Paul Robinson (Neighbours)

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Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson.JPG
Neighbours character
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)
Spin-off
appearances
Neighbours vs Zombies (2014)
Classification Current; regular
Profile
Occupation Engineering student
Air steward
Manager of The Daniels Corporation (1986–92)
Manager and owner of Lassiter's Hotel (1989–94, 2005–07, 2008–)
Teacher (2005)
Newspaper editor and owner (2008–13)
Co-owner of The Waterhole (2012–)
Mayor (2014–)
Home Lassiter's penthouse

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.

Casting[edit]

In 1984, Stefan Dennis received a phone call from his agent who told him about an audition for a new soap called Neighbours.[1] 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".[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[1] He is the only current cast member who appeared in the first episode on 18 March 1985.[2] 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'."[4]

Dennis has said that one of his favourite moments was being asked to come back and celebrate Neighbours' 2000th episode.[2] 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.[5] Dennis has since admitted that he made a mistake quitting Neighbours in 1992.[6] He said "I was stupid. I thought I was going to go to Hollywood and conquer the world, and I didn't."[6] Amongst the current cast of Neighbours, Dennis is the only remaining original cast member.[7] In 2010, Dennis revealed that he wanted to stay in the role for at least another five years.[8]

Character development[edit]

Characterisation[edit]

Paul as he appeared in the first episode of Neighbours

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.[9] Paul's failed marriage to Terry Inglis (Maxine Klibingaitis) changed his persona and he became self-centred.[9] Network Ten publicity have stated it turned him "bitter and cynical".[10] 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.[11] 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.[11]

Paul has been portrayed as a deceiving villain, often participating in unpredictable actions.[10] 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."[12] 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".[10] 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.[10] They also describe him as despising pity, being a damaged personality and noting that he can never be faithful to a partner.[10]

When producers realised that Paul's behaviour had gone too far, they considered killing him off.[13] Dennis commented "As an actor, I had the best time because this character just got more evil and more sneaky, more of a cad and a womaniser and it just escalated where it got to the point where it just got silly. It was ridiculous for the supposed reality of the show."[13] The actor also said that he accepted the producers decision to kill his character off when they explained that they did not know where to take him.[13] However, the show's then executive producer Ric Pellizzeri decided to save the character and redeem him by giving him a brain tumour.[13] Following the removal of the brain tumour, Paul mellowed in his evil ways.[10] Of Paul's dramatic change to his personality, post brain tumour, 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."[14]

"You've seen Paul go through the ultimate evil stage just before he had his brain tumour a couple of years ago, where anything was possible. He was worth $150 million, he was a playboy and he had contacts in the underworld. Now he's back to being a more normal character."[12]

—Dennis speaking of Paul's development. (2009)

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.[14] 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!'"[14] 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".[15] 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".[16]

Relationships[edit]

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.[9]

During an interview with entertainment website Digital Spy Dennis discussed Paul's later relationships in depth.[14] 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."[14] 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.[14]

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."[14] 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."[14]

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."[12]

Leg amputation[edit]

One of Paul's main storylines culminated in him having his leg amputated after an accident.[16] The storyline has received some criticism as Paul was shown on different occasions not limping with his false leg.[17] 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."[16] 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."[18]

Who Pushed P.R.?[edit]

In July 2010, it was revealed that Paul would be central to the serial's 6000th episode.[19] Executive producer Susan Bower had hinted previously that the milestone would involve Paul[20] and Alan Fletcher teased audiences with the revelation that something horrible would happen to an iconic character.[21] 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?"[20] 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.[22]

The episodes were structured with a five episode build up prior to the 6000th episode, a new suspect being revealed in each.[22] 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?".[22] 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.[23] On-screen the storyline progresses as new character Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor), tries to solve the mystery.[24]

Storylines[edit]

1985–93[edit]

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-boyfriend 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 learns 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 marry. Shortly after, Christina becomes pregnant and gives 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, of which he serves three.

