Paul Robinson (Neighbours)
|Portrayed by||Stefan Dennis|
|Duration||1985–92, 1993, 2004–|
|First appearance||18 March 1985|
|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Introduced by||Reg Watson (1985)
Alan Coleman (1993)
Ric Pellizzeri (2004)
Manager of The Daniels Corporation (1986–92)
Manager and owner of Lassiter's Hotel (1989–94, 2005–07, 2008–)
Newspaper editor and owner (2008–13)
Co-owner of Charlie's (2012–)
Paul Stewart Robinson is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, a long-running serial drama about social life in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. He is played by Stefan Dennis. Paul debuted in the serial's first episode in 1985 and appeared on a regular basis until 1992 when Dennis quit the serial to pursue other projects. Dennis briefly reprised the role in 1993. Dennis returned to Neighbours full-time in 2004. He later said it had been a mistake to leave the series. Paul was created by producer Reg Watson as one of Neighbours' original characters. He made his debut in the soap's first episode on 18 March 1985 and is the only original actor still featured in current episodes.
In the late 1980s Paul evolved into a powerful, arrogant and sometimes villainous business man. In 2007, as part of the reinvention of the serial, Paul's evil ways were mellowed through a brain tumour plot. Dennis has often spoke of his admiration for Paul's evil persona, stating it is what makes him an entertaining character. He has been at the centre of many high profile storylines including money laundering, a leg amputation, being held hostage, convicted to time in prison and many scams against fellow characters. He has been married five times and had countless affairs, proving to be an intense womaniser. Paul's evil side and his womanising have been well received by critics who found it entertaining. Dennis has garnered various award nominations for his portrayal of Paul.
In 1984, Stefan Dennis received a phone call from his agent who told him about an audition for a new soap called Neighbours. Dennis said "I wasn't that keen because I was more interested in a feature film I had auditioned for and felt sure I was going to get". Dennis originally auditioned for the roles of Shane Ramsay and Des Clarke (the roles were later given to Peter O'Brien and Paul Keane respectively), but was cast as Paul Robinson instead. Neighbours was cancelled by Seven Network three months after its debut. However, it was picked up by Network Ten and Dennis reprised his role as Paul in 1986. He is the only current cast member who appeared in the first episode on 18 March 1985. In 1992, Dennis quit the role because he no longer felt challenged as an actor, he stated: "I was literally walking through it, I thought 'this is not good for acting, this doesn't keep me fresh at all, time to move on'."
Dennis has said that one of his favourite moments was being asked to come back and celebrate Neighbours' 2000th episode. In 2004, Dennis reprised his role and returned to Neighbours, after he was asked to return for the 20th anniversary, instead he reached an agreement to resume the role permanently again, a year before the anniversary. Alan Dale who played his onscreen father, Jim Robinson helped Dennis to make the decision to return. Dennis has since admitted that he made a mistake quitting Neighbours in 1992. He said "I was stupid. I thought I was going to go to Hollywood and conquer the world, and I didn't." Amongst the current cast of Neighbours, Dennis is the only remaining original cast member. In 2010, Dennis revealed that he wanted to stay in the role for at least another five years.
In his early years in the serial Paul is shown to be the quiet member of his family. He previously worked as an air steward. Paul's failed marriage to Terry Inglis (Maxine Klibingaitis) changed his persona and he became self-centered. Network Ten publicity have stated it turned him "bitter and cynical". He later transforms into a powerful businessman managing the Lassisters complex, he housed many overpowering traits which made him appear as a control freak and a money-grabber. In this time he surprised others as he showed moments of kindness, mainly to his grandmother Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy). He has been described as always noticing talent in others, often employing those who shared his ambition and nous.
Paul has been portrayed as a deceiving villain, often participating in unpredictable actions. Dennis describes these points stating: "He's a character you never get bored with. Even during times when storylines aren't centred on my character, the writers still come up with little twists for him all the time." Network Ten state Paul was a high flying business man in his early days, they comment on how he enjoyed womanising during that time, until he met Gail Lewis (Fiona Corke). He has been branded a "lothario" and a "serial cheat". On his return in 2004, he was portrayed in his old ways. They pass comment on the fact he was committing dodgy deals and deceiving his neighbours in a bid for revenge. They also describe him as despising pity, being a damaged personality and noting that he can never be faithful to a partner.
