Everyone’s primary focus throughout the Christmas season is family. However, for Ray Meagher and Georgie Parker, that also applies to the made-up characters they play in Home and Away. They have been on TV as father and daughter for almost 14 years, so their relationship seems natural.
About their enduring friendship, Georgie (Roo Stewart) comments, “It’s very special and surprisingly funny.” “We get through the day by hanging out, telling stories, and talking things out [on set]. I hold great affection for him.”
Ray agrees, saying that his fellow TV WEEK Gold Logie Award winner is “simply brilliant” in many aspects. Ray plays Summer Bay mainstay Alf Stewart.
Alf and Roo have seen more drama in the Bay than most, as they look back on the year that was. Both experienced health issues—Roo being the victim of a terrifying bomb blast during one of them—and damaged family relationships.Even if such a complex plot isn’t always easy to follow, both of us are still eager to find out what happens next after all this time.
Georgie, 58, adds, “I’m very happy with what the writers have managed to give Roo.” “She’s lived a big life, and I’ve been able to interact with different characters this year, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.”
In addition to her role in H&A, Georgie acts in plays and pantomimes. She values having the flexibility to do so.
“The writers have to keep writing me out of the show so I can come and go – to do the plays and other little gigs here and there, so I don’t envy them having to do that,” she says.
“I think it’s important, at this time in my career, that I get to explore all the options of working with people I’ve worked with for 40 years. So I’m very grateful I get the freedom to do both.”
Ray, 79, who has been on the show since its inception in 1988, says the demanding schedule of Home And Away means the cast and crew have been a constant support. He too has acted in pantomimes in the UK, but stopped in recent years.
“It’s been a wonderful year, but then it’s hard to remember a year in the past 36 that hasn’t been,” he continues. “Because of the schedule, the personal and professional side of things tend to merge a bit, but I really love my job.”
There’s lots to do during the holidays away from the Bay. Ray and Georgie will take a break from the hectic schedule to unwind and reflect on their accomplishments.
“It’s been wonderful to be back having hot Australian Christmases, rather than freezing English ones,” Ray stated. “It’s a time to catch up with family and enjoy seeing people.”
Georgie continues, saying she’s going out with her family.
“We go out for Christmas lunch, so no-one has to clean up!” she says.
And what would their screen counterparts get up to at Christmas?
“Alf would be on the barbie and Roo would be doing the vegies,” Georgie says with a laugh. “Marilyn [Emily Symons] would be creating her own vegetarian Christmas meal. And we’d probably have some of the Bay over, like John [Shane Withington], Irene [Lynne McGranger], Leah [Ada Nicodemou] and Justin [James Stewart].”