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Year by Year > 1999: Episodes 3221-3445

Network Ten airdates: 18/01/1999-26/11/1999

BBC 1 airdates: 01/04/1999-18/02/2000

UKTV Gold airdates: 28/10/2004-19/04/2005

Number of episodes: 225

Regular Cast: Harold Bishop, Tad Reeves, Madge Bishop, Lou Carpenter, Karl Kennedy, Susan Kennedy, Libby Kennedy, Billy Kennedy, Toadfish Rebecchi, Louise Carpenter, Anne Wilkinson, Lance Wilkinson, Amy Greenwood, Paul McClain, Drew Kirk, Joel Samuels,

Joining Cast: Teresa Bell, Felicity Scully, Joe Scully, Lyn Scully, Michelle Scully, Stephanie Scully

Departing Cast: Sarah Beaumont, Hannah Martin, Philip Martin, Ruth Wilkinson, Mike Healey, Sally Upton

Notable Guests: Julia Burrows, Geri Hallett, Peter Hannay, Martin Chester, Charlie Thorpe

This year saw some of the longest-running characters say goodbye, to be replaced by a family who seemed at first like they’d never fit in with the people of Ramsay Street…

The year began with Joel still trapped underwater and Karl desperately trying to keep him alive. Just as it looked like Joel wasn’t going to make it, the emergency services turned up and he was airlifted to hospital. Although Joel was lucky to be alive following his ordeal, he was devastated to realise that it could mean the end of his sporting career. His love life was also left in ruins, as Sally was more interested in Drew. Drew wasn’t prepared to make life any worse for his best friend though, and in the end, Sally decided that it would be best for everyone if she just left.

Another couple facing difficulties following the accident were Anne and Bill. They managed to patch things up as he visited her in hospital, and her problems soon changed when a man named Gary O’Neil arrived, claiming to be the nephew of Lily Madigan, and that her house, left to Anne, was actually his. After a court battle, the house was awarded to Anne and she decided to rent it out. Anne’s relationship with Bill became complicated as he struggled to deal with his jealousy. When Anne decided to give up a place studying art at Dawber University in Queensland, so that she could be with Bill, she was forced to get some part-time work. However, her job at an Italian restaurant led to Bill believing that she was cheating on him with the charming Vincenzo. His jealousy led to the end of their relationship when he read her diary, and accidentally struck her during an argument.

Another relationship in the doldrums was that of Amy and Lance. He was convinced that she still wanted to be with him, so when she first announced that she was going to train as a flight attendant, then introduced colleague Damien Smith as her new boyfriend, Lance was hearbroken. Lance managed to bounce back when he spent his holidays in Mildura orange picking, and met Julia Burrows. She helped him to realise that there were plenty more fish in the sea and before long, he was dating fellow uni student Megan Townsend. When Amy overheard Megan telling her friend that she was only dating Lance for a bet, Lance was once again left distraught. But with Amy and Damien no longer together, he wondered whether she would take him back.

A charity fundraiser took a surprising twist when the men of Ramsay Street were persuaded to perform the Full Monty at the pub. With Bill, Joel, Drew, Harold, Karl and Toadie taking part, and Amy acting as choreographer, it was sure to be a night to remember. Harold chickened out at the last minute, while the rest of the men got a shock when the lights failed to go out at the end and they were forced to flee. To make matters even worse, they were reported for indecent exposure and it emerged that the pub didn't have a licence for the event.

Sarah was facing problems when she saved a patient at the hospital, only to be told that she hadn’t followed correct procedure. She was suspended, but Karl helped her to appeal and she was offered her job back. Tad caused her more problems when he posted a fake nude photo of her on the internet, but she got her own back by photographing him in the shower. Sarah’s mother, Bess, also came to Ramsay Street and settled a few issues with her daughter.

Libby’s heart was broken once again, when she found out that Mike had been seeing his ex-wife Victoria behind her back, and Victoria was expecting a baby. With Mike banished from Ramsay Street, Libby tried to move on with her life, and her friendship with Drew went from strength to strength. Drew made plans to leave town, but changed his mind at the last minute, and took Libby to Oakey for the rodeo, where they were constantly mistaken for a couple.