Following his brain tumor removal, Paul mellowed in his evil ways. Of Paul's dramatic change to his personality, post brain tumor, Dennis compared the differences stating: "He's changed back to where he was 18 odd years ago. What he has become is the same Paul he was back then when he was a very ambitious young entrepreneur with Lassiters and Robinson Corporation. But the difference now is that he is older and wiser and therefore a lot more shrewd and a lot more careful. Post brain tumor, he is no longer evil, more ruthless than evil. Ruthless with a conscience and emotion."
Although Paul changed his ways to an extent, he still shows signs of being evil. Dennis has stated that he and fellow cast member, Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) purposely portray hints of his former self. Of this Dennis stated: "I like to keep that boiling under the surface so that the audience will always think 'what is he up to next?'. You never quite know if he will burst out into Mr. Evil or stay as the character he is at the moment. Alan Fletcher keeps it alive as well, by always looking out the corner of his eye and thinking 'I just don't trust you!'" Dennis later defended his character to the Birmingham Post after he was branded an evil character, describing him in his early years: "Paul started out as a university student, which people have forgotten, he was studying engineering then, much to his father's disgust, left to join an airline and became a trolley dolly. He later became a bit of a cad but I wouldn't call him a villain. I'd describe him as a bad boy with a conscience". Dennis has also stated that he loves playing Paul as a "baddie", because in his opinion he is so colourful, not just an average bad guy, adding: "He's not just a black and white bad guy, he's a sneaky bastard. He's the smiling baddie".
Paul enjoyed a relationship with Terri, he believed he really loved her. She tried to defraud him and later kill him. These events have a knock on effect which plagues his relationship with Gail raising many trust issues. He has been described as "unlucky in love" during his early years in the serial.
During an interview with entertainment website Digital Spy Dennis discussed Paul's later relationships in depth. Paul's relationship with Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) created many storylines for both characters as they both plotted against their neighbours, with their similar deceiving personalities. Of this Dennis stated: "The Paul and Izzy relationship was fantastic, it was very popular. Izzy was an interesting character because she was very emotional and insecure. That's what drove her evil ways. She had a bit of a soulmate in Paul, but it couldn't work in the end because they would just destroy each other." During his time as what Dennis branded Paul as "Mr. Evil", he commented on Paul's harsh treatment of women, saying that he treated them like toys, throwing them away when he was bored.
Paul's relationship with Lyn Scully (Janet Andrewartha) was short lived, he mistreated her but ultimately in a twist for the character, he did the right thing. Dennis describes this as: "The Lyn story was quite sincere, but he had the good sense on the day of the wedding to tell her that he was no good. So he obviously cared about Lyn, but then she came back and haunted him." His relationship with Rebecca Napier (Jane Hall) at times can be fiery, of this Dennis said: "I want to see Paul and Rebecca be like Angie and Dirty Den. I think Rebecca is capable of that. She plays a fiery character and is a very strong. Paul needs somebody who is absolutely there for him and adores him, but will take no shit from him and stand up and fight as hard as she does."
Paul's relationship with his children is often non-conventional, however he has a close bond with his daughter Elle Robinson (Pippa Black), Dennis describes this, adding: "(She's 'a chip off the old block') and even though Elle annoys Paul sometimes, they are always there for each other. Paul adores his daughter and I think it works both ways."
One of Paul's main storylines culminated in him having his leg amputated after an accident. The storyline has received some criticism as Paul was shown on different occasions not limping with his false leg. Dennis explained during an interview how the production team helped ensure to make his limp appear more effectively, stating "They made me a splint which actually makes me sort of limp, but keeps my foot rigid so it looks like I actually do have a non-moving piece. One time I did change my leg, as in I swapped it over and limped on the other one to see if anyone noticed." Dennis revealed in May 2011, that he wears a brace on his leg as remembering which leg to limp on was becoming a "little distracting."
