechanics. Lou, meanwhile, spotted a great publicity opportunity for the garage when Ben developed a keen interest in motor-racing. But after Ben was seriously injured in an accident on the race track, Lou blamed himself for encouraging Ben to compete in such a dangerous sport. But Ben assured Lou that he hadn't done anything that he didn't want to do himself. Besides, the ordeal brought Ben and his estranged father closer together and Ben decided to start afresh with him in Sydney.

Ben's departure left Lou in need of a new mechanic to run the garage, and when country boy Drew Kirk applied, Lou was more than happy to take him on as Drew's hunky good looks and fondness for fixing cars with his overalls stripped down to his waist brought about a huge increase in female customers. However, Lou began to reconsider his choice of employee when he suspected Drew of using the garage to grow marijuana plants in. But after Lou confronted Drew, he was hugely embarrassed when Drew explained to him that they were actually tomato plants. Far from being some kind of crazed pot dealer, Drew was actually an all round good guy, who Lou became great mates with and eventually came to look upon as a son. With Marlene and Darren gone, Lou offered Drew a room at No.22 and he happily moved in, where he was like a surrogate big brother to Louise and a handy baby-sitter too.

When a lengthy feud erupted between Lou and Madge and Harold, it culminated in a major health scare for Lou. After spending a few weeks relaxing in Queensland with Lauren, Lou decided to take an early retirement, sell up his interests in Erinsborough and retreat back up to Brisbane, where Lauren had given him his first grandchild – a little boy, Mason. But his plans to sell the pub met with opposition from the other tenants at Lassiter's, led by Madge and Harold next door at the Coffee Shop, when it emerged that the buyer Lou had lined up wanted to turn the pub into a night club. Madge and Harold feared the impact it would have on their business and led the other tenants in holding protests outside the pub. The negative reaction led to the buyer pulling out, and Lou was furious. A full scale range war then broke out between Lou and the Bishops when Lou dug out his title deeds in preparation for selling No.22 and it emerged Lou only had a 14 metre frontage when he should actually have 15 metres. Lou then demanded that the Bishops hand him back his metre of land, but Madge and Harold were adamant that they were not parting with any of their land. The battle over who owned the extra metre of land went on for weeks, until the stress of it all took its toll on Lou, and Madge found him face down in his spa, having suffered a heart attack. Luckily, she got to him in time and after being advised by local GP Karl Kennedy to slow down and take things easy, Lou, Madge and Harold all agreed to call a halt to the silly argument over the land. And Lou realised he wanted to stay in Erinsborough after all, and cancelled his plans to sell up.

Lou embarked on his first romance since the death of Cheryl when tax inspector Carol Maitland conducted an audit of his books. They had dinner a few times, but Carol backed away when she begun to realise Lou wasn't fully over Cheryl. He would talk about her all the time when they were on a date, and it made Carol uncomfortable. Lou apologised to Carol when she told him how she felt but despite his promise not to let the ghost of Cheryl loom large over their relationship, it fizzled out nonetheless.

The tenants in the shared house across the street in No.30 were panicked when the house was put on the market and it looked like they would have to move out. But there was relief all round when Lou bought No.30 as an investment and Toadie, Sarah and Joel were confident that they would be safe since good old Lou had bought it. But Lou stunned them all with his first act as landlord by putting up the rent. However, Toadie - who had briefly lodged with Lou at No.22 before moving into No.30 - wasn't prepared to stand by and watch Lou take them for a ride, and orchestrated a worker's revolt at the pub, where he and Sarah also worked part-time shifts. Lou eventually came to see the error of his ways, and he agreed to keep the rent as it was. Indeed, he even went on to give Sarah away when she married Peter Hannay some months later. Although in the weeks that led up to the wedding, Lou got carried away with his wedding preparations and having planned a bucks night to end all bucks nights for Peter, he was left sorely disappointed when Peter and Sarah opted to disappear on the eve instead of enduring their bucks and hens parties.

Lou's long-time friendship with Philip was seriously damaged when Lou found himself subject to an investigation by the tax department over a tax scam he had apparently been an accomplice to. It transpired that Philip had unwittingly gotten his friend involved without his knowledge and Lou was forced to pay significant sums of money back in tax. It was a difficult time for Lou as he once again found himself in a financially tricky situation, and Drew didn't help by putting in a bid for the garage behind Lou's back. However, Drew quickly realised he was taking advantage of his friend's misfortune and withdrew the offer. Meanwhile, the strain that the tax scam had put Philip under led to him opting to sell up and move to Darwin, since his reputation as an accountant in Erinsborough had been irrevocably damaged. A stubborn Lou refused to make up with Phil as his days in Ramsay Street drew to an end, but Philip's wife Ruth intervened on the family's final night in town and left Lou and Phil with a crate of beer at No.26. There, they put their recent differences behind them and reminisced about old times, and toasted the future.

Lou was forced to rush to Queensland unexpectedly when Lauren walked out on her husband and was in need of a shoulder to cry on. Leaving Louise in the care of the Kennedys seemed like the best thing to do rather than subject her to the crisis up north, but Lou was horrified when he received a call on New Years Eve to tell him Louise had been trapped in a fire at the Scullys, who had bought No.26 from the Martins. Louise had been in the care of the Scullys' teenage daughter Michelle while the residents of Ramsay Street toasted the new Millenium with a street party outside, but having got hold of some fire crackers, she set the house alight. Luckily, Drew saved her and Lou returned to Erinsborough as quickly as possible to be by his daughter's side.

Lou was further concerned for Lolly's wellbeing when she started at primary school and took an instant dislike to her teacher, Merridy Jackson. But Susan told Lou that Merridy was a very good teacher and suggested that there was another reason for Lolly's unhappiness at school. Lou was annoyed when Merridy refused to talk about school when she came into the pub for lunch, however, and was forced to make an appointment to meet her at school. Merridy proved to be a smooth cookie, though, and rather than getting to the bottom of Louise's problems at school, Lou found himself roped into helping out at the school's cake sale. By the end of a day working alongside Merridy on one of the cake stands, Lou admitted he found her attractive and she agreed to go on a date with him. They realised they had something in common when they discussed how they had lost their partners in tragic circumstances, with Merridy's husband dying in a boating accident. Just as it looked like there might be potential for a romance between the pair, Lou had to go to Queensland for a few weeks to look after Lauren's stud farm while she and her husband Mark went on a second honeymoon. Once he returned, he plucked up the courage to ask Merridy out properly, especially after Louise showed signs of approval, but was disappointed when Merridy broke the news to him that she was leaving for a new teaching post in the Northern Territory. On the eve of her departure, Lou admitted he was falling in love with her and Merridy, torn between giving things a go and starting afresh in her new job, agreed to return to Erinsborough in six months if they both still felt the same way. Lou visited Merridy once she had settled in, with a view to sourcing a nice pub in the Outback for him to buy so he could permanently relocate there but Lou he quickly realised he couldn't fit into life in the Outback and decided to stay in Erinsborough.