2004–[edit]

Paul returns to Erinsborough and sets fire to the Lassiter's complex. He also kills Gus Cleary (Ben Barrack), when Gus catches him. Paul helps rebuild the complex and reclaims Lassiter's for himself. Paul has affairs with both Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) and Liljana Bishop (Marcella Russo). He later frames Liljana's husband, David (Kevin Harrington) for fraud. Paul strikes a deal with Affirmacon to build on Ramsay Street and he gets his protégé Dylan Timmins (Damien Bodie) to pollute the local wetlands. When Paul wants to pull out of the deal, he is taken to the bush and beaten up. Paul escapes and falls down a cliff, badly breaking his leg. While Paul recovers in hospital, his leg become infected and is amputated. Paul's sister, Lucy, encourages him to make a proper home for himself in Erinsborough and he moves into Number 22. Paul begins a relationship with Izzy and his estranged daughter Elle moves in. To celebrate the Lassiter's Hotel 20th anniversary, Paul and several of his neighbours go on a joy flight to Tasmania. During the flight, a bomb explodes causing the plane to crash into the sea. Paul, Izzy and Elle survive.

Paul's son, Robert, arrives in the guise of his twin, Cameron. Robert alienates Paul from everyone, before drugging and trapping him in an old mineshaft. Robert confesses to planting the bomb on the place and sending a poisoned letter to Paul. Robert collapses the entrance to the mine and leaves Paul to die. Paul is eventually rescued and he is grows closer to Gail when she returns to town. Paul and Gail hold a fake wedding to lure Robert of hiding and he shoots Paul, who survives due to a bullet proof vest. Paul goes on a downward spiral and flirts with several women, attempts to blackmail Carmella Cammeniti (Natalie Blair) and betrays Lyn Scully (Janet Andrewartha). When Max Hoyland (Stephen Lovatt) accidentally kills Cameron, Paul decides to shoot Max in revenge, but he is talked out of it. Paul begins a relationship with Lyn and they become engaged. However, after kissing Rosetta Cammeniti (Natalie Saleeba) in the lead up to the wedding, Paul admits to Lyn that he cannot be faithful to her just minutes after they marry. Having sold half of Lassiter's, keeping a 49% share for himself, Paul decides to regain full control. Knowing Oliver Barnes (David Hoflin) owns shares in Lassiter's, Paul tries to break up with relationship with Carmella and get him to date Elle.

Elle manages to convince Paul to sign over his share of Lassiter's to her and she leaves him with nothing. Paul has a brain tumour removed and he loses his memory. He later apologises to his neighbours for all the bad things he did. Paul begins a relationship with Oliver's mother, Rebecca Napier, and she and her youngest son, Declan (James Sorensen), move in with him. Remembering that he murdered Gus, Paul confesses all to the police and Gus's sister Laura (Jodi Flockhart). The police inform Paul that they will not be pursuing the case, while Laura and her boyfriend Nick Thompson (Marty Grimwood) try to blackmail Paul by kidnapping Declan. Paul has an affair with Kirsten Gannon (Nikola Dubois) and Rebecca ends their relationship. Paul regains his assets from Elle and he buys the Erinsborough News. Paul briefly dates Cassandra Freedman (Tottie Goldsmith), but he and Rebecca soon get back together. Paul is initially blamed for his half-sister Jill Ramsay's (Perri Cummings) death. He goes on the run, but his name is cleared by Jill's daughter Sophie (Kaiya Jones). Paul and Rebecca get engaged. Lyn interrupts their wedding to announce she and Paul are still married. After divorcing Lyn, Paul marries Rebecca.

Paul's youngest son, Andrew (now played by Jordan Smith), comes to stay with his father. Paul suffers financial difficulties and embezzles money from Lassiter's. He also frames Declan for an accident at a building site, that he himself caused. Diana Marshall (Jane Badler) comes to Erinsborough to find evidence of Paul's embezzlement. Paul asks her to take over Lassiter's with him and they have sex. 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 Daniels (Joy Chambers), who fires Diana. Meanwhile, Paul threatens Declan. When Rebecca finds out about Paul's affair and threats towards Declan, she pushes him from the Lassiter's mezzanine. Paul survives and blackmails Rebecca into staying with him, causing their marriage to deteriorate. Rebecca later convinces Paul to sign an affidavit, which states that his fall was an accident, and she leaves him and the country. Paul gets elected on to the school board and falls out with local councillor Ajay Kapoor (Sachin Joab). Paul plots to ruin Ajay's career when he learns that the local police station is closing down and being merged with another.

