|Portrayed by||Geoff Paine|
|Duration||1986–1987, 1989, 2017–|
|First appearance||21 January 1986|
Clive Archibald Gibbons is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Geoff Paine. Paine was spotted by the Reg Grundy Organisation and offered the role of Clive. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 21 January 1986. Clive's storylines included running a gorillagram agency, setting up a gardening business, saving Lucy Robinson's life and falling in love with Susan Cole. Paine decided not to renew his contract and he departed Neighbours on 27 February 1987. In 1989, the character made a brief return, before departing once again in October of that year. Paine reprised the role 28 years later, and Clive returned from 9 March 2017 as the new chief operating officer (COO) of Erinsborough Hospital.
The Grundy Organisation discovered Paine while he was performing in a college production at the Victoria Arts Centre, they asked him to come in for a screen test and offered him the role of Clive. Paine almost turned down the role as he looked down on acting in a soap. He said "I suppose at the time I was a bit too idealistic about the world of acting. Playing a messenger in a gorilla suit might not be King Lear, but at least it pays the rent."
After more than a year, Paine decided not to renew his contract after fearing that he may be typecast. He left in 1987 and he said "I don't regret leaving Neighbours at all. I think it's terrific the way the show's taken off, but I'm very pleased with the direction I've taken." Paine later made a brief return to the show in 1989.
Clive brought a breath of fresh air to Ramsay Street when he moved in. Josephine Monroe, author of Neighbours: the first 10 years described Clive as "one of life's eccentrics" and explained that he took care of people and often lured them into his latest harebrained scheme. Simon Plant from the Herald Sun said Clive was "mild-mannered". Dave Hogan and Neil Wallis of The Neighbours Factfile said Clive was "Cheerful and slightly wacky." They added that he was the "court jester" of Ramsay Street and the model on which the character of Henry Ramsay (Craig McLachlan) was based. Clive gave up medicine to start up a series of wacky businesses. His gorillagram agency outraged some of neighbours, particularly Max Ramsay (Francis Bell).
Following the character's return, Paine said Clive was "a different man now." Where the younger Clive was "happy-go-lucky", the older Clive had matured and become more conservative. Paine pointed out that Clive's "cheeky side" does still appear every so often.
In a December 2016 interview with Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy, Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison teased the return of a character from the 1986/87 series regulars. Herbison said the character would return in a recurring capacity and would be seen in "a work environment". Paine's management later confirmed that he had reprised his role as Clive. Clive made his return on 9 March 2017. He "shakes things up" at the local hospital upon his return. Paine teased a potential romance for Clive during his return stint, commenting "anything is possible". He also said that he enjoys playing the character, as he is "fun and irreverent".
Clive runs a gorillagram agency from Number 22 Ramsay Street, which upsets neighbour Max Ramsay. Clive and Max clash right away, but Clive manages to win over the other residents. Clive invites Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith) to move into his spare room when her engagement to Des Clarke (Paul Keane) falls apart. They are briefly joined there by Daphne's best friend, Zoe Davis (Ally Fowler) and then by Mike Young (Guy Pearce). As well as running his gorillagram business, Clive teamed up with Shane Ramsay (Peter O'Brien) to form a gardening business called Ramsay and Gibbons Gardening Service or RAGGS. Clive's real profession is revealed when he saves Lucy Robinson's (Kylie Flinker) life after she is stung by a bee and cannot breathe. Clive performs a Tracheotomy on Lucy on the Robinson's kitchen table and saves her life. Clive tells his neighbours that he is a doctor, but he quit medicine when he made a mistake, which led to the death of his girlfriend, Linda.
Clive's brother, Graham (Peter Harvey-Wright), a GP visits with his wife, Kate (Jenny Seedsman) and daughter Vicki (Charmaine Gorman). Clive realises that Graham would badger him about returning to medicine and he tells him about Linda's death. Graham continues to badger Clive until he agrees to become a doctor again. Graham and his family leave after Alex Carter (Kevin Summers), a robber threatens them. Clive befriends Susan Cole (Gloria Ajenstat) and offers her and her son, Sam, a place to live. Clive falls in love with Susan, but she falls for her boss Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis). When his uncle Ted (Max Meldrum) comes to visit, Clive asks Susan to pretend to be his wife in order for Clive to say he is a successful family man. Susan agrees, but Ted sees her kissing Paul and confronts Clive. Clive tells Ted the truth.
When Paul rejects her, Susan is comforted by Clive and he tells her that he is in love with her. Susan accepts a marriage proposal from Clive, but as Clive starts planning a wedding, Susan realises that she does not love Clive and she leaves Erinsborough. Clive suffers from depression and takes his anger out on Paul. He eventually bounces back and decides to move into the flat behind his surgery before leaving Erinsborough. Clive makes a brief return and makes friends with Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden). He also provides Paul with a shoulder to cry on following the end of his marriage. Clive gets a call from Graham who is injured in an accident and needs someone to run his surgery in the country. Clive then leaves Ramsay Street again for the outback.