After trying his hand at making a quick buck from selling aquatic themed toilet seats and soft toys, Lou found himself going into the cookery book business with an unlikely partner – Madge. Madge had started to compile old family recipes and when Lou realised it had the potential to be a profitable venture, he joined forces with her to publish Ramsay Recipes. The book led to the pair creating their own cookery website, Oze Chef. But Madge found it hard to keep up with Lou's constant desire to make money out of the site, and threatened to pull out numerous times. Eventually, Lou himself tired of the site and arranged to sell it to a uni student, Tuong Pham for a hefty sum. But Madge insisted Lou sell it for what it was really worth, infuriating Lou since he had wanted to make a profit out of the sale rather than do the right thing.

Meanwhile, Madge was on hand to help Lou out when he decided to find a new nanny for Lolly and they were both highly impressed when they interviewed Patsy Edis. Lou decided to hire her and both he and Drew were delighted when they returned from work on her first day to find she had cooked for them too. Lou was a little taken aback though when Patsy offered to move in full-time and he gently turned her down, suggesting they wait to see how things worked out first. Undaunted, Patsy continued to clean and cook around the house and continued to make Lou a happy man by preparing steak and kidney pies for him when he got home from work each night. She finally manipulated her way into a room at No.22 by prompting Lolly to ask Lou if she could live with them, and Lou, anxious not to disappoint Lolly, agreed to let Patsy stay until she found a more permanent place to stay.

What Lou didn't realise, however, was that Patsy, along with her accomplice Trevor, was scheming to take him for everything he had. When he received his new PIN number from the bank, had memorised it and then disposed of it, Patsy emptied the rubbish bin to find it and started piecing the paper back together to read the number. She also had a copy of Lou's keys cut so she could steal money from his safe at the pub, which included a significant amount of money that had been raised by local nurse Dee Bliss for sick children. When Lou and Dee discovered the money had been stolen, young Michelle Scully immediately suspected Patsy of being the culprit, having witnessed her going through the rubbish bin at No.22, but when she told Lou of her suspicions, he had a go at her for making wild accusations and wasting his time.

Meanwhile, Patsy and Trevor prepared to execute one final clear-out of Lou's finances before skipping town. Knowing Lou would be out all day, Patsy stole his credit cards from his wallet without him knowing, and Trevor brought over his truck to begin loading it with Lou's valuables. As well as taking the stereo, TV and VCR, and all of Drew's CDs, Patsy also took Cheryl's jewellery after raiding Lou's bedroom. But while she looked set to escape with all Lou's possessions, the truth about her activities began to unravel down at the Coffee Shop. When Michelle recognised a $20 note she had given to the Wigs for Kids charity being handed over to Harold by Tess Bell, she immediately suspected Patsy again and her suspicions proved true after Tess confirmed that she had been given the $20 by Patsy in a deposit for a room at No.32. And when Tad Reeves told Lou he had noticed a truck parked in his driveway taking his belongings away, Lou finally realised that he was being ripped off by Patsy. Lou made a mad dash back to Ramsay Street with Michelle's father Joe to stop the robbery. However, Trevor had already left with the truck full of Lou's possessions, and Patsy was just about to follow in Lou's car. But she became greedy at the last minute, and went over to No.32 to rob Tess' house too. After finding Tess' jewellery, Patsy ran back across to Lou's car and started to pull out of the street, but was stopped by Lou and Joe in the nick of time and was arrested.

Lou surprised all his friends and neighbours when he announced his next business venture. Fresh from being infuriated by the news that Tuong Pham had quickly sold on OzeChef for a massive profit, the last thing people expected to hear from Lou was that he was embarking on a charitable venture. But having been touched by the plight of the family of a recently deceased outback artist called Tom Foster, who he had heard of whilst in Katherine, Lou planned to hold an art exhibition of Tom's paintings in Erinsborough with all money raised going to the artists' wife and children. He began by displaying some of the paintings in the pub, but found himself having to defend his motives to an increasingly suspicious set of locals who were sure Lou couldn't possibly be involving himself in the venture without a financial motive. In the face of mounting scepticism, Lou decided to go all-out to put on an impressive exhibition, securing the use of the community hall as a venue and even planning to fly in Tom Foster's family for the event. The event turned out to be a huge success, but just as Lou was beginning to feel vindicated in the face of the scepticism from the locals, Tom Foster's son Jonathon showed up angrily accusing Lou of holding an exhibition of fake Tom Foster paintings. Lou soon realised that he had been conned by the art dealer who had sold him the paintings in Katherine, and called the police. Jonathon calmed down when he realised what had happened, and after realising that Lou had genuinely wanted to show his father's talents as an artist off and help his bereaved family, he presented Lou with a genuine Tom Foster painting and promised to talk to his family about giving the go-ahead for a real Tom Foster exhibition.

After the tenants at No.30 had enjoyed a pretty raucous all-night party following the Erinsborough High deb ball, Lou caught the boys off guard the following morning by giving them the required 24 hours notice to inspect the premises. Toadie, Joel and Lance frantically tried to get the house back in order before the inspection, but they couldn't hide the level of damage done at the party and Lou, furious at how little respect they had showed for his property, served them with a month's eviction notice. Unbeknownst to the boys, though, Lou had no intentions of actually throwing them out on the street but merely wanted to teach them a lesson. But when trainee lawyer Toadie started spouting legal jargon, Lou became so annoyed at his long-time neighbours' threats of legal action, he resolved to turf them out for real. Madge tried to intervene and urged Toadie to make amends with Lou, but when Toadie received papers from Lou's solicitors giving the boys official eviction notice, he began to plot a legal battle against Lou. Petty squabbling soon took off, and when Lou spotted a prowler in the back garden at No.30 and Toadie caught him investigating it, he threatened him with a tribunal for trespassing. They eventually called a truce when Lou did his back in on the day of Drew's wedding to Libby Kennedy and Toadie had to take him to hospital. After agreeing to put the feud behind them, Lou agreed to let the boys stay on at No.30 and even asked Toadie to look after the pub for him while he was out of action.

Lou's back trouble was to escalate as time went on, eventually requiring surgery. Putting a brave face on things, Lou brushed off the concerns of those around him and only realised after his first physio session how debilitating and painful things were to be. Not wanting to accept the pain, Lou initially brushed off the idea of taking painkillers, but things got so bad, he couldn't fight it any longer and Karl prescribed him a course of strong medication. The painkillers helped him on the road to recovery and once out of hospital, everyone was delighted to see the old Lou back at work in the pub wheeling and dealing, albeit with a walking stick from time to time. Harold, in particular, needed Lou on top form as devastating news rocked their worlds - Madge had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had only months to live. With such an emotional time ahead, Lou came to depend on his medication a lot more, raising Karl's eyebrows by running through his first course unusually quick.

With Madge becoming increasingly ill, Lou decided to write his feelings for her down in a letter, but found it difficult to express on paper how special she was to him and how much he’d miss her. Once finished, Lou gave Harold the letter and asked him to give it to Madge whenever he felt the time was right. Soon after, Madge's last days were upon them as she developed an infection and took to her deathbed. In her final hours, a devastated Lou paid his beloved childhood sweetheart one last visit and was deeply touched when Madge told him she had read his letter, in which he lovingly described her as 'the one that got away', and thanked him for his special friendship through the years. Madge's death pushed Lou over the edge and he numbed his grief with his painkillers.

