David Bishop (Neighbours)
|Portrayed by||Kevin Harrington|
|First appearance||12 May 1988|
|Last appearance||25 October 2005|
|Introduced by||Don Battye (1988)
Ric Pellizzeri (2003)
David Bishop is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Kevin Harrington. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 12 May 1988, arriving for his father's wedding. David, along with his wife and daughter, returned in October 2003. In May 2005, it was announced that the family had been axed and David departed on 25 October 2005.
Harrington first appeared as David in 1988. On 15 May 2003, Kylie Miller from the The Age reported that Harrington would be returning to Neighbours after a 16-year absence. Miller added that Harrington would start filming in the coming weeks. Miller later revealed that Harrington would return to screens as David from October.
In May 2005, it was announced that three of the show's actors had been axed in a "surprise shake-up" of the cast. Harrington was one of the three actors axed in favour of new cast members, the other two were Marcella Russo (Liljana Bishop) and Marisa Warrington (Sindi Watts). Harrington left at the end of his contract. A few weeks later, it was announced that Lara Sacher (Serena Bishop) would also be departing as part of an "extremely dramatic storyline" involving the Bishop family in October of that year. Script producer, Luke Devenish said "All three Bishops will be leaving together ... in one of our most startling storylines for the year. Lil and David have been at the very forefront of stories this year – caught up in wicked Paul's web – and their departure ties into this. The door will be left open for their return, however, despite the spectacular circumstances."
David is the eldest child of Harold and Mavis Bishop. David is every bit his father in terms of stature and principles. David attends his father Harold's (Ian Smith) buck's party, much to the amusement of Henry Ramsay (Craig McLachlan), Scott (Jason Donovan) and Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) due to his resemblance to Harold and similar traits. David attends the wedding and acts as best man. He does not initially take to Madge, but welcomes her by calling her "mother" at the reception. David then makes a speech that bores the guests and is ultimately halted by Jim Robinson (Alan Dale). The morning after the wedding, David puts Henry's nose out of joint when he wakes him at 7 am to clear up at Number 24.
During this brief visit to Erinsborough, David tries to woo Jane Harris (Annie Jones), the granddaughter of Harold's former landlady, Mrs Mangel (Vivean Gray), and goes as far as to tell her boyfriend, Mike Young (Guy Pearce) that he is out to win Jane. Jane tells David she is not interested and only wants to be friends. David annoys Henry further by insulting Madge, which results in Henry threatening him with violence. However, they make up after David reveals Mrs Mangel had said some nasty things about Madge, which also influenced his attitude toward her. Henry gives David a "cool-dude" image makeover, which does not sit well with Harold, and sets David up with Prue Watkins (Lindsay Worthington) who works at Lassiter's Hotel. After the date, Prue ultimately rejects David and tells him she does not want to see him again. David then returns home to Adelaide.
In the intervening years, David moves to Perth and marries Liljana Ristic (Marcella Russo). They have a daughter, Serena (Lara Sacher). In 1991, Madge contacts David to tell him about Harold's disappearance, after he is washed off some rocks and presumed drowned. David flies down to be with her. Five years later, Harold is discovered to be alive, but suffering from amnesia. He regains his memory, but his relationship with David suffers.
15 years later, David phones Harold with the news that he and his family are moving to Erinsborough after he lands a job with an old school friend, Thomas Morgan. The family initially stay with Harold until their new home is built but problems are visible as David and Harold's relationship has been strained over the years after Harold's disappearance and battle with amnesia, resulting in minimal contact between father and son besides the odd Christmas and birthday card.
After Harold visits David at his workplace and is virtually ignored, Harold lets his feelings be known towards him, citing David as materialistic. Harold then complains about Liljana taking over his kitchen and Serena being spoilt. David hits back by telling Harold he has felt excluded from his life and points out that he only called him to tell him Madge had died, after her funeral two years prior. David, Liljana and Serena move into Lassiters' for several days. Liljana helps repair the rift between David and Harold and the family move back in.
David receives a shock when he finds his new offices locked and bolted. He tries to contact Thomas but his calls go unanswered. David keeps the news of his financial problems to himself and consults Tim Collins (Ben Anderson) for legal advice. Tim's colleague, Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) tells him Thomas has ripped David off and has disappeared with the money. When David's BMW is repossessed, he is forced to come clean to Liljana about being bankrupt. Liljana is shocked and appalled by the lies. Fortunately, David and Liljana both get jobs with Toadie and Karl Kennedy respectively. David is offered some work in Sydney but it means being away over Christmas, However he is able to work ahead of schedule and come home on Christmas Eve, much to the family's delight. The Bishop's Christmas is marred by Harold suffering a stroke on Boxing day at Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) and Trixie Tucker's (Wendy Stapleton) wedding reception.
