Neighbours' unrecognisable child stars now – Corrie cameo to Ukraine war reporter and actor who retrained as paramedic | The Sun

JUST four months after its 'final' episode, Neighbours is set for a sensational return.

The Aussie soap, which was axed after 37 years by Channel 5, has been saved by Amazon Freevee and Fremantle.

A brand-new series will begin filming next year with show favourites Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson), Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy), Ryan Moloney (Toadfish Rebecchi), and Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy) returning to reprise their leading roles.

The show is know for producing and nurturing some of the country's biggest talent.

From Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan to Margot Robbie and Russell Crowe, many of the iconic soap's former cast are world-renowned superstars.

But what happened to the child stars who got their first big break on the hit show? From Coronation Street cameos to retraining as a paramedic and even news reporting from war-stricken Ukraine, we take a look at where they are now.


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Rebecca Ritters

Rebecca, now 38, was just eight when she joined the cast of Neighbours as Hannah Martin in July 1992.

She starred on the show for seven years as the daughter of Philip and Julie Martin, and also made a brief cameo return in 2005 for the show's 20th anniversary.

In 2002 she toured with the British Shakespeare Company playing the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and briefly starred in Coronation Street that same year as Australian backpacker Jules Robinson who stayed with Les Battersby.

After a stint modelling she went to university in 2011, gaining a degree in politics, before becoming a news anchor and journalist for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

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Most recently she has been reporting on the Ukraine war, documenting her travels to the Mykolaiv region on social media.

Jiordan Tolli

Jiordan Tolli was quite literally born to be a star – she was only a baby when she began playing Louise ‘Lolly’ Carpenter, and remained on the show until she was seven years old.

She later dropped out of acting, saying she wanted a “normal life”, adding: “It was time to step away and concentrate on studies and family.”

In 2013 she appeared on The X Factor Australia and came in fifth place.

Now 28, Jiordan does still have a career in the spotlight but has firmly turned her attention to singing, most recently performing a couple of gigs in Liverpool.

Her debut EP, A Sprig of Wattle, is out this year. Joirdan is also mum to a nine-month-old son who she shares with long-term partner Lochlan Sutherland.

Jesse Spencer

Jesse quickly became Ramsay Street's teen heartthrob when he joined the cast as Doctor Karl Kennedy and Susan Kennedy's son Billy in 1994.

Jesse, now 43, left in 2000 and went on to star in American medical drama House, alongside Hugh Laurie.

In 2012 he began playing the role of Captain Matthew Casey in the NBC drama Chicago Fire, before he announced he was quitting last year.

He has since been cast in the upcoming Disney+ series, Last Days of the Space Age, and married longterm love Kali Woodruff Carr, a research scientist, in 2020.

Andrew Bibby

Andrew, now 42, first played Lance Wilkinson when he was 15 in 1995, before eventually leaving five years later.

He reappeared on the show twice, most recently in 2018, but in 2010 he went from Lance to Ambu-lance, after retraining as a paramedic.

The father-of-three, now a Sydney lifesaver, admitted he has been recognised while on the job.

He said: “I like to think that if a patient can recognise me and want to talk about Neighbours and my former career, then they are not on death’s door and things aren’t too bad.”

Eliza Szonert

Eliza Szonert, now 48, played troublemaker Danni Stark between 1993 and 1996, arriving on Ramsay Street with brother Brett to live with mum Cheryl after being expelled from boarding school in 1993.

After Neighbours she moved to LA to star in various TV shows, including Buffy spin-off Angel, and married an American businessman with whom she had three children.

However in 2015 the star became one of many of the cast to become embroiled in scandal after being dramatically held in Malaysia, after snatching her son from her estranged partner in a restaurant.

Cops arrested her when she refused to reveal her son's location — but was released when she allowed a doctor to examine the boy.

They returned to Australia together and Szonert penned a Facebook post about her relief.

"Thank you everyone for your love, support and assistance during this exhausting ordeal," she wrote at the time. Since then she has kept a relatively low profile.

Amelia Frid

Former child star Amelia was born in Russia, and was just 14 when she won the role of Cody Willis in 1989.

Despite such a young and promising start in acting however, Amelia decided to retire from the industry just two years later, with her final appearance screened on her 16th birthday.

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After studying art and law in Melbourne she went on to do a degree in psychology before working in a prison.

Amelia is now a practising forensic psychologist.

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