Neighbours star Geoff Paine talks shock Clive Gibbons affair, teases bombshell revenge plot, and reveals his surprising career change...
The affable medic’s on-off relationship with fiery cafe manager Sheila is bulldozed for good after he unexpectedly falls for Jane Harris!
Sheila Canning attempts to woo back Clive Gibbons
Clive Gibbons and Shiela Canning’s odd couple pairing often ended in fireworks on screen and saw Geoff and co-star Colette Mann become firm fan favourites.
When Sheila called things off after tampering with her grandson Levi Canning’s test results – putting Clive’s job as Erinsborough Hospital chief in jeopardy – we held out hope that ‘Shlive’ could somehow repair things.
Even Sheila was edging towards a reconciliation. But, explains Geoff, then ‘eggnog’ happened…
Sheila attempts to win back Clive at the Kennedy’s Christmas party but she’s thwarted at every turn.
“There’s a bunch of near misses – which are delightful to watch – where Sheila’s really doing her best. Circumstances just contrive that she cannot make headway at all,” Geoff explained.
With the drinks flowing, Clive gets very merry and ends up in bed with Jane!
It was the eggnog that did it!
“Two words – ‘egg’ and ‘nog’ is the cause of all this! You can blame it on the eggnog but there are ripples once they wake up the next morning and realise what’s happened,” he revealed.
“Then there’s the minor earthquake of what happens next and how long they can keep it secret.”
It’s soon clear that the drunken romp is not a one off and they’re keen to explore things, but they genuinely don’t want to hurt Sheila.
“When Sheila does find out she takes matters into her own hands and reaches back into the past to see if she can affect the future,” teased Geoff.
“As with anything that Sheila does it turns into consequences no one could have imagined!”
Is Jane Harris the woman for Clive?
Geoff is no stranger to working alongside Annie Jones, who plays Jane, as they were in Neighbours at the same time during the 80s before leaving the soap for other projects.
“They didn’t get together back in the day as Jane was only a schoolgirl and Clive was a doctor! The age difference was too big but it’s not so big a deal now,” commented Geoff.
“It’s lovely to be back working with Annie. Our paths have crossed over the years in different shows.”
Straight-laced Jane is a very different personality from Sheila. Are they well matched?
“It’s a change for Clive. He’s been interested by Sheila’s spontaneity and unpredictability so maybe he’s looking for something that’s a bit more predictable and a bit less fly off the handle with Jane,” he shared.
Geoff takes on a new direction
As well as navigating love triangles on Ramsay Street, Geoff has been busy getting stuck into a second career in local politics!
He was elected as a councillor for the Wingrove Ward of Nillumbik in the Aussie state of Victoria in November 2020.
“It’s a new experience for me and it’s going to be a very interesting time these next few years,” he explained.
“I think a lot of actors have to juggle different roles and different pressures and multitasking is what you have to do to keep bread on the table.
“So, in a way I’m prepared, but having said that I only got sworn in recently, so I’m speaking as someone who has no clear vision of the pressure he’s going to be under!”
Could Clive’s family turn up in Erinsborough?
There’s still plenty to keep Geoff busy on the show, and he speculated that we could one day see more of Geoff’s mysterious family.
“Clive has a marriage that didn’t work out, a wife that is back in the UK, a daughter that’s in New Zealand and a grandchild,” he commented.
“It would be interesting to find out exactly what happened and whether we’ll meet the wife or the daughter or the granddaughter or what ghosts come back from his past.”
We will have to wait and see!
Neighbours returns on Monday 4 January 2021, airing at 1.45 pm and 5.30 pm on Channel 5