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Character Profiles > Bridget Parker Eloise Mignon

Bridget 'Didge' Louise Parker 2007-2009
Lived: 26 Ramsay Street
Born: c. 1990/'91 (later altered to 1992)
Parents: Steve and Miranda Parker (adoptive); Joanna Hale (biological)
Marital Status: Declan Napier (2009)
Siblings: Riley, Josie and Clara
Children: India
Family Tree: Parker
Occupation: Student, Erinsborough Veterinary Clinic Employee, Gym Assistant at Dingoes' Den Football & Sporting Club
Died: 2009

Tomboy Bridget Parker, affectionately known as Didge, was adopted, along with her older brother Riley, at the age of 6, by Steve and Miranda Parker. Dressed for their first meeting in a pretty pink dress, Bridget soon made her feelings about that known when, after going home with her new parents, she ruined the dress by playing in mud puddles. Over the ten years that followed, outspoken Bridget easily bonded with Steve and Miranda, soon coming to think of them as her parents, but Riley struggled, believing that he’d only been adopted because they felt obligated to keep the siblings together. Following in the footsteps of vet Steve, Riley had almost completed a veterinary sciences course at university when he upped and left, deciding to spend some time surfing. Meanwhile, Steve and Miranda made plans to leave their Sydney home and move up to Melbourne, where Steve’s younger brother Ned was living with his young son, Mickey. They were soon joined by Riley, who admitted that he'd been keeping away because he'd always felt that Steve and Miranda had only wanted to adopt Didge, taking Riley on with her due to obligation. After learning that this simply wasn't true, Riley agreed to move to Erinsborough and give family life another try.

Within days of arriving in town, Bridget had befriended one of Ned’s Ramsay Street neighbours, Zeke Kinski, and was making plans to train with his all-male football team, the Erinsborough Dingoes. Though Zeke was happy to have her there, his team-mate Justin Hunter was annoyed to have a girl on the team and told Zeke to get rid of her. When Didge found out what was going on, it became a war of words between her and Justin, and it wasn't long before Declan Napier, another new student at the school, got involved, defending Bridget. She warned Declan that she could easily defend herself, refusing to have anything to do with him, since he had found her eight-year-old cousin Mickey when he ran away from him, and used him to commit petty crimes. Declan insisted that he'd changed, and had only broken the law to get money to help his single mum pay the bills and, after learning of his difficult upbringing, Didge started to soften towards him. When Bridget accidentally let go of a rope during an abseiling excursion, causing Declan to plummet to the ground and injure his shoulder, the pair came to an uneasy truce, though it was clear to most other people that, despite the constant insults, they were falling for each other. Meanwhile, Didge was struggling with her self-image, wanting to play football but worried that Miranda wanted a different kind of daughter. In the end, Bridget broke down on her mum's shoulder, and Miranda insisted that she was the one with the problem, and Didge should never change the person she was for anyone.

When Declan started sneaking out, joyriding in the sports car that had been a secret 17th birthday gift from his older brother, Oliver, Didge soon joined him, determined to prove that girls made just as good drivers. When the pair were then challenged to a drag race by Justin and his brothers, Wayne and Dale, they accepted, and were promptly run off the road. In revenge, Didge threw her bottle of water over them and the interior of the car, and a stunned Declan quickly drove off. Though the Hunter brothers tracked them down, Didge and Declan escaped on foot, later returning to find that his car had been vandalised. Bridget emptied her bank account to help him get the car fixed up, but he returned the money to her, and accepted a challenge from Justin for another race. After telling her parents she was going to the library, Didge went to meet Declan and the pair took part in the second race, only for it to be halted when the police gave chase. As the went off after the Hunter brothers, Didge and Declan thought they had avoided punishment, only to return home and find the police waiting. With Declan facing prosecution, Didge was banned from seeing him and struggled with the silent treatment from her parents. Just as Miranda was starting to soften to her daughter, she saw a text message from Declan, asking to meet her. Didge insisted that it wasn't part of a plan, and she didn't intend to meet him, but later they saw each other at the park, where Bridget told him to stay away from her, as he'd caused enough problems. As Didge walked home, tears in her eyes, she tripped and fell into the road, straight into the path of a car, being driven by neighbour Susan Kinski. A tired Susan had blacked out and hit Bridget, before driving off, not realising what she had done.

