Joel McIlroy as Flynn Saunders
|Home and Away character|
|Portrayed by||Martin Dingle-Wall (2001–02)
Joel McIlroy (2003–06)
|First appearance||13 July 2001|
|Last appearance||13 February 2006|
|Introduced by||John Holmes|
Caravan Park Owner
Flynn Saunders is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Home and Away, played by Joel McIlroy. The character was originally played by Martin Dingle-Wall from 2001 until 2002. He made his first on-screen appearance on 13 July 2001 and departed following his death on 13 February 2006
Flynn first arrives in the bay to help Shelley Sutherland (Paula Forrest) out at the Sarah McKay drop-in centre as a counsellor. It is soon revealed a few weeks after that he is also a trained doctor. Flynn soon falls for Sally Fletcher (Kate Ritchie) and on their first date, they share a picnic together. Shauna Bradley (Kylie Watson) makes a pass at Flynn but he rebuffs her. Jude Lawson (Ben Steel), Shauna's boyfriend is upset and rides off on his motorcycle and crashes. When Jude is brought into hospital, Flynn works with fellow doctor Charlotte Adams (Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen) to save his life in surgery and they are successful.
Flynn later searches for his younger sister, Ashley (Zoe Ella) when their father, John (Bill Charlton) tells him she has gone missing. Ashley is found living rough on the streets and after initial reluctance, she returns home. Following a holiday, Flynn and Sally make engagement plans and marry in an outdoor ceremony conducted by Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn). In 2004, The couple swap houses with Beth Hunter (Clarissa House) and move back into Summer Bay House, Sally's childhood home and take over the running of the caravan park. They then welcome the arrival of their first child, Pippa (Tameka and Bojana Main) via friend and surrogate Leah Patterson (Ada Nicodemou). Flynn and Sally take in homeless teenagers Ric Dalby (Mark Furze) and Cassie Turner (Sharni Vinson) and they form a close bond with them.
In late 2005, Flynn is diagnosed with terminal skin cancer which has spread to other areas of his body and is told he only has three months to live. After deciding against chemotherapy, Flynn faces a tough moment when he tells Sally that he wants to take his own life, in order to save himself the pain and humiliation of dying a slow death but Flynn realises how precious his final weeks are and decides to die naturally. When Flynn encounters runaway Belle Taylor (Jessica Tovey), she knocks him over while fleeing, exacerbating his weakened state. Flynn spends his final hours reminiscing with Sally, Ric, Cassie and Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher) over photos and memories. Flynn shares one last dance with Sally before dying in her arms.
The episode featuring Flynn's death won writer, Sam Miekle, the Australian Writers' Guild Award for "Best Episode in a Television Serial" in 2006. For their portrayals of Flynn, Dingle-Wall and McIlroy were nominated for "Most Popular New Male Talent" and "Most Popular Actor" at the 2002 and 2006 Logie Award ceremonies, respectively. Flynn's death was voted the second most gripping storyline in a TV Week reader's poll in December 2006. McIlroy's portrayal of Flynn earned him three nominations at the 2006 Inside Soap Awards in the respective categories of "Best Actor", "Best Couple" alongside Co-star Ritchie, and "Best Storyline" for Flynn's death.
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