Only Drew picked up on his increasing over-reliance on the drugs, and he alerted Karl, who infuriated Lou after Madge’s funeral when he told him he would no longer be prescribing him any medication. Lou’s behaviour then started to become erratic and he was routinely irritable and snappy with his friends. He sacked Toadie from the pub when he confronted him about his behaviour, only to re-appoint him as soon as he realised what he had done. But the final straw came for Toadie when he got a call from Louise’s teacher telling him Lou had missed Father - Daughter day at school. Angry with Lou for letting his addiction affect Lolly, Toadie finally succeeded in getting Lou to face up to his problem and Karl’s doctor nephew Darcy Tyler referred him to narcotics anonymous.

Lou faced the biggest shock of his life when he received a letter out of the blue from a man called John Allen, who claimed to have had an affair with Cheryl and was fathered Louise as a result. Shocked by the letter's contents, Lou's world was turned upside down, and he spent days trying to come to terms with the double whammy that his late partner had cheated on him and his beloved daughter might not be his biological child. He finally arranged a meeting with John, who brought along letters he had received from Cheryl as proof of the affair, and garnered an understanding of how the affair had come to occur when John explained he and Cheryl had got talking at the bar one night after rows with their respective partners and a brief relationship ensued. Pushed to get a definitive answer on Louise’s parentage by John, Lou agreed to have a DNA test done but the results only confirmed Lou's worst fears when they proved that he wasn't Louise's biological father. Lou initially vowed to keep the discovery to himself and tell nobody other than Harold, who he had confided in about the letter from John Allen. But when Lou and Louise bumped into Drew, and Louise told him she had been to the doctor for some tests, Lou realised that he would have to start facing up to reality.

Determined to hold onto Lolly, Lou phoned John Allen and told him that he had had DNA tests done, and they proved that he was Louise's father, before telling John that the matter was over and he didn't want to hear from him again. But after Harold encouraged Lou to face up to the truth, he arranged to meet John, and discuss the situation. John quickly wanted to see Louise, and Lou reluctantly agreed to think about it. But as it turned out, they were to meet by accident the next morning when John bumped into Lou and Lolly in the park. Louise instantly took a liking to the puppy John had with him, and was delighted when John offered to push her on the swings after Lou told her he couldn't because of his bad back. Afterwards, Lou brought Louise for a milkshake in the Coffee Shop, and for a split second considered telling her the truth about John, but couldn't bring himself to tell her.

Lou eventually chose Lassiter’s Lake as the best place to break the news to Louise, and after telling her how much he loved her, he told her that she had another daddy. Louise surprised Lou by taking the news quite calmly, and even started to think she was lucky to have two daddies herself. Within a few days, Louise asked Lou if she could have a picnic with her two daddies, and all went well until John asked if he could introduce Louise to his wife, Sandy. Lou told John he didn't think it was such a good idea just yet, but after Lolly showed an interest in getting to know John's wife, Lou agreed to the meeting. Sandy was an instant hit with Louise, and proved she was a natural with kids since she was a nursery school teacher. The meeting went so well, in fact, that Lou felt slightly left out as Louise laughed and joked with John and Sandy.

But the cosy status quo wasn’t to last and as the Allens started to see more of Louise, Lou began to fear he was losing his daughter. The strongest indication that Lou could be in danger of losing Louise came when Sandy revealed to Lou that she couldn’t conceive and, therefore, Lolly was John’s only chance of ever having a child. Things came to a head when Lou told John that he would allow him to see Lolly only once a month and John reacted by announcing he was going to seek custody of her. After an anxious few weeks, the day of the custody hearing arrived and after a frosty exchange with the Allens outside the courthouse, Lou was even more determined to win the case. The hearing got off to a bad start for Lou, as John's ruthless solicitor Angela Patrick dragged up Lou's addiction to painkillers, tax difficulties and a recent run-in with the police over after-hours drinking at the pub. She also pointed to the fact that Louise had had so many childminders since Cheryl's death, and highlighted the fact that Lou had been married three times, had other grown kids living interstate, and that Louise was from an unorthodox extended family. When Lou's time came to state his case, he gave his heartfelt reasons for why he felt Louise was better with him, pointing out that he loved her more than anything else in the world, while John Allen didn't even now her. And finally, at the end of the proceedings, Lou made an impassioned plea to the judge not to take his little girl away from him. But the court decided that the Allens should get full custody of Louise, and granted Lou visitation rights.

Lou was devastated by the outcome of the hearing, and in a last desperate attempt at keeping his beloved daughter, ran away with her. They settled at a caravan site for the first night, just as the neighbours back in Ramsay Street realised what Lou had done. Louise was confused by Lou's behaviour and questioned him about why he didn't want to answer his mobile phone or let anyone see them. Lou told her they were off on an adventure and were playing a game whereby they were invisible and nobody could see them, and Lolly was satisfied with what he said. Harold and Joe Scully eventually tracked Lou down at the caravan site, and persuaded him to return to Erinsborough after pointing out that he would ruin any future chances of seeing Lolly if the authorities knew what he had done. After returning to Erinsborough the next day, Louise was confused and upset when Lou tried to explain to her that she was going to live with the Allens, and she was unable to understand why she had to leave her daddy and home behind. When John and Sandy arrived to pick Louise up, Lou broke down and told Lolly how much he loved her, before waving goodbye to his little girl as John and Sandy drove out of Ramsay Street, with Louise waving to her daddy from the back of the car.

At the very least, Lou could still console himself with the fact that Louise still considered him to be her father and visited him on weekends in the first weeks after she moved. But when John and Sandy moved to the country with Louise, Lou only got to see Lolly during the school holidays. Nonetheless, they spoke to each other on the phone all the time, and Lou made a point of visiting her in the country as often as he could get away from Erinsborough.

When Darcy offered Lou the chance to invest in an independent film called The Doctor is Waiting, he was hugely tempted by the fact that he could make a tidy profit as well as the fact that the entire venture was tax deductible. Toadie also opted to invest, in the hope of impressing his new boss, sleazy lawyer Tim Collins and he and Lou both set about finding other investors in order to avail of a spotters fee the producers were offering to anyone who found further investors. When Lou and Toadie eagerly met with the film producer Jodie Michael at the film fundraiser, they were charmed by her straight away. The only thing they had yet to see was a script, but Jodie explained that as it was an experimental film and there was no script and mainly improvisation. Although initially concerned about the lack of potential for big box office returns with an experimental film, Lou gradually warmed to the idea when it was pointed out to him that he would make a killing on home video sales.