The incident had been witnessed by young Mickey, who later told Ned that he'd seen Declan's car driving away. Since nobody knew that Susan was using the car because her husband Karl was test driving it for a few days, Declan became the prime suspect. Meanwhile, Bridget had been rushed to hospital, where she had undergone an emergency operation for a bleed on her brain. After pulling through the operation, she remained unconscious and, as they waited for news, Steve, Miranda and Riley were horrified to hear that Susan had come forward, realising that she was the one who had run Bridget down. As Bridget lay in a coma, Riley used his cadetship at the newspaper to express his anger, using a photo of Susan with a bottle of wine in her hand to make it look like she'd been drink-driving, when infact she was just carrying the shopping inside. The article caused an outraged local to throw a brick through the Kennedy-Kinskis' front window, hitting Susan's stepdaughter, Rachel, who Didge had been growing close to. With Rachel also stuck in hospital, she went to sit by Bridget's bed and pleaded with her to wake up, and was shocked when she felt Didge's hand move. The following day, Bridget woke up properly with her family around her, unable to remember the accident or feel anything down the left side of her body. At first, Steve and Miranda told her that it was only temporary, but Didge forced Riley to be honest with her and he admitted that it might be temporary, but there was also a chance that she could be permanently disabled.

As Declan alienated himself from Bridget, unable to face her after their argument, she slowly got used to using a walking aid for mobility. Initially embarrassed and stubborn, she started physiotherapy sessions at the swimming pool and was soon allowed to return home. With Steve and Miranda now bringing disability equipment into the house for support, Bridget found herself mollycoddled and snapped that she was perfectly fine and capable of recovery soon. Things worsened when Rachel (thinking that Bridget knew) mentioned Susan as the incriminating driver facing a prison sentence, Steve and Miranda having known this and hid it from Bridget. Sneaking out to the neighbours’ pool and left alone temporarily, Bridget reached for her mobile phone and lost balance. Unable to support herself in the water and come up for air, she was then rescued by Declan arriving on the scene and dived in to bring her to safety. Sharing a moment he leaned in to kiss only for Bridget to stop him out of embarrassment for her condition. She later had Miranda to face, though they got past it as Steve and Miranda promised to be less overprotective while Bridget promised not to go astray anymore.

Soon after at the pool Bridget got to flirting with a boy, Josh Taylor, in passing. Hiding her disability from him as they were both in the pool, she was shocked to later learn that he was a wheelchair patient, though flattered as he encouraged her to be strong with her condition. They continued to bond as Josh shared his experiences of adjusting to life at school after his own accident, encouraging her to do the same, to her family’s surprise. Things quickly became unsettled once back at school, though Bridget soon put it to rest with no hard feelings for Declan or Susan for their roles in the accident.

As emotions ran high with the approaching court case, Bridget found herself having vague memories of her fight with Declan and being distracted by the text message from him when she tripped and fell into the path of the car. Claiming that it was her fault for what had happened she was relieved when Susan was let off easy with this revelation, and even more so when Declan asked her on a date. After guilt-tripping Miranda into approving, she proceeded to pore over outfits and kissing tips from Rachel. Once at the cinema, however, things grew steadily sour as Declan got self-conscious and embarrassed over Bridget’s disability, and she grew worried as nothing happened when he hastily ended the evening without a kiss. Crying to Miranda that she was a freak, she was soon encouraged to meet Declan and talk about what went wrong. With Riley’s help she set up a picnic at Lassiter’s lake, laughing as she tripped over with her walking aid, only to see Declan leaving the scene, having witnessed the whole thing and obviously unable to accept it. When he later called to apologise he confessed that he was left angry and uncomfortable as kids at the cinema poked fun at them, Bridget saying that if his shallow attitude was the problem, she wanted nothing to do with him.