Liljana's mother, Svetlanka (Deirdre Rubenstein) arrives. David and Liljana are quick to cover up their money problems but are forced to admit them. The visit coincides with the revelation Serena has been dating and posing in racy bikini shots for pedophilic photographer Chris Cousens (Simon Mallory). David breaks into Chris' studio, smashes the place up, steals Chris' hardrive and hands it into the police anonymously then later burns the photos. Svetlanka blames Liljana and David for being unable to control their daughter and offers to take Serena back to Perth with her. Liljana refuses and Svetlanka tells David the only reason Liljana married him is because she needed a father for her child. David is stunned and thinks Serena is not his daughter at first until Liljana tells him that she had been pregnant when she met and had given birth to a stillborn son, fathered by a worker at her mother's vineyard. Svetlanka is then banished from Number 24 after David stands by his wife.
David supports his niece, Sky Mangel (Stephanie McIntosh) when she goes to confront John Swan, the man who shot her mother, David's sister, Kerry (Linda Hartley-Clark) in 1990. Sky attacks John but is restrained by David. John tells them he regrets his actions and only comes to the wetlands to reflect on what happened. David and Liljana's marriage goes through a testing time when both accuse each other of having affairs. When the anniversary of his mother, Mavis' death approaches David invites Sky to join him, Liljana and Serena in celebrating Mavis' life with a champagne picnic and some birdwatching. David then tells Harold that he always felt he never loved Mavis as much as he did Madge. Harold assures David that he loved Mavis very much. David is resistant when Serena begins dating the hyperactive Stingray Timmins (Ben Nicholas) but eventually accepts it.
Liljana falls ill due to liver failure and none of the family are a suitable match. David is distraught when he faces the possibility of his wife's death. Svetlanka's godson, Luka Dokich (Keelan O'Hehir), who had been dating Serena, offers to help the family. Liljana recovers and it is soon revealed that Luka is her son. Svetlanka had paid a doctor to tell her that he was stillborn and had him adopted him out. Luka eventually leaves after setting fire to David's briefcase. David runs for councillor and Paul, who has recently returned to the area pledges his support. Paul later causes the family more problems when he frames David for defrauding The Helen Daniels Trust after working on the accounts for the company. David is eventually cleared but the damage to the marriage is done after Liljana begins to think he really is guilty.
David is devastated when he finds that Paul and Liljana have been having an affair. He tries to run Paul down with his car one afternoon at Lassiter's. After Paul is hospitalised after a bad business deal, which results in the loss of a leg, David, working as a salvation army volunteer, encounters him in the hospital and is goaded by Paul with the chance to get him out of the Bishops' life forever. David then lets go of the Wheelchair leaving Paul to hurtle towards a busy freeway. Paul jumps to safety at the last minute deciding he wants to live. David and Liljana reconcile, but when Paul moves next door to the Bishops, he taunts them at every opportunity. The couple rise above it, but not before David and Harold begin practising the tuba at early hours. When David wins $250,000 on the lottery, he toys with the idea of spending the money on expensive things, but donates it to the Salvation army which initially shocks Liljana.
To celebrate Lassiter's 20th anniversary. The Bishops, along with Sky and several of their neighbours, go on a joyflight to Tasmania. The flights ends in tragedy when a planted bomb explodes, causing the place to crash in the Bass Strait. A few days later, David's body is found, but Liljana and Serena's are not. David is identified by Sky and her adoptive father, Joe Mangel (Mark Little). A memorial service is held at the community hall and David is buried with only Harold and Sky present.
A writer for the BBC's Neighbours website stated that David's most notable moment was "Getting himself into financial trouble and keeping it a secret." Brian Courtis from The Age branded David "Harold's hapless offspring". A writer for Ausculture placed David eighth on their Top Ten Aussie Soap Villains list. They said that David deserved a mention for a number of reasons, including being the father of "snotty child Serena". But they explained that David is on the list for "his heartless attempt to ensure Lou gets bum-raped in the prison showers. When a man is desperate enough to ask for money to pay off his jail's stand over men, it is NOT the time to take a moral stand on bullying."
- Miller, Kylie (24 July 2003). "Networking". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Miller, Kylie (15 May 2003). "Networking". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Wilkes, Neil (8 May 2005). "Three top 'Neighbours' stars axed". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- Wilkes, Neil (21 May 2005). "Another 'Neighbours' star to leave". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- "Character: David Bishop". BBC. Archived from the original on 15 July 2004. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Courtis, Brian (9 May 2005). "Coming clean while the soap suds swirl". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "ausculture.com's Top Ten Aussie Soap Villains". Ausculture. 3 August 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2010.