Who Pushed P.R.?
In July 2010, it was revealed that Paul would be central to the serial's 6000th episode. Executive producer Susan Bower had hinted previously that the milestone would involve Paul and Alan Fletcher teased audiences with the revelation that something horrible would happen to an iconic character. Of Paul's involvement and the reasoning behind it Bower explained: "As Stefan Dennis – Paul Robinson – was in the first episode 25 years ago, it was decided that his character play a most important role in this very special event [...] Paul Robinson, or P.R as we like to call him, has been up to his usual tricks over the past few weeks and everyone on Ramsay Street is becoming really sick of him. What will they do about it?" It was then announced the plot would be a whodunnit style arc, in which Paul is left fighting for his life after being pushed from the mezzanine level of Lassiter's Hotel.
The episodes were structured with a five episode build up prior to the 6000th episode, a new suspect being revealed in each. UK broadcaster Channel 5 posted an official statement: "With so many enemies, it will be hard to narrow down who had the motive to harm him. Who pushed P.R?". Jane Badler who plays Diana Marshall in the serial compared the storyline to that of the Who shot J.R.? storyline from American soap opera Dallas. On-screen the storyline progresses as new character Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor), tries to solve the mystery.
Paul is the oldest child of Jim Robinson (Alan Dale) and his wife Anne. His half sister Julie (Vikki Blanche; Julie Mullins) was born the year afterward followed by brother Scott (Darius Perkins; Jason Donovan), half brother Glen (Richard Huggett) and finally his youngest sister Lucy (Kylie Flinker; Sasha Close; Melissa Bell). Anne died giving birth to Lucy, when Paul was only twelve and Paul's grandmother, Helen moved into the Robinson house to help Jim with the children. Paul was her self-confessed favourite.
Paul marries Terry Inglis after a whirlwind relationship. However, Terry shoots Paul when he finds out she killed her ex-husband and she goes on the run. Terry is eventually arrested and later commits suicide in prison. Paul meets Gail Lewis for the second time, having worked with her previously, when she applies for a job at the Daniels Corporation. They both agree to enter into a marriage of convenience in order to secure a business agreement, but soon develop genuine feelings for each other and they renewed their vows. That same year Paul learned that he had fathered a child, Amy Robinson (Nicolette Minster; Sheridan Compagnino), with Nina Williams (Leigh Morgan). Gail is convinced that Paul will lose interest in IVF treatment or adoption, but Paul becomes more committed to having children with her. After IVF treatment, Gail becomes pregnant with triplets, however, Paul starts working hard and becomes detached from Gail. When he leaves Gail's late father's wake to go to work, Gail decides to leave him and moves to Tasmania where she gives birth to Elle (Pippa Black), Robert and Cameron Robinson (Adam Hunter). The couple later divorce. Paul faces financial troubles when Hilary Robinson (Anne Scott-Pendlebury) withdraws her funding of the Daniels Corporation.
Paul leases his house to twin sisters Christina Alessi (Gayle Blakeney) and Caroline Alessi (Gillian Blakeney). Christina falls in love with Paul and after a short romance and a quick engagement, the couple married. Shortly after, Christina became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Andrew (Shannon Holmes). Paul suffers a nervous breakdown and cheats on Christina with Caroline. The couple eventually reunite and they leave to manage a branch of Lassiters in Hawaii. Paul later returns to the street where he gets his brother-in-law, Philip Martin (Ian Rawlings), involved in a fraud scandal. Paul then flees to Brazil and asks Christina to join him. He returns for Helen's birthday, but the celebration is ruined when he is forced to flee the country on fraud charges. Paul returns to Australia after the death of Helen and is sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.