Nearly 28 years later, Clive returns to Erinsborough as the new COO of the local hospital. He meets with David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) and Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson) to discuss the public opening of the new spinal unit. He later catches up with Paul in The Waterhole. Clive introduces mayor Sonya Rebecchi (Eve Morey) at the opening of unit and thanks her for her time. After a meeting about attracting donors, Aaron asks Clive for his help in finding a record of David and Leo Tanaka's father, as they were born in a Western Sydney hospital, where Clive once worked. Clive agrees to ask a friend at the hospital. Jasmine Udagawa (Kaori Maeda-Judge) offers to make a donation to the spinal unit if Clive calls off his search. Clive later tells David that he could not find any information on his father, before admitting to Paul that he had already called in the favour when Jasmine offered him the money. Leo confronts Clive about accepting a bribe from Jasmine, but Clive tells him that there was no information about their father, but Jasmine was unaware when she made her donation.
Brooke Butler (Fifi Box) has an interview for a fundraising job with Clive. Sheila Canning (Colette Mann) warns Clive that Brooke is a scam artist, but she later tries to take back what she said. However, Clive reveals that he has spoken to Paul and Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher), who confirmed Sheila's allegations, so he will not be offering Brooke the job. A few months later, Clive asks Karl to investigate some missing morphine. He later sees Sheila checking up on her granddaughter, Xanthe Canning (Lilly Van der Meer). Clive asks Sheila to lunch, but she cancels when Xanthe is accused of taking the morphine. Clive comes across Sheila in the city and he helps her to search Xanthe, who has run away from school. Clive and Sheila spend the rest of the afternoon together and Clive asks her out on a date. Clive and Sheila spend a lot of time together in the ensuing weeks, and he mentions to her that he has at least two children, the eldest being a son. Their relationship is compromised when Sheila is contacted by her ex-boyfriend Russell, who dies soon after. However Clive does help Sheila's son Gary, whose fiancé Terese has cancer, by vouching for Terese's brother Nick, an oncologist who was arrested for poisoning Paul with unnecessary chemotherapy. Clive's testimony ensures Nick's release from prison so he can advise with Terese's treatment. Sheila asks him if he would like to rekindle their relationship and he declines.
Sheila's friend Dipi persuades her to continue her education, and manipulates Clive to taking a teaching job so he and Sheila can spend time together. He is harsh to Sheila in his biology class so as not to show favouritism, but later apologises and agrees to give her another chance.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Neighbours, a reporter from the BBC asked readers to nominate their twenty favourite obscure characters. Clive was not included in the list, but the reporter revealed they had received many suggestions asking him to be included. They said that Clive's popularity disqualified him and that he "lacked sufficient obscurity". Another writer for the BBC called Clive the "true genius of Neighbours." Lorna Cooper of MSN said Clive was "lovely", while Tom Adair of The Scotsman dubbed the character "wacky". A Lowculture writer stated that Clive performing an emergency tracheotomy on Jim Robinson's kitchen table was one of Neighbours' great moments. A BBC reporter agreed, saying Clive's most notable moment was "Performing an emergency operation on the Robinson's kitchen table and saving Lucy."
Daniel Martin of The Guardian included Clive's 1986 dream on his list of Favourite Christmas Soap Moments. Martin commented, "Not the greatest dream sequence in Neighbours history (that gong has to go to the iconic Bouncer's Dream), but this candy-coated reminder to the grim British contingent of how it should be done is burned onto the brains of twentysomethings nationwide. Doctor Clive – refereeing a boxing match between Mike and Shane for the heart of Plain Jane Superbrain – is knocked out and goes into a bizarre festive dream sequence where the cast were re-imagined as pantomime characters. Clive was Santa, Mike and Shane were Tweedle Dum and Dee, Paul Robinson some nameless panto villain – and Scott and Charlene were in Europe pretending to be pop stars."
In her 1994 book, The Neighbours Programme Guide, Josephine Monroe revealed that Clive became popular with viewers and his 1989 return was scripted to set up a spin-off series, City Hospital. A pilot was made, but it was not picked up by any television networks. Polly Hudson of the Daily Mirror wondered why Paine did not go on to have an acting career in Hollywood, like "mean old Jim Robinson", commenting that he was "surely the most talented comedy actor of all time". Laura-Jayne Tyler of Inside Soap praised Clive's 2017 return, saying "Treat of the week was the return of Dr Clive Gibbons to Neighbours. A real 80s favourite!"
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