Bridget was later alarmed when test results showed only a meagre improvement in her mobility, even after her sticking to the exercises. Giving up on the “pointless” physiotherapy sessions she forced herself to see the condition as permanent, adamant that stability equipment should be brought into the house. She also continued to see Josh, leaving him hurt as she talked of giving up on ever recovering, not helped by Declan watching their disagreement. Changing her mind yet again and returning to sessions, she made up with Josh and explained why she was feeling so down after things with Declan; happy to continue seeing Josh things escalated when she then got her first kiss. Later admitting to Rachel that she weirdly felt nothing after the kiss, Bridget was left unimpressed when she found a CD labelled 'Declan’s Mix of Sorry Songs' in her locker and automatically binned it, rejecting Declan’s continued attempts to make amends. When he then kissed her and told her to ditch Josh, Bridget made a point of publicly kissing Josh as he met her after school and invited him home. Once there she quickly explained away the public display of affection before introducing him as her boyfriend to Steve and Miranda who, after some mixed opinions, quickly approved of him.

Cajoled into attending an illegal rave with the gang from school, Bridget came around on the idea when Josh showed interest in going, agreeing to tell their parents that they would be at an all-night movie marathon. Once at the rave, however, she was caught out by Riley who was attending. Shouting at him that she was staying put, she and Josh lost him in the crowd. Things then took a sinister turn when the warehouse roof collapsed, trapping Bridget and Declan as he came back for her after getting Josh out. Stuck there together they were forced to wait as a secondary collapse postponed the rescue team from penetrating. When Bridget then turned on Declan, still holding his previous shallowness against him, he made it clear that he was fine with her condition and wanted more than friendship. Leaning in to kiss, they were interrupted by rescue workers who managed to return the pair to their apprehensive parents, Riley soon brought to safety as well.

As another CD with a note arrived from Declan, Bridget quickly faced up to her feelings for him, encouraged to come clean to Josh. Still unable to, she was alarmed to learn that Steve had invited Josh to dinner, assuring Josh that nothing was wrong as he noticed her distant attention. Later seeing his genuine concern for her wellbeing after the roof collapse and assuring him that there was nothing between her and Declan, she was changing her mind about leaving Josh once more.

Her friendship with Rachel already shaky due to Rachel’s secret romance with the kids’ new teacher, Angus Henderson, Bridget was shocked to hear that his colleague Dan would be paying him a visit at home. Knowing that Rachel was there with him, refusing Bridget’s calls, Bridget arrived at Angus’ flat herself, only for Dan to arrive in the midst of their bickering. Things then turned bleak when Angus - put on the spot by Dan - told him that Bridget had a crush on him, not helped by the fear that once back at school, students and staff would start to assume something. When Steve had to be called to the school as Bridget was again questioned by Dan, she explained that there was nothing between her and Angus. Going on to take the fall for Rachel by lying that she had actively pursued him only to be rejected, things quickly blew over when Declan pieced together what was going on and exposed everything in order to protect Bridget.

Ending her friendship with Rachel over Rachel’s insistence that she and Angus be together, Bridget eventually made up with Steve over her recent lies. When Rachel then ran away from home, Bridget quickly turned down Josh’s offer to help look for her in favour of Declan’s; as Josh then caught them together he quickly dumped Bridget, telling her that he could see how she was never completely interested in him and to sort out her feelings for Declan properly.

With both Steve and Declan encouraging her to try walking without support, Bridget insisted that she was not yet ready. She was soon hurt to realise, meanwhile, that Pouch was quickly recovering and would soon need released back into the wild. Joining Steve at a sanctuary, Bridget was stubborn about what was to come but finally had the courage to release Pouch herself. In the process, the family were overjoyed as she subconsciously let go off her walking aid, her full mobility returning.

Soon after, Bridget began to suspect that something was up between Declan and Rachel. Left feeling in the dark when she found that they were lying about their whereabouts, she called Rachel’s mobile and happened to overhear her saying that they had to come clean while Declan said that they promised to keep “it” a secret. Confronting Rachel, Bridget called her a skank for making a move on him only for Rachel to explain that she was tutoring Declan in private because he was embarrassed about failing. Though Bridget was forced to then apologise and admit that she was wrong, Rachel stayed angry until the school camp when Bridget helped her after a nasty fall. Hanging out alone with Ringo, meanwhile, Bridget was alarmed when he suggested they do it more often as a couple. Assuring him that she was over Declan, Bridget had to let him down easy and explain that she was taking a breather from boys for the moment.