Paul returns to Erinsborough, just as the Lassiter's complex is on fire. Paul helps rebuild the complex and reclaims Lassiter's. It later emerges Paul set the fire and he also killed Gus Cleary (Ben Barrack). Paul begins an affair with Liljana Bishop (Marcella Russo) and he frames her husband, David (Kevin Harrington) for fraud. Dylan Timmins (Damien Bodie) becomes Paul's protégé. When Tony Corbett (Robert Morgan) takes Paul out to the bush to beat him up, Paul escapes and falls down a cliff. Paul is rescued, but he has to have a leg amputated. Paul's spirits are lifted when Lucy and Rosemary Daniels (Joy Chambers) return to town. Philip sees Paul again and tries to attack him. Paul begins a relationship with Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) and his estranged daughter, Elle, moves in. On the 20th anniversary of the opening of Lassiter's Hotel, Paul and several of his friends and neighbours go on a joy flight to Tasmania. During the flight, a bomb explodes causing the plane to crash into the sea. Paul survives, but Liljana, David and their daughter die, leaving Paul devastated.
When a poisoned note arrives for Paul, he and Izzy have to be rushed to hospital. Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) strangles Paul, blaming him for the deaths of his family. Paul's son Robert arrives in the guise of his twin, Cameron. It is revealed that Robert planted the bomb and sent the poison letter. Robert causes Paul to fall out with Dylan and lies that Izzy came onto him. Paul and Izzy discover the truth about Robert and warn Elle shortly before her car blows up. Cameron turns up and is mistaken for Robert. Gail returns to Erinsborough and she and Paul kiss. Robert drugs Paul and traps him in an old mineshaft. Paul and Gail then fake a wedding to lure Robert out of hiding. Robert shoots Paul, but he survives due to a bulletproof vest. Robert is arrested and Gail leaves after realising that there is no chance of a reconciliation. Paul attempts to blackmail Carmella Cammeniti (Natalie Blair) and betrays Lyn Scully (Janet Andrewartha). However, Paul and Lyn begin a relationship. Cameron dies after being knocked down by Max Hoyland (Stephen Lovatt). Paul tries to shoot Max in revenge, but he is talked out of it. Paul proposes to Lyn, who accepts. Paul sells half of Lassiter's and keeps a 49% share for himself.
Paul becomes attracted to Rosetta Cammeniti (Natalie Saleeba) and he kisses her. After he marries Lyn, Paul tells her that he will not be faithful and she leaves. Paul then has a brief fling with Pepper Steiger (Nicky Whelan) and decides to regain full control of Lassiter's. Paul ruins Elle and Dylan's relationship and Dylan kidnaps Paul and pushes him off a cliff, but comes back to save him. Paul then tries to split Oliver Barnes (David Hoflin) and Carmella up, as Oliver owns shares in Lassiter's and he wants him to be with Elle. Elle decides to get revenge on Paul by faking an engagement with Oliver. Both Oliver and Paul sign their shares of Lassiter's over to Elle and she leaves Paul with nothing. Paul begins seeing visions of Fox (Tim Phillipps) and learns he has a brain tumour. Paul has the tumour removed, but he loses his memory. Gail returns to help Paul and they briefly rekindle their romance, before she leaves again. Paul then begins a relationship with Oliver's mother, Rebecca Napier. He bonds with her youngest son, Declan (James Sorensen) and they move in with him. Paul remembers that he murdered Gus and tells his sister Laura Davidson (Jodi Flockhart). She and her boyfriend Nick Thompson (Marty Grimwood) try to blackmail money from Paul and they kidnap Declan.
Paul begins an affair with Kirsten Gannon (Nikola Dubois) and gets her a top job at Lassiter's. Elle discovers the affair and tells Paul to end it. After taking Kirsten on holiday to Paris, Paul returns and asks Rebecca to marry him. Paul is then blackmailed by Lyn, who has discovered his affair. Rebecca learns the truth and breaks up with Paul. Paul gets his assets back from Elle and he buys the Erinsborough News. He leaves Kirsten to die in a bushfire, but she forgives him. Paul begins a brief relationship with Cassandra Freedman (Tottie Goldsmith), after seeing Rebecca has moved on. Both Paul and Rebecca end their new relationships and get back together. Paul learns he has a half-sister, Jill Ramsay (Perri Cummings). Paul visits Jill and she dies after being hit by a car. Paul is initially implicated in the crime and he goes on the run. However, Jill's daughter, Sophie (Kaiya Jones), reveals that Paul did not push her, but that he tried to save her. Paul proposes to Rebecca again and she accepts. Their wedding is interrupted by Lyn who announces that Paul is still married to her. Paul gives her money, so they can get divorced, and he Paul marries Rebecca. Paul's youngest son, Andrew (Jordan Smith), comes to stay.
