David Clencie as Danny Ramsay
|Portrayed by||David Clencie|
|First appearance||18 March 1985|
|Last appearance||27 July 2005|
|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Introduced by||Reg Watson|
Swimming Pool Builder
Daniel "Danny" Ramsay is a fictional character from the Australian Network Ten soap opera Neighbours, played by David Clencie. He made his first on-screen appearance in Neighbours' first episode on 18 March 1985. Danny became the first character to speak in the show. Danny's storylines focused on his troubled relationship with his father Max and his subsequent discovery that Tim Duncan is his real father, his friendship with Scott Robinson and his job as a bank teller. Danny moved away from Ramsay Street on 31 July 1986. In 2005, Clencie reprised his role as Danny for a cameo in Annalise Hartman's documentary on Ramsay Street.
Jason Donovan, who would later go on to play Scott Robinson, was initially offered the role of Danny Ramsay in 1984, when Neighbours was in its planning stages. Former The Sullivans actor, David Clencie was later cast as the sixteen-year-old Danny in 1985, when Clencie was twenty. Clencie starred in the first scene of the first episode and became the first person to speak on Neighbours. Clencie enjoyed the early days of the show and said "We'd have a good laugh, something that's probably missing a bit from a lot of television these days. And the directors went with it, they said 'this is great, let's do it'". Neighbours was axed after 170 episodes and Clencie said the cast were "gobsmacked". A few weeks later, he received a call from his agent who told him that Neighbours was starting again after Network Ten picked it up and they wanted him to be in it. They offered him a year's contract and Clencie accepted. He said "I was just elated, and most of the cast were, because we had really felt robbed at the time".
Clencie and his character were written out of the show after just over a year. The departure was by mutual agreement between Clencie and the producers. Clencie said "I was offered three different contracts with the show, but after discussion it was decided I would take a break". Clencie later said he left without regret because he felt that Danny had nowhere left to go as a character.
In 2005, Clencie was one of many ex-cast members who made a return to Neighbours to appear in an episode celebrating the show's 20th anniversary. On his return, Clencie said "I went back as my character Danny for the twentieth anniversary a couple of years ago, and I couldn't actually believe that people would remember me. I was welcomed with open arms and did my little scene as Danny, you know, 'where is he now?'. He's building pools in Brisbane, so that's a better life than he had in Ramsay Street!"
Being the "gentler" of the two brothers, Danny could not take Max's bullying ways, unlike his brother Shane. The constant tension between Danny and Max and Danny seemingly having a better relationship with his mother then Shane, led Andrew Mercado to question whether Danny was struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in his 2004 book Super Aussie soaps. Danny would spend more time with his mother where he could be more "theatrical", Mercado also described Danny as being "girlie" and pondered whether this made Max believe that Danny was not a true Ramsay. Max believed Danny was a "wimp" and wished he would be more like Shane. When Danny found out about his real parentage, he went through an identity crisis as he felt unloved. The news split the family in half, with Danny leaving for Brisbane with his mother. Of his character, Clencie said "He's an interesting character to play, a bit different from all the others". He added that there are many different sides to Danny and that he is "brash and wild on the outside, but underneath quite troubled and confused". Clencie has also claimed that Danny was an extension of his own persona describing him as: "young, wild, crazy yet vulnerable and a nice kid."
Danny Ramsay is the youngest son of Maria Ramsay (Dasha Blahova), he was born after a one-night stand between herself and Tim Duncan (Nick Carrafa). Maria let her husband Max (Francis Bell) believe Danny was his son. Max and Danny had a difficult relationship, with Max often comparing Danny to his older brother, Shane (Peter O'Brien).
Danny began having strange dreams in which he saw Shane being killed during his swimming training. Maria suggested that he go see a doctor to try to work out what was causing them. Danny found the explanation himself when he and Shane were involved in a car accident, which ended Shane's swimming career. Danny believed that his dreams represented a warning. Danny and his best friend, Scott Robinson (Darius Perkins) were wrongly accused of mugging Carol Brown (Merrin Canning) and they ran away from home. They ended up staying with Mrs. Forbes (Gwen Plumb) on her farm after their possessions were stolen. They worked there part-time, before returning home. Both Danny and Scott fell for Maria's sister's friend, Wendy Gibson (Kylie Foster).
Maria left Max to go and live with Richard Morrison (Peter Flett) in Hong Kong and Danny learnt the truth about his real father. He overheard Max tell his teacher that he was not Danny's real father. Danny went through an identity crisis and he finally understood why Max always treated him differently. Max eventually admitted to Danny that he still loved him as his own son. Danny then began concentrating on a career and he became a junior teller at a bank. Danny fell for a fellow employee, Marcie, and he tried to impress her. Marcie told him that she would do anything for the person who took her to Sufer's Paradise.
Danny needed to make some extra money and he began working as a gorilla-gram for Clive Gibbons (Geoff Paine). Max disliked Clive, so Danny kept his job a secret. His secret job was exposed on the day of Des Clarke's (Paul Keane) wedding to Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith). Clive asked Danny to fill in for someone else and he agreed, knowing he would be late for the wedding. Shane was driving Daphne to the church and when he saw a man in a gorilla costume running towards the church, he invited him into the car, thinking it was Danny. The man pulled a gun out and made Shane drive them to the country, he was part of a group of thieves who had robbed the bank earlier that day. Danny was placed in jail overnight and questioned by the Police because of his gorilla suit. Marcie later rejected Danny's offer of a trip to the mountains, meaning Danny had become a gorilla-gram for nothing. Maria and Max's marriage had broken up, but they later reunited in Queensland and Danny decided he had nothing left in Ramsay Street. He got himself a job transfer to another branch of his bank and left Erinsborough.
Ruth Deller of television website Lowculture gave Danny a 2 out of 5 for his contribution to Neighbours, during a feature called "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". She said "Danny was one of the original cast of Neighbours, although he didn't stay in the show for very long. He had an ongoing rivalry with brother Shane, and was good mates with Scott Robinson, but his only real storylines of note were the revelations over his paternity, and a stint working for Dr Clive Gibbons as a gorilla-o-gram".
In her book "Soap opera", Dorothy Hobson describes Danny and his family as "more working class than other characters", also stating: "They had working-class jobs but were not represented as cloth cap wearing or dowdy, they were bright and modern and representative of a vibrant and working population."
- Oram, James (1988). Neighbours: behind the scenes. Angus & Robertson. p. 83. ISBN 0-207-16075-9. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "David Clencie". The Soap Show. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Hopwood, Clive (1990). The Official Neighbours Annual 1990. World International. p. 14. ISBN 0-7235-6859-6. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- "Interviews > David Clencie". Perfectblend. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Green, Kris (30 March 2005). "Three more 'Neighbours' stars to return". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Michael Joseph LTD (Penguin Group). pp. 27–8. ISBN 0-7181-4212-8. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- Mercado, Andrew (2004). Super Aussie soaps: behind the scenes of Australia's best loved TV shows. Pluto Press Australia. p. 231. ISBN 1-86403-191-3. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
- Deller, Ruth (23 July 2009). "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Lowculture. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Hobson, Dorothy (2003). Soap opera. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 0-7456-2655-6.