Glen Donnelly

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Glen Donnelly
Glen Donnelly.jpg
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Richard Huggett
Duration 1990–92
First appearance 7 December 1990
Last appearance 6 February 1992
Introduced by Don Battye
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Barman
Builder

Glen Donnelly is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Richard Huggett. He made his first on-screen appearance on 7 December 1990. Glen was the secret son of Jim Robinson. He arrives in Ramsay Street to meet his father and to ask for money to pay for his mother's funeral. Glen's most notable storyline was an inappropriate relationship with his sister, Lucy. Scenes between them were edited out by the BBC on their UK airing. Glen departed on 6 February 1992 after running away from a hospital, following an accident which left him paralysed.

Casting[edit]

Huggett joined Neighbours shortly after leaving his role as Sonny Bennett in E Street. On his arrival, Huggett said Glen was "very different" from Sonny.[1] Huggett was forced to relocate from Sydney to Melbourne for the role and he revealed it had a negative impact on his personal life.[2] After his exit from Neighbours, Huggett told a writer for Inside Soap that working in soap operas was good training, but he would not go back to them.[3]

Development[edit]

Characterisation[edit]

Glen has been described as "independent, tough and mature beyond his twenty years".[1] He is used to fighting his own battles. When his mother died of cancer, Glen was "full of grief for his mother and resentment for Jim".[1] When Glen arrives in Ramsay Street, he assumes that Jim (Alan Dale) did not want to know him and he comes in a "fight-picking mood".[4] Jim eventually persuades Glen that he knew nothing about him. Glen and Jim's oldest son, Paul (Stefan Dennis), do not get on and Glen resents the fact the only jobs he can get mean Paul would be his boss.[4]

Incest[edit]

Glen biggest storyline was his incestuous relationship with his half-sister Lucy (Melissa Bell). This was Neighbours' first incest storyline.[5] Neither Lucy or Glen were aware that they were related after he arrived in Ramsay Street and before she returned home from boarding school. When Glen and Lucy meet they are "unable to deny the attraction between them".[4] Glen and Lucy kiss and they are discovered in a compromising situation that angers their father, Jim.[1] Of the storyline Huggett said "The story of Glen's and Lucy's growing feelings for one another might seem pretty audacious, but I think it works because it has been handled sensitively. It was a great acting challenge."[1] He added that incest was a brave subject for Neighbours, a family show, to tackle and that he was surprised about the reaction it caused.[1] Viewers in Australia called Network Ten to complain about the storyline, which was branded a "scandal" and "one of television soaps' most daring encounters".[1] Scenes showing the relationship were edited out and cut by the BBC in their UK airing.[6] The scenes were later shown uncut in repeats on UK Gold.[7]

Relationship with Gaby Willis[edit]

Glen proves to be a big support to Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakely) when she opens her own fashion boutique.[8] He encourages her to capatalise on a client with a famous name and they begin dating.[8] A writer for Inside Soap said the couple had Ramsay Street's biggest on-off romance since Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue).[3] Following an argument, Gaby runs to Guy Carpenter (Andrew Williams), but Huggett revealed that she is not serious about him and she returns to Glen, who proposes.[3] Gaby accepts, making it Glen's second engagement, the first being to Karen Constintine (Fiona Jarvis).[3] Huggett let slip that Glen does not end up marrying Gaby and he added "I don't want to give the game away, but it's pretty dramatic stuff, and it all ends in tears."[3] While repairing a roof at the Lassiter's Complex, Glen falls and is paralysed from the waist down.[4] Josephine Monroe, author of Neighbours: The First 10 Years, said Gaby is as supportive of Glen as she could be, but "nothing could remove the chip on his shoulder the size of Ayer's Rock."[4] Glen then decides to leave Erinsborough for good.[4]

Storylines[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Glen was born as the result of an affair between Maureen Donnelly and Jim Robinson. Maureen decided not to contact Jim to tell him and Glen was raised only knowing his father's name. Maureen died of cancer when Glen was twenty and Jim was sent bills for her funeral costs from Glen. Jim sends the bills back as he did not recognise Maureen's name.