After Paul buys PirateNet, he starts having financial difficulties. He gets into a dispute with Jim Dolan (Scott Parmeter), a builder who worked on the Lassiter's renovations. Paul goes to Jim's building site and tampers with his scaffolding, before calling the site safety officer. Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie) is injured when the scaffolding falls on her, so Paul decides to frame Declan for it. Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) discovers Paul has embezzled money from Lassiter's and Diana Marshall (Jane Badler) arrives in Erinsborough to find evidence of this. Paul asks Diana to join him and take over the company. He also has sex with her, to prove that he is serious. Paul blackmails Toadie, when he discovers that he is helping Stephanie Scully (Carla Bonner) to cover up the fact she is carrying Daniel Fitzgerald's (Brett Tucker) child. Paul reveals Steph's secret and Rebecca asks him to leave. Paul sells PirateNet and Rebecca gives Paul an ultimatum; leave Lassiter's or leave the family. He then hands over management of the hotel to Declan for six months. Paul discovers Diana is working with Declan to remove him from the company and he contacts Rosemary. Paul tells Diana she is fired and he threatens Declan.
Paul is pushed from the Lassiter's mezzanine by an unknown assailant. He survives and is placed in a coma. When he wakes up he remembers arguing with Diana. But when Rebecca asks him for a divorce, he tells her that he knows she pushed him. Paul explains he will tell the police Declan did it if she tries to leave him. Paul later forces Rebecca into renewing their vows. Lyn asks Paul for a loan, but he turns her down. A fire breaks out at her home and Andrew is caught in it. Paul blackmails Lyn, but he ends it after Rebecca finds out. Paul signs an affidavit, which states that his fall was an accident and Rebecca leaves him for Michael Williams (Sandy Winton). Paul tries to get his revenge, so Rebecca leaves Australia. Paul uses Libby Kennedy (Kym Valentine) to get himself elected on to the school board and he tries to get Michael sacked. Paul tries to stop a new shopping complex being built in Erinsborough and falls out with councillor Ajay Kapoor (Sachin Joab). Paul tries to help save his niece's Kate's (Ashleigh Brewer) teaching career when she admits to kissing a student and he takes Sophie in. Paul is delighted when the development is called off by the council.
Kate suddenly takes off and Sophie is expelled from school. Roz Challis (Janet Watson Kruse) from the DHS explains that Kate needs to return in seven days or Sophie will be placed in foster care. Paul travels to Port Douglas to bring Kate home, but she refuses to return. However, Kate changes her mind and on her return, she allows Paul to become Sophie's guardian. Paul learns Ajay is supporting the closure and merger of the local police station and plots to ruin his career. When he learns Natasha Williams (Valentina Novakovic) is throwing a house party, Paul makes sure it is gatecrashed. He then writes an article about how the police were too late to stop the party getting out of control because of the station merger. He publishes it the next morning, but Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) learns the truth and demands that he prints a retraction. Paul refuses, so she exposes the truth to the press and Paul is forced to step down as editor. Realising he needs to improve his public image to get his job back, Paul hires public relations consultant Zoe Alexander (Simmone Jade Mackinnon). Paul and Zoe begin dating and Paul unsuccessfully tries to get the editor's job back from Susan. Paul breaks up with Zoe.
Sophie and Andrew are involved in a car accident and Paul decides to sue the driver, Chris Pappas (James Mason). Paul and Andrew purchase Charlie's together and when Andrew admits the car crash was his fault, Paul drop the lawsuit against Chris. Paul tries to kiss Ajay's wife, Priya (Menik Gooneratne), and get her to admit to having feelings for him. Paul and Priya eventually begin an affair. Andrew collapses in front of Paul and reveals that he has epilepsy. Paul tries to take Charlie's away from him, but soon relents. Priya ends her affair with Paul, but Ajay finds out and punches Paul. Paul sells the Erinsborough News to a large media company to fund his plan of turning the top two floors of Lassiter's into apartments. Paul is forced to host Sonya (Eve Morey) and Toadie's wedding reception in a marquee outside. A gas bottle explodes destroying the marquee and severely injures Sonya, Priya and Rhys Lawson (Ben Barber), and the latter two both die from their injuries. Ajay files a civil action against Paul and a preliminary police report indicates negligence on Paul's part, but the gas bottle is then found to have come from faulty stock. Although he struggles at first, Paul faces his grief over Priya's death.