With Hannah still away in France, Paul was faced with temptation when Jade Cleary started flirting with him. This soon resulted in a love triangle with Tad, and, before long, they’d both lost her. When Hannah finally came back, complete with a new haircut and attitude, she decided to make a play for older boy, Joel. However, it wasn’t long before Hannah and Paul were back together. Paul makes plans to leave town to live with his father, but changes his mind at the last minute, choosing to stay with Madge and Harold.

Toadie found himself in trouble when Pinhead ended up in a coma as a result on an accident involving Toadie’s car. Whilst Toadie pleaded his innocence, the evidence against him mounted up, and he and his friends started knocking on doors to find someone who had witnessed the crash. When they find a witness, they manage to get the man they suspect of stealing the car, Henk, to the pub, where the witness identifies him, getting Toadie off the hook.

Joel started to move on with his life, as he realiseed that, even with physio, he’ll never be a triathlete again. He returned to uni to resume his marine biology studies, and began seeing Libby’s arch-enemy, Geri Hallett. Joel and Geri soon broke up, but it wasn’t long before she moved on to Drew, making Libby wonder if she’d completely missed her chance with him. It was Geri who finally convinced Drew that their relationship was going nowhere, giving him the courage to kiss Libby. She was thrilled, and Ramsay Street’s longest ‘will they won’t they?’ came to an end.

Lance started gambling, and soon became addicted, leaving Amy worried. Lance tried to keep his secret from his family, especially Ruth, who would have been horrified. Although Lance assured Amy that he had things under control, it all started to spiral, and he found himself pawning a fob watch that had belonged to his grandfather in order to pay off his gambling debts. He eventually decided that it couldn’t go on, as more and more people found out, and so he wrote a letter to Ruth to explain. At first, she was shocked by how deceitful her son had been, but eventually she forgave him and he managed to get help at Gamblers Anonymous.

Sarah was introduced to a doctor named Peter Hannay, an old friend of her mother’s. Sarah and Peter quickly hit it off and before long, there was talk of marriage. However, Sarah’s past issues with Karl were still causing her pain, and she decided to call off the marriage rather than speak to Peter. Her friends realised that she was throwing away a good chance at happiness, and before long, the wedding was back on. As the big day arrived, disaster struck when Sarah was stranded at home without a car when her mother’s flight got delayed. She managed to get a lift with Karl in the Thunderbird, then that broke down and they arrived at the wedding in a police car, causing more than a few raised eyebrows. Sarah and Peter moved to Amsterdam after the wedding, but not before Sarah and Karl had shared one final kiss.

Tad was forced to stay in Erinsborough for a few more months at his mother’s request, and ended up living with Madge and Harold. However, when his time was up, he found out that his parents were separating, and he would need to stay in town for a while longer. As his schoolwork began to suffer, Tad was diagnosed with learning difficulties. Tad was devastated by this news, and things only got worse, when, at the end of the year, Tad’s father came to visit, and broke the news that Tad was adopted.

Philip faced problems when he gave Lou some bad financial advice, and before long, he was reconsidering his future in Erinsborough after being offered a job in Darwin. The rest of the family took some convincing to pack up and move to the other side of Australia. Ruth wasn’t keen at first, but Phil managed to persuade her. Whilst Lance and Anne were old enough to stay behind and become independent, Hannah was forced to say goodbye to her home of seven years. She desperately tried to find a way to stay, even planning to move in with her new man, Teabag. However, she was eventually forced to give in and agreed to move away.

Following all of the problems with Sarah, Susan was confused when an old flame, Martin Chester, came to the area. He and Susan spent a great deal of time together and, with her marriage apparently crumbling around her, Susan was extremely tempted to stray. Things only got worse when he admitted that he was in love with her. Although she came very close to cheating on Karl, she decided that her marriage was worth saving. Her feelings became clearer when Karl walked out on her, and went missing in the bush. When Karl’s car was found abandoned, and word arrived that a convicted killer was missing in the area, everyone feared the worst. Karl returned safe and sound after a frantic few days, and the Kennedys decided to get counselling rather than split up. During the sessions, everything about Martin and Sarah finally came out, and they agreed to put it behind them.