Paul makes sure a house party in Ramsay Street is gatecrashed and then writes an article about how the police were late to the scene because of merger. Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) learns Paul sent the gatecrashers to the party and tells the press. Paul is forced to step down as editor. He then hires public relations consultant Zoe Alexander (Simmone Jade Mackinnon) to improve his image. Paul and Zoe briefly date and Paul unsuccessfully tries to get the editor's job back from Susan. Paul nieces Sophie and Kate (Ashleigh Brewer) move in with him. Paul and Andrew purchase Charlie's bar together and Paul beings an affair with Ajay's wife, Priya (Menik Gooneratne). 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 the affair and Ajay finds out about it. Paul sells the Erinsborough News to fund his plan of turning the top two floors of Lassiter's into apartments. Paul is devastated when Priya dies following an explosion at a wedding reception on Lassiter's grounds. 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.

After Paul uses Rhiannon Bates (Teressa Liane) to help him bribe councillor Allan Hewitt (Mick Preston). Rhiannon realises Paul wants her to have sex with Allan and she reports them both to the police. Lucy tells Paul that she is now the head of Lassiter's Worldwide and gets his apartment plans approved. She also hires Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou) as the new manager of Lassiter's Hotel. Paul asks Caroline Perkins (Alinta Chidzey) to give a statement about a robbery at the hotel and buys her expensive presents. When Terese fires Caroline, she launches a sexual harassment case against Paul. She drops the case when Terese gives her a settlement. Mason Turner (Taylor Glockner) asks for Paul's 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 confesses to 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' (Saskia Hampele) singing career and gets her to sign over the rights to her song. Paul then gives the song to Amali Ward, but she decides against recording it. Paul attempts to sue Georgia, but drops the case when he learns Jack has died. Paul tries to get his fraud conviction removed from his criminal record and declares that he will be running for mayor. Karl unsuccessfully runs against him. Paul seeks to separate the hotel from the Lassiter's chain to enable him to sack Terese. However, Terese 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 learns Rebecca works for a civic project called Twin Cities and forges Karl's signature on a cover letter to get Rebecca to return. Paul tells Rebecca that he became mayor for her because he still loves her. Paul asks Rebecca to move back to Erinsborough and she initially agrees, but then admits that she would only be returning out of guilt. Paul disapproves when Kate gets back together with Mark Brennan, and she moves out. They make up just before she dies, after being shot.

Paul blames Mark for Kate's death and wants him to leave Erinsborough. Paul is delighted when his nephew, Daniel (Tim Phillipps), arrives in town and agrees to stay with him. Paul re-opens Charlie's and announces that it has been renamed The Waterhole, a name chosen by Kate before she died. After purchasing a painting from Naomi Canning (Morgana O'Reilly), Paul learns from the police that it's ownership is disputed. He asks Naomi for his money back, but she tells him she has spent it. Paul then asks Naomi to have sex with him, in exchange for him not pressing charges against her. Naomi blackmails Paul into dropping the charges. Paul asks Mark to join him in finding Kate's killer, and Mark agrees. They decide to gain access to police files illegally, but Mark refuses to go through with it. Matt Turner (Josef Brown) informs Paul that Victor Cleary (Richard Sutherland), Gus's younger brother, has become a suspect in Kate's murder. Matt explains that Victor may have killed Kate out of revenge and Paul is devastated when he realises that he may be responsible for Kate's death. Paul buys a gun and meets with Victor to confront him. Victor taunts Paul about killing Kate, before Matt and Mark arrive. Mark tackles Paul and Matt arrests Victor. Paul struggles to cope with knowing that his actions were responsible for Kate's death, and Terese tries to help him.