Paul allows himself to be seduced by Rhiannon Bates (Teressa Liane). But because he insulted her in a previous meeting, she leaves him handcuffed to a bed at Lassiter's. Paul pays Rhiannon to come to dinner with him and Allan Hewitt (Mick Preston), a councillor who he is trying to bribe. Rhiannon realises that Paul only invited her along so Allan could have sex with her. She reports him and Alan to the police. Lucy returns and tells Paul that she is the head of Lassiter's Worldwide and has come to sort him out. Paul tries to persuade his hotel manager to commit perjury, but Lucy fires him. She gets Paul's development plans approved and hires Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou) to be the manager of Lassiter's. As a gesture to Kate, Paul asks Tim Collins (Ben Anderson) to defend Mason Turner (Taylor Glockner), but secretly tells him to make sure Mason goes to jail. Paul asks Caroline Perkins (Alinta Chidzey) to give a statement about the robbery at the hotel and buys her expensive presents. Matt Turner (Josef Brown) and Toadie become suspicious and convince Mason to switch lawyers. Terese fires Caroline, who then launches a sexual harassment case against Paul. She drops the case when Terese gives her a settlement.
Mason turns to Paul for help when Robbo Slade (Aaron Jakubenko) starts blackmailing him. Paul hires Marty Kranic (Darius Perkins) to take care of Robbo, who is later hit by a car. Paul pays Marty off for services rendered. Jack Lassiter (Alan Hopgood) returns to Erinsborough and warns Paul about putting business before family. Jack later tells Paul that he is giving his fortune away because he is dying. Paul and Mason believe Marty killed Robbo, but he denies it and then threatens to implicate Paul. Paul offers to manage Georgia Brooks's (Saskia Hampele) singing career and he gets her to sign a contract, giving him full rights to her song. Paul gives Georgia's song to Amali Ward, but seeing how hurt Georgia is, she decides against recording it. Paul tries to sue Georgia, but drops the case after learning Jack has died. Paul asks Tim to get his fraud conviction removed from his criminal record. Paul makes Terese the director of operations at Lassiter's and then implements a $3 parking charge for the complex. Paul declares that he will be running for mayor and tries to get people on his side, by claiming to get the parking charge removed. Karl decides to run against him.
Paul seeks to separate the hotel from the Lassiter's chain to enable him to sack Terese. Marty returns and tries to blackmail Paul. Despite a last minute attempt to dissuade people from voting for him, Paul wins the election. Terese then quits her job. Paul is disappointed when his family do not return for his birthday celebrations. Lucy persuades Paul to re-hire Terese and he decides to keep the hotel within the Lassiter's chain. Paul asks for Karl's help with his civic project Twin Cities, which would twin Erinsborough with a city in another country. Paul forges Karl's signature on the cover letter to get Rebecca to return. When Paul runs into Rebecca he reveals that he campaigned for office because he wants her back. Paul tells Rebecca that he still loves her and they later have sex. Paul asks Rebecca to move back to Erinsborough to with him and she agrees. However, she later changes her mind, explaining that she would only be returning out of guilt. Paul disapproves when Kate gets back together with Mark Brennan, and she moves out. Paul is devastated when Kate dies after being shot, and he blames Mark for what happened. Paul plans to buy Fitzgerald Motors and sack Mark.
Dennis has earned various award nominations for his role as Paul. At the 2007 Inside Soap Awards, Dennis was nominated for "Best Actor" and "Best Bad Boy". The following year, Dennis was again nominated for "Best Actor" and "Best Bad Boy". 2009 saw Dennis nominated for "Best Actor" and "Best Bad Boy" once again. In 2010, Dennis was nominated for the very first "Best Daytime Star" award. At the first Digital Spy Soap Awards ceremony, Dennis was nominated for "Villain of the Year".
