April Rose Pengilly talked to whatsontv.co.uk about doing the tragic story justice, and what it’s been like on set after Pierce’s unexpected recasting...
After Chloe – who has inherited the degenerative brain condition Huntington’s Disease – finds happiness in her unexpected pregnancy, she tragically suffers a miscarriage.
But there were originally different plans in place for the shock Neighbours story…
“The writers were looking at Chloe having a termination because the baby was going to have high Huntington’s Disease markers, so she and Pierce weren’t going to have the baby for medical reasons,” revealed April.
“In the end that storyline was changed so that the baby does have low HD markers but unfortunately Chloe loses the baby.
“This is still another awful thing that so many women have to go through. I was glad that we get to shine a light on miscarriage and hopefully make someone who is actually going through it feel less alone and feel seen.”
Chloe and Pierce’s marriage is rocked
The normally bubbly and care free Chloe has been through the mill over recent months.
As well as her mother Fay getting progressively worse from Huntington’s, her pregnancy joy has been tinged with anxieties.
“They get the positive result to say that the baby has low Huntington’s Disease markers which is such a relief,” explained April.
“She’s then forced to face her other fear, which is that she’s not even sure if she wants to have children at all or if she feels comfortable starting a family with Pierce given that they’ve had so many issues.
“They haven’t been together that long and don’t know each other that well still.”
After taking a long walk with new bestie, Fay’s nurse Nicolette Stone, Chloe manages to deal with her moment of panic.
But then tragedy strikes and she discovers she’s sadly lost her baby.
It looks like the grief might permanently damage the already rocky marriage, as we know that Pierce is set to leave…
As well as the baby storyline twist, former model April has also had to get her head round the shock recasting of Chloe’s multi-millionaire hubby.
Actor Tim Robards quit unexpectedly when stringent new Covid quarantine rules between Melbourne, where Neighbours is filmed, and his home in Sydney meant he’d be kept apart from his pregnant wife Anna Heinrich.
April was faced with a new ‘Pierce’!
Due to the nature of the storyline, writers felt a duty to bring it to a proper conclusion.
Well known Aussie drama actor Don Hany heroically stepped into the role to finish off the story after Chloe’s miscarriage and we’ll see Don on UK screens in November.
April Rose Pengilly explained to her instagram followers the decision behind Tim Robard’s replacement
Did it take April a lot of time to get her head round?
“It was strange at first because on Don’s first day I got on set and everything’s the same but there’s a different man with the same haircut as Pierce wearing a Pierce suit!” she laughed.
“After that it felt like he’d been there forever. He’s so fun and we clicked immediately. It felt like he’d been on the show for years.”
Despite such a leftfield turn of events, April insists that casting Strike Back star Don was inspired:
“Don is very well known here in Australia so we were excited that he was willing to do the show as we’re big fans of his work.
“I think once the audience sees him they’ll be happy with the decision and they’ll love him as much as we do!”
Neighbours continues weekdays at 1:45pm/5:30pm on Channel 5