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Character Profiles > Charlie Hoyland Aaron Aulsebrook-Walker, Jacob Brito, Alexander McGuire

Charlie Hoyland 2006-2011, 2016-
Lived: 26, 28, 30, 32 Ramsay Street
Born: 2006 (later altered to c. 2005)
Parents: Stephanie and Max Hoyland
Siblings: Boyd, Summer and Adam
Family Tree: Hoyland and Scully

The son of Max and Stephanie Hoyland, Charlie was named after his great-grandfather, and caused his parents untold amounts of worry even before he came into the world. After many months of trying to conceive, as well as failing to adopt, Steph and Max were beginning to give up hope of ever having a child of their own, when she suddenly found out that she was pregnant. For the first half of the pregnancy, things went well, but as the birth got closer, Steph suddenly found herself in the middle of a nightmare as she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she’d already beaten once back in 2003. Steph refused to have any treatment for it until her miracle baby, whom she had already named Charlie, was born. Her refusal caused a huge rift between Max and Steph, but she stuck to her guns and Charlie was safely delivered in March 2006, before his mum was rushed in for emergency surgery to remove the cancerous growth.

Charlie’s first year in the world was an eventful one, as he said goodbye to one of his parents – twice – and even found his life put at risk by the twisted Robert Robinson. Robert was determined to make his father, Paul, pay for what he saw as abandoning him as a child, and tried to get to him by systematically getting rid of everyone close to him. On the list of victims was Charlie’s flaky Aunty Izzy, Max’s sister, who was dating Paul and managed to convince Steph and Max to let her babysit their son for the day. Robert then snuck in and turned on the gas, with Izzy passing out before she realised, and only being saved when Steph’s mum, Lyn, called by. A few months later, with Robert’s evil doings exposed, Max thought the unhinged young man had escaped from prison and ran him down, instead fatally injuring Robert’s twin, Cameron. This led to the twins’ grieving sister Elle launching a revenge plan, sneaking around and making Max believe that he was losing his mind, even walking into the Hoyland house one day and snatching Charlie when Max was meant to be babysitting. Max eventually snapped and, having admitted himself to the psychiatric ward the week before, walked out on his family and left Erinsborough behind.

With Max gone, Steph grew closer to her old friend, Toadfish Rebecchi, but it wasn’t long before Max was back, having got himself back together and determined to make another go of his marriage. But the marriage was beyond saving, and Charlie lost his dad for a second time, as Max took a job on the rigs. With Max gone, Steph and Toadie slowly got back together and Charlie had himself a new father figure. As Toadie moved in, Steph took over the Scarlet Bar, which had previously been run by Max and Izzy, putting her own stamp on it by renovating and renaming it Charlie’s.

Within a few months, Steph and Toadie's relationship was falling apart, over the issue of marriage. When Steph finally agreed to get married, Toadie was delighted, and had Charlie and Frazer Yeats as his two 'best men'. But, as Steph struggled to get through her vows, Toadie realised that this wasn't what she wanted, and the relationship ended. Toadie moved out, but Steph and Charlie weren't alone for long, as Steph's best friend, Libby Kennedy moved in, along with her young son, Ben and, a few weeks later, they were joined by lodger Ty Harper. Charlie had plenty of new people to interact with, but when Steph brought another new face into the house - her new boyfriend, fireman Jay Duncan - drama wasn't far behind. Not long after Jay's arrival in Steph's life, a bushfire broke out, leaving Ramsay Street resident Marco Silvani dead. Though Toadie was suspicious of Jay, Steph refused to listen, and she and Charlie joined him for a weekend away at his family's cabin. Whilst there, Steph found some newspaper articles that had been slipped into her bag by Toadie's concerned friend Nicola and she realised that he'd been there to save numerous other single, blonde mums from fires over the last few years. Aware that they could be in danger, Steph sent Charlie out on his own, telling him to walk back to a fruit stand down the street and stay there. She then tried to convince Jay that all was fine and make her escape, but the car wouldn't start and he got to her. Meanwhile, Toadie and Nicola found Charlie by the side of the road, and Toadie raced to save Steph's life, though Jay returned the following day and, in a tussle, ended up stabbing her.

Though Steph survived her ordeal, she decided to concentrate on looking after Charlie and making her home safe, rather than finding him any more father figures. Things did grow slightly more peaceful for a while, until Steph starting thinking about looking for love again some months later, and ended up meeting Greg Michaels through an internet dating service. Old friends from TAFE, Steph and Greg quickly hit it off, until she learnt that he was married. Though Greg then left his wife and tried to make a go of things with Steph, Charlie ended up being an innocent victim of their relationship dramas when Steph, distracted whilst talking to Greg, let Charlie wander off into the garage. He ended up in hospital after a cabinet fell on top of him, and although Steph and Greg tried to make a go of the relationship, his jealousy over her male friends brought it to a premature end.