During a special feature on an entertainment website published by Virgin Media, they stated that Paul in his early days was a "retro soap hunk." They branded him a "bad boy", also stating "Motivated by greed and lust, Paul manipulated his way into business and into the ladies' beds (even with a dodgy earring). Watch out ladies..." Virgin also ran a feature profiling their twenty-five most memorable television comebacks, amongst them was Paul's 2004 return and they said "Ruthless 'workaholic' businessman Paul Robinson fled Australia in 1993 to escape fraud charges only to return more sinister than ever in 2005 to burn down the Lassiter's hotel complex." Ruth Deller of entertainment website Lowculture commented on Paul stating: "He's always been a bit of a ladies' man and has had an eye for a business deal and has always struggled with whether to be good Paul or bad Paul. Ramsay Street's most prolific marry-er and father-er." She also criticises the fact Paul's false leg is never shown on-screen adding: "Paul has a wooden leg, which sometimes causes him to limp, when he remembers about it." Holy Soap have said that Paul starting the Lassiter's fire and killing Gus during his 2004 return, was one of soap opera's greatest comebacks. They also branded him a "legendary figure" of Neighbours. Josephine Monroe in her book Neighbours: The first 10 years, names Paul one of soap opera's most enduring characters.
In 2010, to celebrate Neighbours' 25th anniversary, British satellite broadcasting company, Sky, profiled twenty-five characters of which they believed were the most memorable in the series history. Paul is in the list and joke about his many wives stating: "How many of Paul's five wives can you name? No points for current wife Rebecca, ten for naming Lynn, Gail, or Christina Alessi, and 1,400 points for remembering first wife, plumber Terry [...] Yes, Paul's been around the block." They also branded him as the reason Neighbours, in their opinion was good viewing in the 2000s adding: "It's his cackling soap villain role that we love to hate him for: his return in 2004, torching Lassiter's and befriending Dylan, marked the start of Neighbours getting awesome in the mid-noughties. Although it's probably safe to say that period was over by the time he suffered amnesia of everything after 1989." He has also been branded as a "legend character". Entertainment reporting website Last Broadcast praised Paul's development, stating: "As the kind of shady character who'd do anything to make a fast buck, he even planned to bulldoze Ramsay Street to make way for a new supermarket development. And that's not all: fraud, blackmail, murder; there is no level to which Paul wouldn't have sunk. Yet, the infamous bad boy of Erinsborough, has, thankfully, turned over a new leaf."
In her 2007 book, It's Not My Fault They Print Them, Catherine Deveny slates Paul and Dennis' acting ability stating: "Stefan Dennis as the mustache-twirling panto villain Paul Robinson, is a genius. I just wanted to yell out 'He's behind you, he's behind you!' It takes sheer brilliance to be able to act that badly". Andrew Mercado, author of Super Aussie Soaps, describes Paul as being very similar to fictional character J. R. Ewing. Paul is referred to in Emily Barr's fictitious novel "Out of My Depth", in which character Amanda is watching Neighbours, with scenes featuring Paul and Gail receiving disapproval from Harold, Amanda opines that she believes the couple are in love. Popular culture website "TV Cream" describe Paul marrying Gail for business sense was typical of his "thrusting, unscrupulous, double-dealing tycoon" persona. Jaci Stephen writing for the Daily Mail commented on Paul's obsession with Rebecca stating: "You can't help feeling that nothing short of a stake through the heart is going to keep Paul out of Rebecca's life." Stephen later said "Taking advice from Paul is like asking Charlie Sheen to be your spirit guide." Paul Kalina of The Age said Dennis as Paul lightens things up and he prances about like "a pantomime villain minus the moustache and cape." Kalina added "Erinsborough just would not be the same without him." A TVTimes columnist stated "He's no Brad Pitt and he's a devious beggar at the best of times, but Paul Robinson doesn't half get the ladies."
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