Anxious to sign up some more investors so as to avail of the spotters fee, Lou worked on persuading Harold to get involved. When Harold asked him for specifics on the genre of the movie, Lou said it was a romantic comedy and Harold became more comfortable with the idea of investing when Lou likened it to a Julia Roberts film. After Harold did a bit of research and found that the director, Alan Biggs, had directed some comedies in the 1960s, he felt confident the film would be a success and Lou was chuffed when he delivered Harold, plus some of Harold's church friends, as investors too. But there were red faces all round when Jodie invited Lou, Toadie and Harold to a screening of some of the first scenes filmed for the movie and they realised they had invested in a blue movie. A mortified Lou tried to convince Harold and his friends that it was a fun film and all about artistic expression, but his attempts at glossing over the fact that they had all invested in a pornographic film failed and they all sought their money back.

After Libby gave birth to a baby boy, Ben, Lou was touched when she and Drew asked him to be godfather. It was the perfect anecdote to the sadness he had gone through at losing custody of Louise, and Lou threw himself into the role. And when he noticed that Drew was beginning to overdo things at work in order to make as much extra cash as possible to support the new addition to the family, Lou offered him a loan. Drew rejected the offer and insisted he would be fine, and he eventually calmed down with the extra shifts after a second job as a bouncer didn’t work out. Meanwhile, Lou helped the Kirks out by catering for the christening at Lou's Place and as well as presenting Ben with a book called "Success in Business", Lou bought Ben a fairly generous amount of shares to help with his future finances.

The legendary battle between Lou and Harold for the affections of a lady was about to rear its head once again when Rev. Rosie Hoyland arrived in Erinsborough. Harold had been singing the praises of the new vicar for weeks but Lou had barely paid any attention to Harold, assuming firstly it would be a he and, moreover, a fairly stuffy and conservative type. But when Lou finally met Rosie at Ben's christening, he instantly fell for her down to earth nature and infectious sense of humour, and quickly set about trying to win her over with his old 'Carpenter charm'. Suddenly, Lou was offering his services to all sorts of church fundraisers in the hope of impressing Rosie, but she was initially oblivious to Lou's interest. Harold, meanwhile, also started to find himself attracted to Rosie, but was more guarded with his feelings, and instead, built up a close friendship with Rosie as she settled in to the parish.

Lou eventually bit the bullet and asked Rosie out to a bingo night at a rival pub – under the guise of checking out the competition. However, Rosie found herself in a quandary when Harold asked her out to see a documentary at the library on the same night and she cunningly opted to use the situation to her advantage by arranging to meet them both at the hospital when she finished some voluntary work there. When they both arrived at the same time, Lou and Harold were disgusted to see the other there, and Rosie had to own up about double booking herself with them, before suggesting they help her out at the hospital for an hour or two, knowing they would readily oblige. As they began to compete for Rosie's affections, Lou and Harold found themselves getting involved in all sorts of petty scrapes and silly misunderstandings, reminiscent of their battle for Madge's hand years before.

Everything was put on hold, however, when Harold was knocked down by Matt Hancock while out walking one day and Lou and Rosie were first at his bedside when he was taken to hospital. Harold had temporarily lost his sight as a result of the accident and when Lou's back injury started playing up while Harold was in hospital; Rosie concocted a plan to get the two to move in together while they built themselves back up to full health. Of course, knowing it wouldn’t be easy to persuade the ever-stubborn Lou and Harold to admit they needed help; Rosie enlisted Susan to help with her plan. Susan managed to persuade Lou to move in with Harold by suggesting that he was the only person other than Madge who Harold would ever let his guard down to and he should do his best to move in with him until he regained his sight fully. Meanwhile, Rosie worked at convincing Harold that Lou was finding it difficult to cope with his bad back on his own, and when she told Harold that Lou was sleeping on the couch because he couldn't manage it upstairs, Harold decided that he should ask Lou to stay with him until he got better. However, Rosie suggested that perhaps Harold should pretend it was him that needed Lou to stay with him so as not to dent Lou's pride, and Harold agreed. Both men were secretly delighted by the new arrangements since they were both now living alone – and thus, their loneliness was also sorted out by the new living arrangements.

While they recuperated at No.24 together, Harold opted to act on his growing feelings for Rosie, and invited her over for a special dinner. Lou decided to make himself scarce for the meal, and Harold was delighted to have Rosie to himself. But Rosie didn't feel right about excluding Lou from her evening with Harold, and insisted Lou, who had been doing his accounts in the living room, join them for dessert. By this point, Rosie had actually realised that she was more attracted to Lou than Harold but Lou was making a conscious effort to step back and give Harold a chance at happiness. When Lou told Rosie that Harold liked her, Rosie was forced to admit to him that she only saw Harold as a good friend, and was more interested in pursuing a relationship with Lou. Lou was thrilled by Rosie's admission, but told her he couldn't go out with her as long as Harold thought he stood a chance, prompting Rosie to resolve to tell a disappointed Harold where he stood once and for all. Shortly afterwards, Lou and Rosie kissed when they were accidentally locked in the vestibule at the church one night. However, Lou had unknowingly left some plastic flowers down on some candles out in the church and the place quickly went up in flames. As Lou was pouring his heart out to Rosie about his feelings for her, she suddenly realised that there was smoke coming from the main building, and they started banging on the door for help. Flick Scully was luckily passing the church around the same time, and when she noticed it was on fire, she called for an ambulance, and ran inside to save Lou and Rosie. Once she had unlocked the door, Flick, Rosie and Lou managed to safely escape the flaming building and get out just as the paramedics arrived.

The couple initially kept their relationship quiet out of deference to Harold, but Rosie's young granddaughter, Summer, blurted it out in front of Harold one day and he was forced to give the union his blessing. However, Lou wasn't convinced Harold was fully over Rosie and when Rosie was faced with a transfer to Byron Bay, Lou was the only local in favour of her moving – because he saw it as a way for him to whisk her away from Harold. Lou's insecurity about Harold's feelings for Rosie had begun to strain their relationship somewhat and when Lou left to visit Louise for a few weeks, he and Rosie parted on bad terms. Lou wrote Rosie a letter while he was away telling her how he felt about her and how much he wanted their relationship to work out, but she never received it because Harold had accidentally dropped it in a basin of water before he could give it to her. Rosie was confused, therefore, when Lou returned to Erinsborough and gave her the cold shoulder, and it was only when Harold explained what had happened with the letter that Lou and Rosie realised there had been a mix-up in communication. The couple agreed to give their relationship another shot, but Lou was furious with Harold, and accused him of him of purposely damaging the letter he had sent Rosie.

Determined to get Rosie away from Harold, Lou started looking at pubs to buy in Byron Bay and even succeeded in getting Rosie to come around to the idea of the move. But when he realised her heart was in Erinsborough, Lou did his bit in persuading the church to let her stay by arranging for all of his patrons to call the Archbishop to complain about Rosie's transfer each time they purchased a drink. The campaign worked and Rosie was granted a stay in Erinsborough. But Lou and Harold’s friendship hit rock bottom when Harold had a go at Lou for taking Rosie for granted and not treating her right, prompting a furious Lou to move out of No.24 and return home to his own house. Rosie felt guilty about her part in the friend's fall-out, and her relationship with Lou began to suffer as a result to the point where Rosie told Lou she wanted to put things on hold until he and Harold sorted out their differences.

