|Portrayed by||Natalie Bassingthwaighte|
|First appearance||1 September 2003|
|Last appearance||29 March 2007|
|Introduced by||Ric Pellizzeri|
Isabelle "Izzy" Hoyland is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Natalie Bassingthwaighte. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 1 September 2003. Izzy is the daughter of Rosie Hoyland and sister to Max Hoyland. The character departed in 2006, following Bassingthwaighte's decision to focus on her music career. However, in March 2007, Bassingthwaighte made a brief return to film a few episodes set in London. The character was well received by critics and viewers and Bassingthwaighte earned three Logie Award nominations for her role.
Bassingthwaighte joined the cast of Neighbours in 2003, in her first full-time television role. The actress had been working in musical theatre when she received a call saying she had secured an audition for Neighbours. Bassingthwaighte told The Age, "I said to my manager, no way. I'd made the decision I'd done my last theatre show for a while, I wanted to concentrate on singing and I wanted to give film a go. We were all a little bit over the soapie star-turned singer. I didn't want to be that." Her manager talked her round and within a week Bassingthwaighte auditioned for the show and won the role of Izzy.
In June 2005, it was announced that Bassingthwaighte was considering leaving the soap once her contract expired the following year. Bassingthwaighte said "Am I going to resign? I've had an amazing time and, while it's great to have a regular income and live a normal life, if you stay in one spot too long you get rusty". Bassingthwaighte left Neighbours in 2006 to focus on her music career and she filmed her final scenes on 2 June. Bassingthwaighte said she was "falling apart" whilst doing so. However, in October of that year it was announced that she would be going to London to film a special guest appearance. Neighbours began filming scenes in London from 6 November to air in March 2007.
Bassingthwaighte was invited to return to Neighbours for the show's 30th anniversary celebrations in 2015, but she declined the offer because she felt "the timing wasn't right". However, Bassingthwaighte agreed to take part in the documentary special Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.
Before she appeared on-screen she was described as a "manipulative schemer, a money-hungry man-eater and home wrecker." Network Ten branded Izzy as a "bad girl" type character. They also described her as "quick-witted, sexy and naturally flirtatious" and has a "masterful ability to manipulate people". They said she has serious "daddy issues" and likes older men and is not bothered if they are married because she is the first to admit she is "unscrupulous". She is "essentially lazy and will never work for a living if there's an easier way to make a buck" even if that way is "dishonest or immoral". They also referred to her as a "scarlet lady" and "femme fatale". Bassingthwaighte described her as a "great character to play because she's got so many dimensions to her. There's the bitchiness, but also the vulnerability." Bassingthwaighte revealed she preferred Izzy whilst she was being bad, because in her view she was boring when she tried to be nice.
Izzy arrives in Ramsay Street to visit Max (Stephen Lovatt). She moves in with Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) after he breaks up with his wife Susan (Jackie Woodburne). She claims that Karl is the father of her unborn baby, when it is actually Gus Cleary's (Ben Barrack). Izzy has a miscarriage and breaks up with Karl. She then forms a relationship with Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis). Darcy Tyler (Mark Raffety) discovers that the pregnancy dates do not add up and threatens to tell Karl. Izzy tries to pay him off, but he refuses to take any money. During the confrontation, Darcy falls down a flight of stairs and ends up in a coma. When he wakes up, he begins to play mind games with Izzy. Darcy forces her to give him a favourable testimony at his court hearing. Darcy then reveals the truth to Susan in a letter and she forces Izzy to tell Karl that he was not the baby's father. Karl kicks her out and she disappears, leaving Paul under suspicion for her murder. She is found alive and Paul's name is cleared. Izzy overcomes a drug problem and she and Paul move in together. Paul's daughter Elle (Pippa Black) also moves in and she takes an instant dislike to Izzy. Elle tries lacing her food with drugs to convince Paul that Izzy still has a drug problem.
