Joel Matthew Samuels 1998-2002
Joel Samuels Daniel MacPherson
Lived: 28, 30 Ramsay Street
Parents: Bernie and Brenda Samuels
Family Tree: Samuels
Occupation: Triathlete, Marine Biology Student, Sports Shop Assistant
Brought up in Launceston, Tasmania, Joel found that, as a teenager, he had a prowess for sport, particularly triathlons. This talent led to him competing at a professional level and to him travelling to London, where he competed. He decided to give up a marine biology degree that he had begun to focus on his sporting career. It was while in London that Joel met Mal Kennedy and the two became great friends. Infact, Mal told Joel that he would always be welcome at the Kennedy's home in Erinsborough.
When Joel arrived in Erinsborough some time later to continue his triathlon training, he decided to look up the Kennedys. Unfortunately, Mal had typically neglected to inform his parents of the offer he made to Joel. Luckily, Susan and Karl welcomed him into their home. Joel quickly settled into the street, as his happy-go-lucky nature meant that he made friends quickly. However, problems seemed imminent when Joel quickly struck up a close friendship with Anne Wilkinson, the ex-girlfriend of the youngest Kennedy, Billy.
When Joel's drum kit arrived, he soon realised that it was annoying Susan and Karl and so he and Anne moved it into the garage of number 24, where they could practice without annoying anyone. Meanwhile, despite Billy's blessing for their relationship, things didn't last long between Joel and Anne.
Joel's obsession with his health drew attention from many of the neighbours, including Hannah Martin, who developed a serious crush on him, and Lance Wilkinson, who decided he wanted to train with him. Joel also scored a job at 'Across The Line', a local sports store. He developed a close friendship with one of his co-workers, Penny, and they took part in the 40-hour foxtrot together. However, despite all the female attention, Joel only had eyes for one woman - Libby. He was too embarrassed to ever tell her how he felt, although she later worked it out and they both managed to laugh it off. However, with so many problems in the Kennedy house, including Susan and Karl's marriage problems, Joel decided to move into the spare room at number 30, and share with Sarah and Toadie.
When Joel met Sally Upton, who worked with Toadie at the radio station, he found her very difficult to work out, but he made a move on her and they started seeing each other. Things seemed to work really well for the couple at first, as Sally decided to open up to Joel about the death of her mother. However, when Sally began to notice the closeness between Joel and Libby, jealousy got the better of her. When the anniversary of her mother's death arrived, Sally's emotions got the better of her and she started accusing Joel of cheating, which brought about the end of the relationship.
When Joel decided to join the teenagers on a camping trip in the country, Karl offered to drive him up there. On the way, they spotted Anne sitting in the ute crying, down by the river, and stopped to help. As the car was bogged down, they struggled to move it back. While Joel and Karl were pushing the car from the front, it suddenly locked and slipped down the bank, trapping Joel's leg beneath it. A storm began and the water level rose, made worse by the flood drains bursting. Karl struggled to keep Joel breathing throughout this and eventually the young man slipped into unconsciousness. Luckily, Anne had raised the alarm and the emergency services arrived. Joel was airlifted to hospital, where he was told he was lucky to be alive, but had suffered irreparable damage to his knee, ending his career as a triathlete. Meanwhile, Sally had been seriously flirting with Drew, and, out of guilt, went to see Joel, who believed she wanted to get back together. After admitting the truth, she left his life and Joel found it hard to recover from the recent events. Brenda, Joel's mum, flew over from Tasmania, but she struggled to get close to her son, who had developed so many close friendships with the people of Ramsay Street.
Joel found it difficult to be so helpless and to put his sport career behind him completely, but his physiotherapist, Cluney Webb, managed to gradually change his state of mind and help him through the panic attacks which he suffered from due to post-traumatic shock. His mood was also lifted by taking part in the Ramsay Street Full Monty. During his recovery, Joel temporarily returned to number 28, as Sarah and Toadie found it hard to care for him and cope with his mood swings.
After returning to number 30, Joel started dating Libby's arch-nemesis from the newspaper, Geri Hallett. However, she was simply using him, as she did with most men, and she moved on to Drew. However, after Geri tried to ruin Joel with nasty rumours, he soon began a casual relationship with student Jemma Acton.