Lou hoped that he and Rosie would eventually get back together but when Harold met a widower called Ruby Dwyer at a dating agency, Rosie began to realise she had feelings for Harold and decided to break it to Lou that there was no chance of them reigniting their romance. But the ever-interfering Lyn Scully, who Rosie had confided in about her feelings for both men, unwittingly broke the news to Lou herself – asking him how he felt about the break-up before Rosie had actually gotten round to telling him things were over herself. When Rosie discovered this, she hurried down to the pub where she sat down with Lou in his office to tell him that - although she still wanted to be close friends with him - she didn't feel there was anything for them to pursue with their relationship. Lou put on a brave face and insisted he understood, but he was actually heartbroken and took off to visit Lolly. When he returned, he asked Rosie one final time if she would reconsider her feelings for him, but she again rejected the idea of anything other than friendship. Lou wasn't interested, though, and reacted equally as frosty when Harold called over with some food and the offer of an olive branch. After ordering Harold away, insisting they were no longer friends, Lou sunk into his armchair, in pain. He fell asleep for a few hours but when he woke up, he had difficulty getting up and when he finally managed to get out of the chair, he fell over and slumped to the ground. He lay on the living room floor overnight until Karl called in on him the following morning and heard Lou groaning for help as he knocked on the door.

Lou was rushed to hospital where he was told his kidneys had failed and were now working to only five per cent capacity. Lou refused to let anyone in to see him, but Harold succeeded in getting Karl to tell him how grave the situation was. Rosie was deeply hurt when Lou rejected her support and insisted he didn't need her pity. In a tough act of defiance, Rosie sat in the hospital corridor throughout the night, vowing not to go home until Lou agreed to see her. In the end, he caved in, and agreed to a visit from her, although the frostiness in his manner was still present. Lou eventually apologised to Rosie for the way he had treated her, however, and explained to her that although friendship was enough for her, he could never see them working as just friends.

Meanwhile, Lou's illness was a lot more serious than he let on. Karl advised him that he faced hospital appointments for dialysis three times a week for the rest of his life unless he found a kidney donor and urged him to contact his family to seek their help. But Lou was adamant that he wouldn't contact them with such a huge ask. Harold, however, took matters into his own hands and contacted Lauren to tell her about Lou's predicament. Lou was furious when he discovered this interference and lashed out at Harold for betraying him. Lou revealed that he hadn't wanted any of his family to feel duty bound to donate a kidney and he was determined that Lauren wouldn't go through with the transplant. Harold was determined to come to the rescue of his old friend in some way though, and decided to have his compatibility as a donor. When he was found to be a match and offered one of his kidneys to Lou, Lou rejected the idea as ridiculous, accusing Harold of going too far with his charitable behaviour this time. Harold tried to reason with Lou that it had been a miracle that the two of them even had the same tissue, but it was only when Karl intervened and brought Little Ben to see Lou at the hospital and pointed out to Lou how much of a miracle Ben was given Libby had initially been told she couldn't have children that Lou finally relented and accepted Harold's offer, thanking him for his enormous generosity – and friendship.

The operation was a resounding success and Lou and Harold made an unlikely pair of patients in the hospital as they recovered and incurred the wrath of the nurses by distracting the other patients by playing with a mini-racetrack that Joe Scully had loaned them. When they both got out of hospital, the friends were literally on the verge of another fall-out when Lou and Rosie realised that Ruby, who Harold had been dating, was scamming him, and they exposed her. Although Harold was hurt, he was touched by the care his friends had shown him and in the wake of Ruby's departure from Erinsborough, there was a marked upturn in the friendships Rosie had with both Lou and Harold. The three had finally begun to move on from the problems that had plagued them in the preceding months, and all three seemed to be content at last with how things had worked out between them. But after spending some time at a seminar on the cyclone crisis in Papua New Guinea, Rosie stunned her family and friends by announcing she was leaving Erinsborough to work in New Guinea and Lou and Harold were forced to bid her farewell.

Ruby returned to the neighbourhood soon after – determined to make it up to both Harold and Lou for all the hurt she had caused last time round. But while Harold was delighted with her return and even invited her to move into No.24 with him, Lou was still suspicious of her and refused to forgive and forget. Harold’s pleas with the community to give Ruby a second chance were hindered by the fact that Ruby was a prime suspect in two robberies that occurred shortly after her return. The first took place at Lou’s pub, when the nights takings were stolen as a distracted Lou demonstrated some toy cars he was trying to flog to the punters. And the second robbery had taken place at the Kennedy house, with Ruby being implicated after Connor O’Neill saw her coming from the Kennedys at the time of the theft. Harold stood by Ruby throughout, however, and when it was discovered that a debt-ridden Darcy had been behind both crimes, Harold saw to it that Lou and the other local skeptics apologised to Ruby, before she again left town for a fresh start with her son.

Lou found himself forming a close friendship with the loud, brash Valda Sheergold, Lyn's meddlesome aunt, when she visited Erinsborough fresh from a six month cruise and helped Lou out at the pub when his chef suddenly quit. When Valda had previously stayed at the Scullys, Lou hadn't been particularly fond of her – particularly when she mistakenly thought Lou and Harold were a couple. But this time around, Lou developed a whole new appreciation for her as she made herself indispensable at the pub by creating a new menu styled around cuisines of the world and increasing his food profits by 25 per cent. They locked horns regularly, particularly when Valda took to going on and on about her handsome fiancé Andreas, but Lou knew a good thing when he saw it and happily took her on full-time.

After Andreas dumped her over the telephone, Valda set her sights on Lou, but he panicked and, on Harold's advice, played Valda at her own game by coming on really strong to her in the hope that she would lose interest. However, Lou's advances only served to upset Valda and she broke down and confided in him about how foolish she had felt for ever thinking a younger man like Andreas could be seriously interested in her. She also admitted to Lou that she had gone broke and was desperately in need of cash. Her situation wasn't helped when she had a row with Lyn's husband Joe and he forced her out of the Scully house, and she ended up sleeping at the garage. Lou offered to help her by working out a savings plan but he was annoyed with Valda when she thanked him for his help by buying him an expensive watch. Valda was upset once again and Lou sought her out to comfort her where she stunned him by revealing a deep secret – she was actually Lyn's mother and had let her sister Connie adopt Lyn when she was born because she was able to offer her a home and loving family. Lou was stunned by the revelation but promised to keep things to himself. However, he began to fear for Valda's wellbeing when she fled Erinsborough after another row with the Scullys.

Lou and Steph Scully, Lyn's eldest daughter, eventually tracked Valda down and were shocked to find her suffering from pneumonia on a park bench. They took her back to Erinsborough and she was admitted to hospital where she made a full recovery and Lou invited her to stay with him at No.22. It was during her recovery that Lyn found out the truth about Valda being her mother while watching some old home movies, and Valda was isolated by Lyn and the Scullys. Lou was on hand throughout to offer his support and encouraged her not to give up on building a new mother-daughter relationship with Lyn, particularly when her grandson Jack started to soften towards her. Lou also touched Valda when he and Harold arranged for a surprise day trip to Hobart to cheer her up and it started to become clear that Lou was developing feelings for her, and she for him. But both were too stubborn to admit it and they instead took to carrying on with their playful sniping and bickering with one another at the pub.