Charlie, meanwhile, was happily making friends with all the new youngsters in the street and although Libby and Ben moved out, Ty remained and helped the kids form a band. Along with Ben, Mickey and Callum also joined the music lessons, and when Ty left Erinsborough for London, the little gang sent him off with a song.

Charlie's life went through several changes in the year that followed, as Steph fell pregnant after a one-night-stand with Daniel Fitzgerald, the husband of her best friend, Libby. The marriage had since failed due to their inability to have a child, and when Steph fell pregnant, she was desperate to keep it a secret, and confided in Toadie, who agreed to marry her to help keep her secret. After a few months of the new family set-up, the truth came out and Steph and Charlie left town for a while. Upon her return, Steph had given birth to a son, Adam, but decided that she did not deserve him, giving him to Daniel to raise. In her grief and confusion, things then spiralled out of control for Steph and she ended up hitting Ringo on her motorbike, killing him. Meanwhile, Charlie went missing during a trick or treat outing for Halloween, but was found by Sam. Facing time in prison, Steph told Charlie that she would have to go away for a while. Charlie asked if he could go with her, but she had to explain that it was only for grown-ups, and he'd be looked after by his gran, Lyn.

Steph was later sent to prison for six years, and Charlie seemed to adapt well at first, though he regularly asked when he would be able to see his mum. When Charlie and Callum found a blue-tongued skink, Charlie became attached to the animal, calling it Teddy and becoming extremely upset when its owner came forward to claim it, even telling Lyn that he hated her. After builder Jim Dolan, who was working on rebuilding the Scully house after a fire, found out, he managed to track down Teddy, who had belonged to one of his labourers, and got him back for a delighted Charlie. Some weeks later, Charlie ran away again, while Sophie Ramsay was babysitting, and when he was found, he told his nan that he had been trying to find Steph. Realising the effect this was having on Charlie, Lyn arranged for Steph to be transferred to a low security prison in the country and she and Charlie moved up there so that he could see more of his mum.

In the years that followed, Steph told Charlie not to visit her in prison, and Lyn later lost custody to Max. Charlie went to live in Fiji, where Max had settled with his mum, Rosie, and Steph suffered a mental breakdown after her release from prison, and ended up in a secure psychiatric hospital. A few years later, Steph returned to Erinsborough to make amends, as when she had visited in 2013, she had kidnapped baby Patrick Villante. She was also determined to get her life back together, find a job and somewhere to live, so that she could eventually have Charlie back in her life. Things got off to a difficult start for her when she found out that Max's new wife, Philippa, intended to adopt Charlie, but was supported by Toadie, Lyn, and Toadie's wife, Sonya. Lyn then thought that she was doing the right thing when, whilst Charlie was visiting her in Bendigo, she brought him down to Erinsborough, promising a surprise, but not revealing that his mum was out of hospital and living there again. When Steph saw Charlie, she was overwhelmed, but Toadie pointed out that any contact, without Max's consent, could damage her chances of ever getting custody. Lyn was forced to keep Charlie away from Steph for the day, hopeful that nobody would mention her, but unfortunately young Jimmy Williams was chatting to Charlie and mentioned how much he enjoyed spending time with Steph. Realising that his mum was nearby, Charlie quickly disappeared and went to see her. Steph was hurt as Charlie seemed angry with her, and referred to Philippa as his mum, but mother and son later sat down to talk about things, and she explained that she'd been ill and why she hadn't wanted to see him during that time. After showing him a pile of letters that she'd written to him over the years, but never posted, Steph was relieved as Charlie softened towards her. As he left to go back to Bendigo with Lyn, Charlie promised that he wouldn't tell Max about their meeting, and have Steph a note saying that it was nice to see her again.