Soon after Ringo almost drowned and Bridget saved his life with CPR, the pair became a couple on his 18th birthday. With all of her friends in “serious” relationships, Bridget sought to get more intimate with him, taking the advice of her free-spirited aunt Nicola to seduce him without being so cautious. Confronting him in a hotel room, she started to come on strong only for to Ringo to break things off, claiming that they were better suited as friends.

The issue of boys quickly rose again when Bridget started talking to older Chris Knight, whose dog was being treated at the clinic. Unaware of his sordid romantic history, Bridget asked him to join her at the school formal. Ignoring the warnings of her parents and friends not to get involved with Chris, she joined him in a hotel room. When Chris then cornered her, Bridget backed out, pushing him away and fleeing without knowing that he was unconscious after severely hitting his head. Chris later died in hospital and with her dad having lied about attacking him in order to protect Bridget, Steve was charged with murder.

With Steve eventually cleared, Bridget was immensely grateful to Declan as a pillar of support throughout the ordeal. She made this clear when she bought all of his tokens in a kissing booth fundraiser, allowing the pair of them to make up for lost time as they officially got it together. The romance was taken up a notch when Declan stood up in front of the busy General Store to profess his love to her. With Nicola putting the family through hell and Steve and Miranda having intense relationship troubles, Declan showed that he could also be there for the bad stuff.

When Josh came back on the scene, making it clear that he was still into Bridget regardless of Declan, she insisted to Declan that she would never cheat. This assurance went to the point of getting his name tattooed on her back as his birthday present. It was Declan who was left in the cold, however, when Bridget found out that he had lied to Josh that the pair of them were sleeping together. As this was already a touchy subject, it was made worse when she caught the boys fighting it out with her as the prize. Though Josh backed off when Bridget flatly told him that she no longer liked him romantically, it still left things with Declan in a bad way.

Taking time out to visit Riley, who had since moved to Sydney, Bridget used the space from Declan to think things over. She then told him upon her return that she was ready to have sex, and they began a physical relationship. Not long after, however, Bridget was alarmed to discover that she was pregnant. With her plans of studying medicine now up in the air, things were no better when she told Declan the news; she was left heartbroken when he split in fury, wanting nothing to do with her. Though they tried to make amends, Bridget then learned from Sharni, a groupie from Declan’s football club, that he had kissed her. With everyone turned on him Declan again took off in a rage, putting further stress on Bridget; she was finally forced to tell a clueless Steve and Miranda the whole truth after she collapsed in the street. Even after Miranda and eventually Steve vowed to support her, Bridget could not help but feel that she was throwing her life away, and so she scheduled an abortion.

When Declan eventually came to his senses in time to stop the abortion from going ahead, he swore to Bridget that he was by her side to stay. After taking some time off school to adjust, Bridget’s first day back was a nightmare when she lost her cool and pushed Justin to the ground as he mocked her situation. Principal Simpson promptly took Bridget aside and expelled her for anti-social behaviour, though everyone was certain that it was all just prejudice against her as a teenage mother. After a protest by fellow students - and Rebecca - put it to rest, Declan asked to move in with the Parkers to be closer to Bridget and the baby. Typically cynical at first, Steve and Miranda agreed that it could work, until Bridget finally snapped at being smothered by everyone around her and ran away from home.

Heading for Nelson’s Cove where she spent time as a child, Bridget met a group of travellers and quickly befriended them, using a fake name and story. When they stole her things and split, however, she was left stranded and ended up spending the night in a Salvation Army shelter. It was here that she bumped into missing neighbour Harold Bishop, now under the guise of Ted. When Bridget later learnt that he had cancer and needed help, the pair made a deal to stop running and go home.

After joining Declan and the others on the school rafting trip, Bridget was again left feeling overprotected by Declan. Therefore, when the kids were divided between two rafts for a race, Bridget chose to join the other team going against her friends. Joining her were Zeke and his new friends, plotting against Declan to capsize the others’ raft in some rapids. The plan went to pieces, however, when it was their own raft that went down and Bridget could not be found. It was thus an immense relief when she was found, with both she and the baby alive and well.

Trivia Notes
• Bridget is allergic to penicillin. She was given it when she had her tonsils removed at age six and it caused her head to swell up

Magic Moments
Episode 5261: The Parkers' Arrival
Episode 5573: Bridget's Pregnancy


Biography by Brendan