1990–92[edit]

Glen turns up in Ramsay Street to see Jim and he reveals that he is his son. Jim is shocked and Glen realises that Jim had never been aware he existed. Jim wants to get to know Glen better and invites him to move in. Glen finds it difficult to fit in at first. Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy), Jim's mother-in-law, was shocked to learn about Jim's affair, but she gradually began to look on Glen as part of the family. Julie (Julie Mullins) and Scott (Jason Donovan) accept Glen, but Paul refuses to and he and Glen fail to get on. Lucy was away at boarding school and she returns home before Jim tells her the truth about Glen. Lucy is attracted to Glen after she arrives home and finds him wearing nothing, but a bath towel. Glen is also attracted to Lucy, but he knows that she is his half-sister and he refuses to let anything happen. Jim tells Lucy about Glen, but they still end up kissing. Both of them realise what they were doing is wrong and stop things before they develop any further.

Glen get a job as a barman at The Waterhole pub. Glen preferred working outdoors and he became a labourer with Doug Willis' (Terence Donovan) construction firm. Glen has a brief romance with Gemma Ramsay (Beth Buchanan). Karen Constintine (Fiona Jarvis) shows up in Erinsborough and reveals that she is pregnant with Glen's child. Glen is shocked, but resolves to do the right thing and he and Karen become engaged. During their wedding, Karen confesses that Glen is not the father of her baby and leaves.

Glen then began dating Gaby Willis (Rachel Blakely) after she comforts him on the anniversary of his mother's death. After a brief split, Glen proposes to Gaby who accepts. Just as the wedding plans were getting started, Glen fell from the roof of Lassiter's Hotel while trying to fix a banner for Paul. Glen is paralysed from the waist down, which devastates him. Feeling like he is a burden, he begins to reject Gaby's support.

Paul begins acting differently towards Glen and Glen realises that Paul is terrified he is going to be sued. Glen initially wants nothing from Paul other than his medical expenses paid for. However, when Paul attempts to get Glen to sign a document wavering his rights to sue his company, Glen decides to sue Paul for a large amount of money. Glen finds himself alienated by his family. Karen returns, with her daughter, when she hears of Glen's accident. Glen turns to her for support and falls in love with her again. Glen secretly agrees to take an out-of-court settlement from Paul and he flees Erinsborough with Karen. Jim and Gaby search for Glen, but they never find him.

Reception[edit]

At the 1991 Logie Awards, Huggett was nominated in the categories of "Most Popular Actor" and "Most Popular New Talent" for the role of Glen.[9] In 1993, Huggett received a nomination for Best Actor In Soap from the Inside Soap TV Awards.[10] To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Neighbours, the BBC asked readers to nominate their twenty favourite obscure characters. Glen came in seventh place and the readers said "Jim's son that he fathered during a fling in Vietnam. Now not acknowledged as one of his children".[11] The BBC also said Glen's most notable moment was "Falling from the roof at Lassiter's and becoming paraplegic."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Fletcher, Mary (9 March 1992). "Our incest storyline is a shocker". Womans Own (IPC Media): 30–31. 
  2. ^ "Fame takes its toll". TV Week (ACP Magazines) (28). 20–26 July 1991. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Heartache for Glen and Gaby". Inside Soap (Attic Futura (UK) Ltd) (5): 15. January 1993. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Monroe 1996, p.43-44.
  5. ^ Davies, Hannah (11 May 2008). "Uproar over incest storyline". The Courier-Mail (News Limited). Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Deller, Ruth (23 July 2009). "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Lowculture. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "A neighbourly obsession". The Age (Fairfax Media). 30 September 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Monroe 1996, p.57.
  9. ^ "TV Week Logie Awards nominations (Publicly voted categories)". TV Week (ACP Magazines). 16–22 March 1991. 
  10. ^ "And the winner's are...". Inside Soap (Attic Futura (UK) Ltd) (9): 22. May 1993. 
  11. ^ "Your 20 favourite obscure Neighbours characters". BBC News (BBC). 21 October 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Character: Glen Donnelly". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 December 2003. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 

External links[edit]