Harold began to feel ill, but kept it a secret from his friends and family, as he was convinced that his amnesia was returning to haunt him. Things finally came to a head when he collapsed whilst performing his duties as school lollipop man. It was finally revealed that Harold had been using some weedkiller at his allotment that he’d got from Lou, and this had been previously banned. Harold was furious and decided to sue Lou, against the wishes of his friends and family. In the end, Harold realised that he couldn’t do that to his best friend, who was already going through plenty of financial difficulties.

Bill started his own carpentry business, but his inexperience showed, and before long, he was working as a labourer on a building site. When his friend, Sam, fell and was seriously injured, Bill began to question his boss, Maurie Ryan about safety standards on the site. Meanwhile, Anne had moved on and was seeing Fanto Hodges, an artist friend. She was in for a shock, however, when he started coming on to her best friend, Amy.

New teacher, Teresa ‘Tess’ Bell, began work at Erinsborough High. She seemed determined to be independent from her husband, but was very cagey about her personal life when questioned. By the end of the year, she turned up to see Susan with a cut on her face.

The Martin family finally all agreed to leave town. As they bade Erinsborough family, a new family, the Scullys, moved in. Made up of builder Joe and hairdresser Lyn as parents, and their three daughters, Stephanie, Felicity and Michelle. Whilst Lyn managed to offend most of the neighbours within minutes of arriving, Joe struggled to keep off the cigarettes as they unpacked. The three daughters all managed to set their sets on some of the unavailable men in the neighbourhood. Steph spotted Drew and started to bond with him over their shared love of mechanics, but backed off when she realised he was in a serious relationship with Libby. Although slightly older than her, and obviously not over Anne, Bill was the object of Felicity, or Flick’s, affections. Meanwhile, youngest daughter Michelle was used to getting what she wanted, and she tried hard to win over neighbour Paul, but he was more interested in Felicity.

Joel and Toadie both found themselves new girlfriends. When Joel found himself caught up in work as a stripper after posing for a nude calendar, he went to a bar where he was hoping to be hired. He ended up dating the much older bar manager, Natalie Rigby. Their relationship was going very well, until her teenaged son, Liam, got involved and managed to wreck it. Meanwhile, when Bob got exchanged for another dog at the pound, he was taken by English student Charlie Thorpe. She and Toadie immediately hit it off, and his housemates were shocked when there was talk of her moving in, and even marriage. When they went against his plans, he decided to find a place for just the two of them, but, at the last minute, he found out she had just been using him to get a visa and stay in the country with her real boyfriend.

As the year came to a close, the residents celebrated the Millennium with a huge street party. Unemployed Lyn was delighted when she was offered the manager’s job at a new salon opening up at Lassiter’s, while Susan and Karl decided to put the problems from the last couple of years behind them and start anew. Bill and Anne also capped off several months of being apart, by sharing a kiss at midnight, while Lance waited patiently for Amy to show up, unaware that she was off having a good time with her ex-boyfriend, Damien. Having finally won his dream girl, Drew decided to propose to Libby. As he tried to shout over the music, it suddenly went silent, and everyone heard him ask her to marry him. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the chance to answer, as number 26 suddenly burst into flames. Babysitter Michelle had left Lolly inside on her own to join in with the party, and Lolly had started playing with some sparklers. Drew managed to break in and rescue the little girl, but as ambulances arrived, nobody was quite sure if either of them were going to be ok…

1999 Episode Summaries | 1999 Magic Moments | 1999 Opening Titles

Production Notes
• The 1999 season saw a new rock-based arrangement of the theme music, featuring vocals by husband and wife team Paul Norton and Wendy Stapleton. The revamp coincided with a new title sequence design by Liz Jensen.
• The Martin family were axed to make way for the new Scully family. Apparently Ailsa Piper (Ruth) and Rebecca Ritters (Hannah) had already decided to leave before the decision came.

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