Valda and Lyn finally made their peace with each other during a trip to their hometown of Shelly Bay and Lou was thrilled to see Valda gradually become accepted as part of the Scully family again. But money troubles still plagued Valda and when the opportunity of a four month contract to teach at a cookery school in Broome presented itself, she strongly considered accepting, much to the dismay of Lou. He was put in an awkward position by Lyn, who asked him to persuade her to go, and Lou found himself having to tell Valda she should go, even though deep down he wanted her to stay. Valda finally agreed to go, although Lou pressed her a few times over whether there might be another reason for her to stay. As her family and friends gathered on Ramsay Street to wave Valda off, she and Lou shared a moment in which Valda thanked Lou for being such a great friend and promised him she would never forget everything he had done for her.

Lou found it tough to adjust to life without the larger than life Valda around and when he found a Brazilian hat that she had left behind in the pub from one of the world cuisine theme nights she had hosted, he decided to send it to her and attempted to express his feelings for her in a letter to send along with it. But he couldn't find the right words and tore up the letter and placed the hat in storage instead. Harold began to pick up on the fact that Lou was missing Valda terribly – he had fired the chef that had replaced Valda because he didn't measure up to his predecessor, claimed he was too busy to speak to Valda when she phoned from Broome and even put off opening a present she had sent him in the post. And his behaviour became even stranger when Lou started effectively living at the pub, sleeping in the office at the back most nights. Harold confronted his old friend about his evident loneliness but Lou laughed it off, insisting he was simply staying at the pub because it was handy for work. When Valda returned for the christening of Lyn's baby, Oscar, Lou was delighted to see her back again and the pair shared a heart-to-heart about companionship. But neither would honestly admit how they felt about one another and Valda soon returned to Broome.

Although Rosie was long out of Lou's life, her two children made their presence felt in Erinsborough when they settled into town. Not long after arriving in Erinsborough, Max – Rosie's son – got a job at the pub with Lou, eventually going into partnership with him on the business. And when Max's scheming younger sister, Izzy, showed up, she turned the head of many of the men in Ramsay Street, not least Karl Kennedy, with whom she went onto have an affair and ultimately cause the break-up of his marriage to Susan. Izzy proved useful to Lou, though, when she hatched a plot with him to make Valda jealous by posing for a snap with Lou in which they were faking having a romantic meal. All Lou had to do in return was to persuade Harold to take Izzy on as a partner at the Coffee Shop, a challenge he readily achieved when he convinced Harold of the benefits of slowing down and sharing some of the burden with a partner. The quid pro quo continued with Izzy when she suggested he start serving coffee over at the pub as a way of bringing in some extra business and gave Lou a tip-off of a contact who had a top quality coffee machine to sell. Lou asked Conor and Toadie to pick the machine up from the contact, but the boys were convinved that Lou was doing business with the Erinsborough mafia when they came face to face with Rocco Cammeniti, a pony-tailed, bearded tough Italian who fit into all stereotypes surrounding the Italian mob. Lou laughed off their concerns when they arrived back at the pub with the machine, and had enough trouble of his own to contend with when he had to incur the wrath of Harold who saw the introduction of a coffee machine at the pub as a direct threat to his own business. But when the machine turned out to be a lemon, Lou sent the boys back to seek a refund from Rocco. Rocco insisted that Lou just didn't know how to use it properly and refused to give them the money back. An exasperated Lou then took matters into his own hands and went to meet with Rocco himself – and promptly returned to the pub satisfied that Rocco was not in any way at fault. As Lou tried to get to grips with machine, he resorted to all sorts of tactics to master the art of coffee making – he even took to spying on Harold over at the Coffee Shop. After burning his hand on the steam one too many times, Lou finally lost his patience and got Toadie to write a legal letter of complaint to Rocco. Rocco eventually called by the pub to follow up on the letter and gave Lou a lesson in how to use the machine, pointing out that the key was to treat it as he would a lady. The lessons from Rocco worked and far from being unhappy with the machine, Lou found himself doing great business with the top notch Brazilian coffee beans Rocco began supplying him with.

On top of the coffee machine, Izzy also introduced Lou to another way of making a quick buck – padded underwear. Enlisting Connor's help to flog them around town, Lou was confident he'd make a fortune enhancing the assets of the locals. But when Connor only managed to sell one pair and was met with a prickly response from Lou, he had a go at him accusing him of living his life trying to make money rather than focusing on what was important. Lou angrily dismissed Connor's claims and refused to speak to him. However, when Connor later apologised, Lou admitted that what he had said had struck a chord – since losing Cheryl and a lot of his standing in the community, he had immersed himself in his business schemes as a way of filling the void in his life – loneliness. Connor told Harold about Lou's admission, leading Harold to attempt to talk to his friend about his feelings. Lou brushed off Harold's concerns, and assured him he felt absolutely fine.

Any worries that Lou, or his friends, had about loneliness were soon forgotten about as Trixie Tucker entered his life. The mother of aspiring teen singer Nina, who was friends with Connor, Trixie had been performing on the cabaret circuit for years and Lou had always admired her from afar. So he was over the moon when she arrived at the pub with Nina to discuss a performance at Lou's Place and he realised the connection. He quickly introduced himself and as they chatted, Trixie was impressed with Lou's depth of knowledge when it came to her career – particularly when he was able to recall her famous 'Trixie Tucker Triple Step' move. After agreeing to a mother/daughter performance at the pub, Nina and Trixie wowed the crowd and Lou tried to persuade them to stay on indefinitely. Trixie, in the wake of her split from Nina's father and acutely aware that her career was drying up, needed all the money she could get so readily agreed to preforming on a regular basis. Lou was thrilled to have Trixie at the pub and even converted a room at the back of the pub into a dressing room for his resident 'star'.

As Trixie settled into her routine and became a more regular presence around Lassiter's, Lou found himself falling for her and came to her aid by renting No.22 to her and Nina after Trixie declared she could no longer live with Nina's father. Trixie was so grateful for Lou's help that she brought him out for a slap-up meal as a thank you gift and the pair kissed. Although he was smitten with her, Lou was reluctant to take things any further as he didn't want to be seen as a home wrecker. But Trixie assured him that things were definitely over between her and Nina's father, and since they had never actually married, he wasn't technically involved in the break-up of a marriage at all. Nina, however, had never known that her parents weren't actually married and didn't take the news too well when Trixie broke it to her, opting to leave Erinsborough with her father and work on furthering her career in Bombay. In the wake of Nina's departure, Trixie persuaded Lou that she wanted nothing else to stand in the way of their happiness and she took him by complete surprise by popping the question. A delighted Lou quickly accepted and excitedly made plans for what would be his third wedding.