Paul becomes depressed and after a public meltdown, he is suspended as mayor. He begins volunteering at Sonya's (Eve Morey) garden nursery, and she later advises him to seek expert help. Lucy also makes a brief return and helps Paul overcome his grief. Sheila Canning (Colette Mann) encourages Paul to start dating again, and he has a number of casual hookups using a dating app. He falls out with Daniel when he puts his romance with Amber Turner (Jenna Rosenow) before work. After they argue, Daniel declares that he will move out, and he and Amber go out into a tornado that hits Erinsborough. Sheila convinces Paul to go after them. A dislodged skip hits Paul's car and Daniel and Amber rescue him. He suffers broken ribs and a cracked prosthetic. When Paul decides that he is ready to be mayor again, he decides to hold a media gathering at Sonya's Nursery, but it has to be postponed when the nursery is vandalised. After Jayden Wharley (Sue Parker's son) admits to the vandalism, Sue steps down allowing Paul to become mayor again. It's later discovered that Paul put sweets in Jayden's bag, after sweets had been stolen, to get Jayden into trouble.

Dakota Davies (Sheree Murphy), a fling from Paul's time in Brazil, arrives in Erinsborough and reveals he abandoned her without explanation to return to Australia in 2004. Paul's memories of this return slowly as his brain tumour clouded his memory of his time away, but he comes to remember his feelings for Dakota and agrees to help her set up a bar in Melbourne as she is on the run from an abusive ex. Paul falls in love with Dakota and they plan a holiday in the Seychelles together, but then Paul learns that Dakota is involved in smuggling diamonds.

Reception[edit]

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".[25] The following year, Dennis was again nominated for "Best Actor" and "Best Bad Boy".[26] 2009 saw Dennis nominated for "Best Actor" and "Best Bad Boy" once again.[27][28] In 2010, Dennis was nominated for the very first "Best Daytime Star" award.[29] At the first Digital Spy Soap Awards ceremony, Dennis was nominated for "Villain of the Year".[30]

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."[31] They branded him a "bad boy",[31] 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..."[31] 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."[32] 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."[17] 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."[17] 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.[33] They also branded him a "legendary figure" of Neighbours.[33] Josephine Monroe in her book Neighbours: The first 10 years, names Paul one of soap opera's most enduring characters.[11]

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.[34] 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."[34] 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."[34] He has also been branded as a "legend character".[16] 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."[35]

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".[36] Andrew Mercado, author of Super Aussie Soaps, describes Paul as being very similar to fictional character J. R. Ewing.[37] 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.[38] Popular culture website "TV Cream" describe Paul marrying Gail for business sense was typical of his "thrusting, unscrupulous, double-dealing tycoon" persona.[39] 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."[40] Stephen later said "Taking advice from Paul is like asking Charlie Sheen to be your spirit guide."[41] 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."[42] Kalina added "Erinsborough just would not be the same without him."[42] 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."[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Neighbours celebrates 25 years of Ramsay Street soap opera". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Stefan Dennis (Neighbours' Paul Robinson) Interview". Last Broadcast. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Hopwood, Clive (1990). The Official Neighbours Annual 1990. World International. p. 15. ISBN 0-7235-6859-6. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "I Was Caught in an Inferno' Stefan Dennis the Big Interview". Sunday Mercury (Trinity Mirror). 9 August 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (15 March 2010). "Stefan reveals inspiration for soap return". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (10 November 2009). "Stefan: Quitting Neighbours was stupid". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Two decades with the Neighbours". BBC News (BBC). 17 October 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (19 March 2010). "Stefan happy to stay on 'Neighbours'". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Wallis, Neil and Hogan, Dave (1989). The Neighbours factfile. Angus & Robertson. p. 67. ISBN 0-207-16382-0. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Paul Robinson: Characters: Neighbours". Neighbours.com.au. Network Ten. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Michael Joseph LTD (Penguin Group). p. 93. ISBN 0-7181-4212-8. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c "Stefan Dennis: 'Paul's a lovely chap!'". What's on TV (IPC Media). 16 June 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Dennis: Paul was a marked man!". Press Association. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Balls, David (28 November 2008). "Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson, 'Neighbours')". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
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