Neighbours stars Alan Fletcher and Olympia Valance talk to What's on TV about the hen party balloon trip that turns into a disaster that not everyone survives

Neighbours stars Olympia Valance and Alan Fletcher said the looming balloon disaster makes great TV because the tension is prolonged as the balloon slowly descends towards disaster.

The balloon crash is the beginning of a massive week on Neighbours as Lauren Willis’s hen party treat goes horribly wrong. Not everyone will survive.

Alan, who plays Dr Karl Kennedy, told What’s on TV: “We had a plane crash once [on Neighbours] and planes come down pretty quick, but a balloon doesn’t just crash out of the sky. So the imminent sense of danger is prolonged… the tension is enormous.”

Before that though, there’s an exciting twist as the hens prepare for the balloon ride: “Someone who was going to be on the balloon doesn’t make it and someone who shouldn’t be on the balloon does, so that adds a different dimension to the story…”

Initially, Olympia’s character Paige causes a drama at the fancy dress hen party when she turns up dressed as nun, which isn’t the most tactful costume considering her on-off romance with Father Jack!

She said: “Olympia Valance dressed as a nun is pretty funny in itself. Walking around the studio in that nun costume was pretty hilarious, everyone thought it was a big joke.”

How did it make her feel? “Umm… holy!”

Olympia said the balloon stunt was a major filming operation: “It was really great the way it was filmed. It was tough for everyone. It was tough for the directors, it was tough for the camera people, because we were hoisted up in a crane and they had to be squeezed into a box with us and there were other cameras up on a crane that were operated from below.

“It was a tough week for everyone, but you wouldn’t know it when you watch it, that’s for sure.”