Despite medical warnings, Joel decided that he had to see if he could still cut it in the world of triathlons. He set about training for an upcoming event, but quickly realised that he'd have to take it gently at first. Unfortunately, as the big day got closer, Joel got more and more carried away with his training, leading to his knee giving up on him on the day before the triathlon. However, a big company, Dominator Sports, offered Joel money to pose for their calendar. With no money coming in to pay the rent, he was forced to accept, but was shocked to find out he'd be posing nude. He went along with it, and the photo shoot led to an offer of work as a stripper. After her help with the Full Monty, Amy offered to give Joel a few pointers for his routine. Working together was awkward for the pair, as Joel was obviously developing feelings for Amy, and they shared a kiss. However, Joel was horrified to learn that Amy had been secretly reunited with Lance for quite a while, and he felt like an idiot.
More romance was around the corner when Joel finally went for his stripping audition at a pub run by Natalie Rigby. Though there was quite an age difference, they started seeing each other and she offered him bar work. However, although things seemed to be going really well, the fly in the ointment was Natalie's teenaged son Liam, who was humiliated by his mum's toyboy and warned him off. Joel realised that he didn't want to cause this much upset and so broke things off with Natalie.
When the Dominator Sports calendar finally went on sale, Joel found himself something of a local celebrity, with teenaged girls banging on the door begging for autographs. Meanwhile, Joel and Toadie had met two girls, Dione and Vanessa, who they tried to con by pretending to be a footballer and a lawyer. Unfortunately, the girls were onto them and managed to leave them stranded at Lanzini's, without the money to pay the bill. Despite this, Joel had fallen for Dione and when she came to collect her little sister Cecile, who had been pestering Joel over the calendar, he asked her out. Although things were, at first, difficult due to the dishonesty of the past, they gave things a go. However, when Dione's best friend Carrie Clark returned to town after travelling, Joel found himself with feelings for both girls. Joel and Carrie started secretly seeing each other, as they were unable to control their feelings when left alone together. Joel was trying hard to decide which friend he preferred, but when Carrie came over one day, they couldn't resist each other and ended up kissing passionately in the pool at number 30. With the worst timing in the world, Dione appeared through the gate and spotted them. She immediately ended both her relationship with Joel and her friendship with Carrie.
Joel was devastated and began harassing Dione with phone calls, he was thrilled when she tentatively agreed to give things another go. However, despite him constantly being the one in the wrong, Joel had difficulty trusting Dione in this relationship. When he witnessed her with Dr. Marcus Stevens, he accused her of cheating and they took another break from each other. However, they couldn't just be friends and soon got back together. Joel was thrilled when his dad came to town. Joel had always had a strong relationship with his father, who was known to everyone, even Joel, as Bernie. Unfortunately, when not around Joel, Bernie became something of a sleaze and started coming on to Dione at every opportunity. When she tried to tell Joel the truth, he was very reluctant to believe her, but eventually had to face up to the truth about his father, who was soon sent packing.
Soon after, Dione's ex-boyfriend, Max Crawford, came to town. Joel was trying very hard not to be jealous, after the incident with Dr. Andrews. However, Toadie learnt that Max was trying to win Dione back by moving in with her, and so Joel tried to matchmake Max with Steph Scully in order to get him away from Dione. When Dione found out, tried hard to put Steph off and later shared a passionate kiss with Max. Joel was shocked when Dione admitted this to him, but they both managed to patch things up this time, and agreed that jealousy was doing their relationship more harm than good.
When he was chatting to Tess one day, Joel got entirely the wrong end of the stick and thought that Dione wanted commitment, so he proposed to her. At first, she thought it was a joke, but when she realised he was serious, she went along with it, making Joel believe she really wanted to marry him. This led to a bizarre series of practical jokes between the couple. Dione managed to terrify Joel when she started craving commitment and wanted to marry as soon as possible. However, he got his revenge by getting a fake tattoo, claiming it was real and a sign of his love. This backfired when Dee decided she wanted to get a matching one, with Joel only admitting the truth when they got to the tattoo parlour and narrowly escaping something he would no doubt later regret. Unfortunately, the jokes continued. Roping in his old mate Mal Kennedy, Joel got him to ring from England, pretending to be a distant relative, interested in showcasing her art. Dione took her art extremely seriously, so she was absolutely delighted by this and began making plans. When Joel admitted the truth, Dione was completely devastated, and everyone was shocked by what Joel had done, seeing it as taking the whole thing one step too far. They split up once again.