The engagement got off to a ropey start, though, when Trixie was offered the chance to secure the production rights of Hello Dolly for a tour of Asia, with her in the lead role and she asked Lou to finance the project. Lou was taken aback when he realised the production would require an investment of half a million dollars and when Trixie sensed his unease at the prospect, she backed off and instead, turned her attentions to domesticity, quitting showbiz so she could be the self-titled best housewife in Erinsborough. But after one too many mishaps with the cooking and cleaning around the house, Lou persuaded Trixie to ditch the idea and the couple excitedly concentrated on planning their big day.

When Valda returned to Erinsborough for Christmas, it was clear that there was still a lot of unresolved feelings between her and Lou. Trixie, too, picked up on the connection between the pair but when she and Lou spoke about it, he told her that while he and Valda were very close, there was nothing more to it. But as the wedding day drew nearer, Lou began to behave suspiciously, making secretive phone calls and dashing off for meetings. This led Trixie to suspect him of cheating on her with Valda but when she confronted him with her suspicions, Lou brushed it off as pre-wedding jitters. All became clear, though, when Lou surprised Trixie on the wedding day with an extravagant showbiz wedding at Her Majesty's Theatre in the heart of Melbourne. The ceremony was going rather well until Valda objected to the union mid-way through, shocking Lou, Trixie and all the guests. But Lou, furious at Valda's interruption, insisted that he was in love with Trixie and continued with the service, quipping that it could only have been a true theatre wedding with some high drama in it.

After they were pronounced man and wife, Lou and Trixie celebrated back at the pub with a reception for all their friends but just as they were about to head off on their honeymoon, tragedy struck when Harold was found on the ground out in the car park, having suffered a stroke. Lou blamed himself for bringing on the stroke, on account of having Harold running around in the lead-up to the wedding and also taking one of his kidneys from him, so he was hugely relieved when he regained consciousness and looked set to recover. Trixie thought Harold's recovery was the cue for her and Lou to head off on their honeymoon, but Lou told her he couldn't go away while Harold was ill, angering Trixie. As Harold began to recuperate, however, Lou started to pick up on how unfulfilled Trixie was and surprised her by re-mortgaging the house, pub and garage so that he could invest in Hello Dolly. Trixie was thrilled at the prospect of touring Asia in the lead role with Lou as her executive producer, and the couple held a press conference and photo-call on Ramsay Street to mark the deal. Max and Joe were both put out by Lou's plans, with the former concerned about the future of the pub if the project failed and Joe annoyed over Lou's failure to pay him for the work he had done on constructing Trixie's dressing room a few weeks before. However, Lou assured them that all would be fine, even promising Joe he'd pay the money he owed him plus six per cent interest upon his return from Asia. Meanwhile, Harold was less than supportive when Lou told him of his plans, even going so far as to label Trixie a gold-digger. Lou put Harold's objections down to his temporarily altered personality in the wake of the stroke, but a rift developed between the two friends when Harold hurled further abuse at Trixie – and Lou, himself – at their farewell party and Lou set off for Asia with his friendship with Harold in tatters.

Things got a whole worse for Lou when they got to Hong Kong for the first leg of the tour. Aside from Lou being stricken with the flu and confined to his hotel room, it quickly became apparent that there wasn't much interest in Hello Dolly and after a few nights, the entire run was cancelled due to poor ticket sales. However, Trixie was too ashamed to tell Lou and for a few days, pretended she was still performing while Lou was sick and claimed the show was a huge success. Lou unwittingly even started to look into the possibility of buying a property in Hong Kong so that he could be near Ling Mai. But his bubble was burst when the theatre manager told Lou the truth and a furious Lou was hurt at Trixie's deception. She insisted that she hadn't wanted to hurt him, particularly after his investment but Lou had to get stuck into number crunching as he tried to salvage his finances. Lou quickly realised that they had no alternative but to cut their losses and go home, but Trixie refused to give up on her dreams and secured a singing gig in a local club. Lou was furious when she admitted it didn't pay very well, and he lashed out at her, telling her she had to stop chasing pipe dreams and accept that her career was over. Unable to face up to the hurt, both personally and financially, that she had caused Lou, Trixie decided that the only thing she could do was leave him, and she slipped out during the night while Lou slept, leaving only a letter in which she apologised for letting him down, urged him to start over again without her and vowed to one day fix things.

Lou was devastated when he awoke to read the letter and realised his marriage was over before it had even begun. He returned to Erinsborough bride-less and penniless but initially kept the truth from his friends and neighbours, claiming that he had come back because he wasn't feeling too well. But Max began to sense something was amiss when the bank kept calling for Lou and Valda also suspected there was a problem when Lou brushed off her questions about Trixie and Hong Kong. It was only when Harold confronted Lou about his 'child bride' that Lou finally lost his cool and admitted the truth – his marriage was over and he was on the verge of losing his house and businesses. Harold agreed to help Lou fix things, but Lou faced embarrassment in front of the entire community when the Erinsborough News ran a story on how the entire production had been a total flop and Lou was facing bankruptcy. However, the newspaper article and a long-distance call from Trixie, prompted Lou to fight to hold onto everything he had worked so hard for.

After an unsuccessful meeting with the bank, Lou had one final person to turn to for money – Rocco. Having done him a good turn a few months previously by giving his wayward daughter Carmella a job at the pub, Rocco readily agreed to help Lou out and loaned him $50,000 in cash, as well as giving him some dodgy gear, such as stereo speakers and mobile phones, at a low price to sell on for a profit. Lou had soon convinced all his nearest and dearest that they simply couldn't do without a set of stereo speakers and he made some ready cash from his sales. But when the speakers all turned out to be dodgy, Lou came under pressure for refunds from all his customers. To add to his woes, Rocco started looking for his loan repayments and as the pressure mounted on him, Lou found himself at the end of his tether. Susan invited him over to dinner to try and make him feel better and they had a heart to heart during which Lou revealed his loneliness. Susan was in a vulnerable position too, since her marriage break-up, and they consoled each other as the night wore on. But things became awkward when Lou broke down in tears and sobbed uncontrollably in Susan's arms. Susan tried to pull herself from his embrace after a while, but Lou wouldn't let go – causing Susan to firmly tell him to back off. Lou was horrified over his behaviour and avoided Susan in the days that followed.

With Rocco on his back demanding he start repaying his loan and threatening a 10% interest charge per day, Lou began to hide from him. But Rocco eventually caught up with Lou at No.22 and when Lou admitted he couldn't meet the repayments, Rocco came up with a compromise and hatched a plan with Lou to fix a horse race. Lou protested about the illegality of the plan but Rocco dismissed his concerns as minor details and pointed out to Lou that if they pulled the scam off, it would mean Lou's financial worries would be over. Lou agreed to participate in the scam and persuaded Harold to loan him $1,000 to place bets on the fixed race. When the horse won, Lou and Rocco celebrated their success but Lou foolishly invested the $50,000 he had re-made on shares in a pharmaceutical company which produced anti-balding powder on a tip off from Karl. As he confidently predicted making a packet from his shares, Lou was stunned when his stockbroker called to inform him all trading had been suspended in the pharmaceutical company pending an investigation of inside trading, making all of Lou's shares worthless. Realising he was now in an even worse predicament, Lou saw no alternative but to pack a suitcase and flee Erinsborough.