Izzy has an affair with Ned Parker (Daniel O'Connor), which is initiated in an attempt to get him out of Erinsborough, which both Robert Robinson (Adam Hunter) and Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) find out about. Robert later moves in with Izzy and Paul, while pretending to be his identical twin brother Cameron. After she became suspicious of Robert's behaviour, Izzy tries to convince Paul and Elle that he is responsible for the 'accidents' she was said to have caused, such as leaving the gas on while babysitting her nephew Charlie. Everyone believes that she is just being careless and hysterical and Paul eventually throws her out. She gets Paul and the police to believe her after she discovers that Robert had been recording her phone conversations and editing them on his laptop. After Cameron is cleared of all charges, he too moved in with her, Elle and Paul. Paul and Izzy's relationship begins to decline and when Paul is caught cheating on her, she breaks up with him.
Although Izzy claims to have never stopped being in love with Paul, she tries to get back into a relationship with Karl. Karl has no interest in Izzy because of his resentment towards her, and the fact that he is trying to get back together with Susan. Karl accepts a ride home from Izzy and once they get to his apartment, she gives him too much sleeping medication. This causes him to believe that Izzy is Susan and he begs her to stay the night. Susan discovers that Izzy is pregnant and when she asks her who the father of her baby is, Izzy denies it is Karl's.
Izzy moves to London and begins an affair with Pete Gartside (Daniel Schutzmann), a married professional football player. Pete breaks up with Izzy, but they later decide to start again and raise her baby together. Karl and Susan meet Izzy while they are in London to see their son Malcolm (Benjamin McNair). Izzy turns up at their wedding and goes into labour. Karl is then forced to deliver her daughter, Holly (Chaya Broadmore). Susan later overhears Izzy saying that Karl is Holly's father and she tells him when they arrive home. Karl later tells Susan that Izzy would like her to be Holly's godmother and she agrees. In 2013, Izzy sends Holly (Lucinda Armstrong Hall) to stay with Karl and Susan, while she goes on a cruise with her new partner.
In 2006, Bassingthwaighte was nominated for "Most Popular Personality" and "Most Popular Actress" at the Logie Awards for her role as Izzy. The following year, she was again nominated for "Most Popular Actress". The 2006 Dolly Teen Choice Awards saw Bassingthwaighte win the "Best Slashie" award. In 2007, Bassingthwaighte received a nomination for "Best Bitch" at the Inside Soap Awards. At the first Digital Spy Soap Awards, Bassingthwaighte, along with co-stars Woodburne and Fletcher, was nominated in the "Storyline of the Year" category for the Karl, Susan and Izzy storyline set in London.
In 2004, Izzy came joint tenth in a BBC drama poll to find the "Best Villain". During a feature on the best and worst soap characters of the decade, Ruth Deller of television website Lowculture placed Izzy at number two on the best characters list. Deller said "The best character in Ramsay Street for ages, if not of all time, Izzy was the best kind of soap bitch (see also Janine Butcher and Clare Devine), one whose motives you could understand, and often sympathise with. Being a member of the largely dreadful Hoyland clan didn't bode well for her, but Izzy soon won a place in everyone's hearts (and several male characters' beds). She was even bezzie mates with Harold, and she bowed out by giving birth on the Thames in the ludicrous Neighbours goes to London episodes". The website later referred to her as a "archetypal soap bitch-with-a-soft-centre". New Zealand television website, Throng, said that Izzy had "grown to become a fan favourite" in her time with the show. Izzy has been labelled a "super-bitch" by newspaper Daily Mirror, newspaper Metro, entertainment website Digital Spy and Australian LGBT website Samesame. Bree Hoskin writing for LGBT website Gaydar, included Izzy on their list of "Top Ten Soap Bitches". She also said the serial was shaken up with her arrival and branded her "Erinsborough’s most memorable bitch and home wrecker". Also opining she met her match in Paul and it subsequently caused "a good vs. evil cul-de-sac showdown the likes of which Ramsay street had never seen before".
The Herald Sun observed Izzy as "backstabbing, blackmailing and breaking more than a few hearts" during her time in the serial. They also said her behaviour "didn't win her any friends in Erinsborough". Izzy was named one of the all-time most popular characters in Neighbours behind Harold, Madge and Susan. Bassingthwaighte revealed that people were shocked to see her friends with Woodburne in real life, because her portrayal of bitchiness was so convincing they assumed they had to be enemies off-screen.
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