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Guest Character Profiles > Ned Willis Ben Hall

Ned Willis 2016
Lived: 32 Ramsay Street
Born: 1994
Parents: Brad and Beth Willis
Siblings: Paige, Josh, Imogen and Piper Family Tree: Willis

Brad and Beth Willis married in Erinsborough in December 1993, and moved away to Perth to make a new life for themselves. A few months later, Beth returned to Erinsborough for the naming day of Zac Willis, the son of Bradís sister Gaby, and Beth took the opportunity to announce her pregnancy. Brad and Bethís first child, Ned, was born in Perth later that year.

Brad and Beth's marriage didn't last long, and by 1995, Brad had cheated on her and was marrying his second wife, Terese, with whom he had three more children, Josh, Imogen and Piper. Beth and Ned then moved to Sydney, and gradually Brad lost contact with his eldest son, something which led to Ned going off the rails as a teenager, falling in with a bad crowd. Beth tried to help him by sending him to Darwin to live with Brad's parents, Pam and Doug, but he continued to get involved with gangs, and ended up helping them to rob his grandparents' house one night, believing that it would be empty. Unfortunately, Pam had returned from her nursing shift and caught them in the act, and she struggled to forgive Ned for what he'd done, though Doug persuaded her not to tell Brad.

As more time passed, Doug asked Ned to come to Erinsborough, as he was losing his battle against Alzheimer's Disease, and wanted to see Brad reunited with all of his children. Ned's arrival coincided with a huge boiler explosion that ripped through Lassiter's hotel - where Doug had arranged to meet Ned. Doug was helped outside by police constable Mark Brennan, where he tried to tell Brad that Ned was nearby. Believing that his father was having one of his episodes, Brad was stunned to see Ned, but their reunion came to a grinding halt when Doug suddenly collapsed and died. Josh was also killed in the accident, leaving the Willis family doubly in mourning, and Ned unsure whether they wanted him around. Brad insisted that he should stay, however, and he agreed to stick around until after Josh's funeral. But when Pam then flew down from Darwin for the funeral, the tension was clear - particularly to Brad's new partner, Lauren, a relationship which had, over 20 years earlier, produced another half-sibling for Ned, named Paige. Lauren managed to get Pam to open up about what had happened when Ned was staying with her and Doug and eventually, Brad found out too. He felt only guilt about the things his son had done, concerned that Ned would be better-adjusted if he'd had a father figure in his life, but Pam continued to be angry. Following Josh's funeral, Pam finally admitted to Lauren that her feelings stemmed more from Doug's death, and her guilt for feeling relieved that she'd no longer have to watch him deteriorate. She patched things up with Ned, and asked him if he was still feeling resentful towards Brad - Ned claimed that he wasn't, but as he clenched his fist under the table, it was clear that he was lying.

With Josh dead, and Imogen having left for a job in the USA, Ned grew closer to Piper, and it seemed that he was slowly starting to fit in with the family. But his anger towards Brad failed to subside, and when he found out that a video was being put together for the presentation of the Citizen of the Year Award to Brad - who'd started an outreach program to help troubled students - he was furious that his dad should be seen as some kind of hero. Left to go through Brad's laptop, to find some appropriate photographs for the backdrop at the awards, Ned stumbled upon a video, taken by a drone the previous year, which showed Brad cheating on Terese with Lauren. The video had been the final nail in the coffin for Brad and Terese's marriage, and Ned set up a fake email account and sent it to Mayor Sonya Rebecchi for the presentation, hopeful that it would people the truth about Brad. The video was played in front of everyone, and Brad was left humiliated, though initially only Lauren realised that Ned had been behind it and managed to get him to confess, and also to admit to the huge resentment he still felt towards his father.

When Ned then started to help Piper to sort through Josh's things, they got talking about a way to remember him, and Ned explained that he was a tattoo artist. The idea of a tattoo to remember Josh was appealing to Piper, but Brad refused to give his permission, though she went back to Ned and lied that their dad had given consent. When Brad saw what had happened, Ned felt further ostracised, but Piper stood by him, and asked if she could interview him for a video timeline she was putting together, to try and get to the truth about the explosion that had claimed Doug and Josh's lives. Though reluctant at first, Ned agreed to the interview, but soon after, Piper heard a voice message on Josh's phone - which she had found and recharged - which was from Doug, and indicated that Ned had found out about Brad's Citizen of the Year Award when he'd first come to town, and had been extremely angry about it. With this version of events not matching up with what Ned had told her for her timeline, Piper began to worry that Ned's anger had caused him to do something stupid, and she told Brad that she thought that Ned might have caused the explosion. Continuing to feel like his lack of presence was to blame for Ned's actions, Brad wasn't sure whether he should go to the police, but eventually Terese persuaded him that he had to. Meanwhile, Ned had explained everything to Lauren - he'd gone out for a walk and had stumbled upon the presentations for the awards and when he'd looked behind the curtain and seen that Brad was the winner, he'd punched a hole in the poster, injuring his hand. He'd then gone to get one of the first aid team to tend to his hand, before returning to Doug. Feeling better that he'd finally been honest, Ned was horrified as the police turned up to question him. And when his story was backed-up by the member of first aid who'd treated him and he was released by the police, Ned told Brad that he was dead to him.

It seemed that Ned was going to leave town following this latest setback, until Lauren and Terese decided that he should know the truth - that a resentful Beth had done her best to keep him away from Brad for all those years. Having learnt that his father had spoken to his teachers every year to keep up with his progress at school, and after phoning his mum, who admitted that she'd been to blame for the father and son's estrangement, he began to see things from a different angle, and agreed to stay and try to make things work. Ned, however, managed to cause more problems when he spotted Brad and Terese deep in conversation and sharing a hug, and quickly managed to plant seeds of doubt in both Lauren and Piper's minds about Brad's fidelity. As he grew ever closer to Lauren, Ned managed to play on her fears that something was going on - though the truth was that Brad wasn't cheating, but was trying to help Terese who, in her grief, had persuaded Cecilia Saint to go to the police and lie that Paul had confessed to her about causing the Lassiter's explosion.

After spotting Brad and Terese at Robinson's Motel together - where they'd actually gone to speak to Paul and Steph about the upcoming court case - Ned remained more certain than ever that his dad was cheating on Lauren. As he grew closer to Lauren, Ned confided in Tyler that he was interested in an older woman, he made a big mistake when he tried to kiss her. Lauren was horrified, and was only put off from telling Brad everything as she didn't want to destroy the new relationship that father and son had formed, but she warned Ned that if he stepped out of line like that again, then she wouldn't hesitate in telling Brad everything. As Ned accused Brad of cheating, he finally found out the true reason why Brad and Terese had been spending so much time together, and he decided that he had to tell Lauren the truth, as the secrecy was beginning to concern her. With the court case only days away, Lauren did her best to convince Brad and Terese to come clean, but it wasn't until after Terese and Cecilia had given their evidence in court, that the guilt finally became too much for Terese and, fearing that she was dishonouring Josh's memory, she admitted everything.

The secret of their kiss still hung over Ned and Lauren, however, and as they discussed the issue, in what they believed to be an empty Willis house, they were shocked as they realised that Piper had overheard everything, and was going to tell Brad. Lauren realised that she now had to be honest, though Ned took all the blame for what had happened and agreed that he should go back to Sydney for a while.

Episodes Featured
7338, 7339, 7343, 7345, 7346, 7347, 7352, 7353, 7354, 7355, 7359, 7360, 7361, 7362, 7363, 7367, 7368, 7371, 7372, 7376, 7377, 7378, 7380, 7381, 7382, 7386, 7387, 7388

Biography by Steve