Making his way to the countryside to see Lolly, Lou was surprised to find that the Allen house was empty and they had moved. As he drove away, the car ran out of petrol and Lou got stranded in the middle of the bush. Lou was forced to start walking to find help, but after wandering aimlessly for several hours, he began to lose the strength to go on. Taking out his wallet, he scribbled a note on some paper for Harold, asking him to look after Lolly for him, before walking a little further and slipping down a slope. He lay in agony as trekkers missed him and couldn't hear his cries for help, and slowly started to drift off. Back in Erinsborough, after days of thinking Lou had gone off in pursuit of Trixie or chasing up on a scam of some sort, Harold and Max finally realised something wasn't quite right when they found Lou's mobile phone lying in the garden of No.22 – from where Lou had thrown it away as he left town. Eventually, the police found Lou's abandoned car and he was soon found by rescue workers and taken to hospital where he was treated for exposure. As Harold supported him at his bedside and told him how lucky he was to have survived his ordeal, Lou pointed out that things weren't much better for him back in Erinsborough, and revealed all to Harold about the financial nightmare he had gotten himself into.

Owning up to his money troubles actually helped Lou he resolved to make a fresh start by selling No.22 and No.30 to repay his debts and ease his burdens substantially. He even managed to keep Rocco at bay by giving him his car as an initial repayment. With a renewed vigor for life, Lou even started to think about salvaging his relationship with Valda. While he had been close to death in the bush, Lou had had a number of dreams and visions of her and ever since, had begun to regard the experience as a sign that he and her should get together. Lou asked Lyn to help him in his pursuit of Valda, but Lyn was reluctant to become involved given how upset Valda had been when Lou married Trixie. Lou then decided to employ good old fashioned wining and dining tactics and sent a bouquet of flowers to Valda, inviting her to dinner at the pub. As Lou waited for her to join him for his specially prepared candlelit dinner, Valda was agonising over whether or not she could open her heart to Lou once again and risk being hurt. She opted not to go to the pub and instead, returned to Broome that same evening – leaving Lou alone again.

Just as Lou was starting to get his life back on track, Rocco re-entered the equation with another horse-race fixing scam he wanted Lou to be a part of. Desperate not to be dragged back onto any illegality, Lou told Rocco that money was too tight to get mixed up in horse racing, but Rocco seemed determined to force Lou's hand. Matters weren't helped by the snooping around of Stuart Parker, who shared No.30 with Toadie and Conor, and who also happened to be a rookie police officer. Stuart was suspicious of Rocco being involved in the recent disappearance of Toadie, who had infuriated Rocco by striking up a romance with Rocco's former mistress, Sindi Watts. Lou was initially reluctant to hel Stuart in his inquiries, but after fears for Toadie's safety and wellbeing got the better of him, he decided to confess all to Stuart about his past dealings with Rocco in the hope that it might cause the police to take Toadie's disappearance more seriously. Stuart persuaded Lou to called the police and confess all himself in the hope of him receiving a lighter punishment. However, Lou's attempts at downplaying his role in the race fixing scam didn't hold much sway with Sgt.Douglas, who wasn't interested in the fact that he had been under pressure from a loan shark like Rocco and was also trying to understand why he had even turned himself in in the first place. Lou protested that he was trying to highlight to the cops the extent of Rocco's criminal activities in the hope of them taking Stuart's theory on Rocco's involvement in the disappearance of Toadie seriously. But as it turned out, they didn't need the police to investigate as Libby bumped into Rocco in a country hospital while she was returning from a teaching post in Adelaide and when she later saw a photo of him in No.30 and mentioned to Stuart and Sindi where she had seen him, they pieced together his movements and found Toadie, in a coma, in the hospital. It transpired that he had been taken to Adelaide by Rocco's henchmen to get him away from Sindi, but along the way had been involved in an accident that had left him unconscious. Racked with guilt, Rocco had been visiting him everyday, and it was at the hospital that the police finally caught up with him and placed him under arrest. Lou, meanwhile, had evidently turned himself in for no good reason – and now faced a spell behind bars.

After he was arrested under the Racing and Gaming Act, Lou was informed he could face anywhere from 18 months to 5 years in prison. But when he went to see a comatose Toadie in hospital, he told his longtime friend and sparing partner that once he pulled through, he would happily take any punishment that came his way for becoming embroiled in Rocco's dodgy dealings. Thankfully, Toadie regained consciousness a short time later and was quickly back to full health in time to defend Lou in court. Lou was also helped enormously by the return to Erinsborough of Darren, who had come back to town to try to renew his relationship with Libby. In fact, it was Darren who, was on hand - when all the other Ramsay Street residents forgot – to share a beer with Lou on his birthday. However, when everyone else realised they had forgot the occasion, they threw Lou an impromptu barbecue and a delighted Lou acknowledged the good friends he had on Ramsay Street during what had been a turbulent year.

Meanwhile, Lou began to experience an easing of his financial burdens when both No.22 and No.30 were sold, the former to an investment group and the latter to Toadie, Stuart and Conor. Luckily, the company which bought No.22 agreed to let him stay on in the house as a tenant but before Lou got too cosy, he was shocked to learn that the owner of the investment group was also planning to live there – and the owner was Valda! A stand-off ensued between the two, with Lou demanding she leave him to live there in peace while she demanded he leave immediately. Lou sought Toadie's advice on the matter and was chuffed when he was assured by Toadie that he had the right to stay on for at least a month. Valda begrudgingly allowed him to stay, despite Lou goading her about how she still carried a torch for him. But although they bickered most of the time, it soon became evident that they were still harbouring feelings for each other. Things heated up even more when Valda returned to work at the pub as chef and they found themselves both working and living together. They eventually agreed to a date, Lou was late arriving after receiving a phone call from Trixie in Bangkok just as he was leaving to meet Valda. A humiliated Valda was disgusted but reluctantly agreed to a second date – only for her old flame Charlie Cassidy to show up in town attempting to rekindle their romance. With the odds stacked against them, Lou and Valda decided they should just settle on being just good friends – and Lou gave Valda his blessing as she went on to marry Charlie and move back to their hometown of Shelley Bay.

Trivia Notes
• Lou had an Aunt Elsie. Her second husband was called Frank, her first, George, died in Borneo during World War II. He was with the Second Fourth A.I.F., a Lieutenant in the artillery
• He also has a cousin called Eddie who lives at 34 Redwood Avenue, Curlon, Townsville
• Lou is a huge fan of Elvis Presley
• Lou holds the record for the most broken engagements, having been engaged to Madge, Annalise and Cheryl without marrying any of them
• Lou sleepwalks
• His favourite soup is Mulligatawny
• He has a tattoo on his back. It features a heart with Mishka's name inset

693-698, 1592-2670, 2717-5635, 5693-5732, 5794-5850, 5904-5945, 5980-6015, 6049-6093, 6172-6209, 6260-6295, 6345-6418, 6465-

Magic Moments
Episode 694: Lou's Arrival
Episode 1592: Lou's Return
Episode 4395: Lou and Trixie's Wedding

Biography by Mark