A couple of weeks later, Steph was shocked to see Charlie walking up Ramsay Street towards her, and he admitted that he'd run away and caught the train from Bendigo to come and see her again. Lyn soon arrived to collect him, and they took Charlie to spend some time with Jimmy. The afternoon ended badly, with Steph struggling to chastise Charlie for his behaviour, and Charlie angry that she'd been giving presents to Jimmy and spending time with him, whilst seemingly ignoring her own son. Charlie then ran off, but soon reappeared as Steph was outside fixing her motorbike. She told him just how much she'd missed him, and how much she'd thought about him, and they were soon bonding over mechanics, a shared passion between mother and son. Soon after, Philippa, who'd been in Sydney on business and had checked on Charlie's phone location, turned up. She was alarmed to learn that this wasn't even the first time that Steph had seen Charlie in recent weeks, but was satisfied that Steph hadn't instigated the meetings. After chatting to Charlie, Philippa still gained no ammunition for the custody battle, but then Lyn let slip that Steph was planning to go into business with Paul Robinson, who only weeks earlier had been messing with her medication to try and get her to leave Erinsborough. Worried that Steph's judgement was poor, Philippa used it as an excuse to try and make her sign the consent forms for the adoption. Though she was beginning to feel beaten, Steph realised that, although it was going to be difficult, she had to fight the adoption and she tore up the forms.

The following week, with Erinsborough in the grip of a heatwave, Steph had run out of medication and was suffering in the hot weather, when she attended a mediation session with Philippa. As she started to suggest that maybe Charlie should make up his own mind about who he should live with, Philippa took that as a sign that she was still being controlled by her mental illness, and that the adoption would be going ahead. When Steph then received word the following week that she'd be receiving a video call from Charlie, she was delighted, until she phoned Philippa, who explained that they were going to go for sole custody and would recommend that Steph have no contact with her son. During the video call, Steph was upset to realise that Philippa had told Charlie that his mum was still unwell, and that he no longer wanted to spend time with her.

When another mediation meeting was more successful, Philippa and Max agreed to drop the adoption plans and give Steph another chance to spend time with Charlie. When he arrived in Erinsborough, he was slightly subdued, and flat out refused when Steph gave him a new bike and suggested that they could go out for a ride. They then spent the rest of the day with Steph's friend Mark, who managed to get Charlie to open up about his fears, both about Steph having a relapse, and about a recent accident which had left him afraid to ride a bike again. Mark, a police officer, then managed to cheer up Charlie with a ride in a police car, and the day ended up being a big success, which also proved to have a positive effect on Mark and Steph's relationship.

When Charlie returned for another visit a couple of months later, Mark made sure to plan out the day's events, not wanting anything to go wrong. Beginning the day with a visit to the park with Charlie's remote-controlled car, they would then go on to an air show. The plan quickly fell apart when they met Archie, the arrogant son of Lassiter's owner Julie, who'd brought his considerably bigger car to the park. When the boys were found fighting outside Harold's Cafe later that day, they claimed that it was because Charlie had tried to take Archie's car without asking, but Mark later got to the truth - Archie had been bad-mouthing Steph and Charlie had jumped to her defence. Though Mark and Julie tried to keep this information from Steph, she overheard them talking about it, and realised that she had punished Charlie unfairly, by making him do the gardening, and not letting him attend the air show. Steph then told her son that, although it was nice of him to defend her, he should simply ignore people like Archie, as their opinions didn't matter.

Already feeling guilty that she was distracted with running her motel - as business partner Paul had been wrongly imprisoned for causing an explosion at Lassiter's Hotel - Steph soon found that Charlie's friendship with Jimmy was causing problems too. Jimmy was upset that his grandfather Paul had disappeared from his life, like so many other male role models he'd had, and had started acting out, his latest scheme being a dice game, during which he and Charlie had to perform dares based on the numbers they rolled. As the dares got more and more out-of-hand, Jimmy ended up stealing some pepper spray whilst Mark was giving the boys a tour of the police station, then accidentally sprayed it in Charlie's eyes. Whilst Charlie quickly recovered after a trip to hospital, the incident had a negative effect on Steph's friendship with Jimmy's mum Amy, who struggled to discipline her son for his bad behaviour.

Trivia Notes
• Aaron Aulsebrook-Walker played Charlie until episode 5533, with Jacob Brito taking over the character from episode 5560. It was explained that Charlie was recast with a slightly older child, and "SORASed" from three to four years old, as the writers wanted to give him more lines and have more interaction with Steph. In 2016, Charlie returned to Erinsborough after almost five years away, with Alexander McGuire taking over the role
• In 2006, Steph had a nightmare about her possible death from cancer and Charlie growing up without her. In the nightmate, a teenage Charlie was played by Ryan Corr
• Before Alexander first appeared in episode 7296 as Charlie, he was credited for episodes 7284, 7285 and 7293, as the character was shown in a photograph

4926-5533, 5560-6169, 7296, 7297, 7306, 7307, 7315, 7326, 7373, 7374, 7377, 7380, 7385, 7389, 7390, 7395

Magic Moments
Episode 4926: Charlie's Birth
Episode 7296: Charlie's Return

Biography by Steve