Meanwhile, Lance had been involved in an elaborate 'Seven Labours of Love' scheme, dreamt up by his potential new girlfriend, Allana. When one of the labours involved making a sci-fi film of his own, he roped in Joel and their neighbour Flick Scully. A kissing scene was called for, and the couple found that they were both very moved by it, leading to Flick developing extremely strong feelings for Joel. Although Joel's feelings weren't quite so strong, he agreed to be her date for the Debutante Ball. As the day drew nearer, and he began to spend more time around Flick, his feelings for her began to grow and when he witnessed her in her gown, he realised he was falling in love. However, Joe Scully was not happy about his daughter once again going out with an older man and he tried to put an end to the coupling. However, when the big night arrived, they went together and had a wonderful evening, before returning to number 30 for the party. They spent much of the night talking and the next morning shared breakfast, and their first official kiss, by the pool.
After this, Joel began avoiding Flick, realising the trouble it would cause with her family if things were to go any further. However, they found it extremely hard to resist each other and began dating in secret, desperate to keep things from Joe. When they eventually did pluck up the courage to tell him, he was angry, but mostly disappointed and once again banned them from seeing each other. But their feelings were too strong and they resumed their secret rendezvous' for quite a while, until one night, when fate conspired against them. When Joel's car broke down, Joe saw him and offered to help. Once they got the car started, Joel drove to Grease Monkey's where he met up with Flick. However, the car gave up again, so they decided on a pashing session behind the restaurant. As Joe was passing in his cab, he stopped to help Joel again but was appalled when he saw the couple kissing. Joe was furious and in the argument that ensued, he injured Joel, albeit by accident.
This incident resulted in Flick deciding that she would stay at number 30 that night with Joel. That evening, the couple were visited by the Scully parents, who tried to talk some sense into Flick. She still refused to budge and the next day she explained that she would only return home on her terms. Of course, Joe wouldn't stand for any of it, so Flick moved into number 30, despite Joel's reservations on having her living under the same roof as Dee, who had recently moved in. When Joel heard that Mal and Cath were getting married in London, he decided to attend the wedding, Flick was devastated by him going when she really needed him, but grudgingly went back to number 26.
When he returned from England, Joel was cold with Flick and announced that he had met a British traveller, Simone Pike. Upon her arrival in Ramsay Street, Simone quickly noticed the tension between Joel and Flick, but persevered with her relationship with Joel nonetheless. Meanwhile, Flick had started tentatively seeing Luke Dawson, a skateboarder she had met through her father. However, neither party could cope without the other, and they both rushed back into each other's arms, after breaking up with Simone and Luke. Their elation was soon brought back down to earth as they realised that her parents would never accept the relationship - they had no choice but to leave. However, their disappearance didn't last long and they were forced to return, with Flick deciding that they should move in together.
From the word go, the whole thing was a disaster, particularly as Flick and Dee had a great deal of difficulty getting on with each other. Dee constantly pointed out how young and inexperienced Flick was and Joel realised that she was unhappy. After a visit from Lyn, who noticed that things weren't working out, Joe came to see her and they patched things up. Flick went back to live at the Scully house. The whole thing made Joel realise that it was a mistake getting involved with someone like Flick and he started to get close to Dee once again. Behind Flick's back, he shared several intimate moments with Dee, which did not go unnoticed. As Flick's temper and jealousy got the better of her, an outburst on her 18th birthday led to the end of her relationship with Joel. Although she begged him to take her back, he remained adamant that they were not right for each other.
After all of Dee's problems with Darcy cheating on her, she needed a good friend, and Joel quickly stepped in. Meanwhile, Joel finished his marine biology degree and was looking for work when the chance to join the crew of a ship manned by Vernon Wells came along. Joel could see his opportunity was there, but had to pretend to have his deep-sea diving licence in order to join, as the crew would be searching for the wreckage of the Phillipa Clare. When Dee learnt about Joel doing a test dive, she decided to go along, in her role as a nurse. She was worried about Joel hurting himself while completing an untrained dive, so she lied and said he'd had a cold recently, causing Vernon Wells to pull him out of the water. However, Joel later completed the dive, proving himself to Wells, who offered him a job aboard the ship.
With Joel and Dee's relationship finally back on track, the offer brought up a huge array of problems for them. She asked him to stay, but he couldn't abandon his dream, so he turned it around and asked her to join him instead. She eventually agreed and they made plans to leave together. However, at the last minute, she pulled out, leaving Joel heartbroken. She did join him at the docks however, as he said a final farewell and set off to follow his dream in Queensland.
• In 1999, Daniel MacPherson won a Logie Award for Most Popular Male Talent for his portrayal of Joel Samuels
Episode 3220: 1998 Season Finale