Josh Anderson (Neighbours)
|Portrayed by||Jeremy Angerson|
|First appearance||5 February 1990|
|Last appearance||14 April 1992|
|Introduced by||Don Battye|
Joshua "Josh" Anderson is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Jeremy Angerson. He first appeared on-screen in the episode airing on 5 February 1990. He arrives in Erinsborough following his father's relocation to the area. Producers hired Angerson because they were increasing the size of the male cast. Josh is characterised as academically bright and good at chemistry. During his tenure Josh helped to form the show's group of tennage characters consisting of himself, Todd Landers (Kristian Schmid), Melissa Jarrett (Jade Amenta) and Cody Willis (Amelia Frid). Josh departed the series during the episode broadcast on 14 April 1992.
When Craig McLachlan quit his role of Henry Ramsay to star in rival soap opera Home and Away, producers decided to introduce two new characters to help Neighbours recuperate. Jeremy Angerson was cast in the role of Josh, while Richard Norton was selected to play Ryan McLachlan. Josh was the first male stripper to feature in Neighbours.
The character is introduced into the series following his father's buying of a local news agents. Josh is characterised as friendly, intelligent and "bright academically" with a keen interest in football and chemistry. He uses the latter to play pranks on people which often leads him into trouble. Writers gave him a best friend in the form of established character Todd Landers (Kristian Schmid) who bonded over mutual interests. Anthony Hayward wrote in his book The who's who of soap operas that "enjoying Todd's popularity with girls, Josh has tried to get advice from him on how to get on with the opposite sex, but he has never managed to attain the same degree of success."
Josh was part of the show's teenage group of characters which comprised himself, Todd, Melissa Jarrett (Jade Amenta) and Cody Willis (Amelia Frid). Angerson was the oldest of the four actors and the only one not in school. The characters were involved in a storyline dubbed "TV's first love quadrangle". Josh was in the relationship with Cody, while Todd was with Melissa but producers decided to swap the couple around. When Melissa is banned from seeing Todd, she realises that she is attracted to Josh while Cody hides her feelings for Todd. They all remain unsure of how to tell their respective partners that they have fallen for someone else. Frid told Caron Eastgate from TV Week that "it's funny to be swapping partners, but I think it's very cute." Angerson added that he enjoyed playing his character's romance storylines because he had a good time with his fellow actors. When the truth is outed Josh begins a relationship with Melissa and Cody begins dating Todd. Schmid believed that Josh was not a nice guy.
In 1991, Angerson told a reporter from TV Hits that he would often swear by accident during filming, but added it was always relevant to the scene. Angerson was also unhappy with a storyline in which his character played a game of strip poker. He was required to strip during filming. He had stripped on-screen previously but believed as an actor his body should be private. Schmid also bemoaned Josh's storyline for being "embarrassing" and "awful", with numerous retakes and a "monotonous" day of filming.
Josh is first seen in the Coffee Shop on Todd's 16th birthday and they quickly become friends after learning that Josh is new to the area and will be starting Year 10 at Erinsborough High with Todd and they share a common interest- soccer. Todd invites Josh back to his home for his birthday dinner, but when Josh reveals that he asked Melissa out on a date, it doesn't sit well with Todd. Josh realises Melissa still likes Todd and backs off. Josh begins dating Cody, who had previously caused Todd and Melissa problems in their relationship and they begin going out for several months. However, Cody is still attracted to Todd and promptly dumps Josh without explanation. Meanwhile, Josh finds himself becoming more and more attracted to Melissa the more time they spend together studying. The teens soon realise they are all dating the wrong people and agree to swap partners. When Todd falls in with local criminal Gary "Boof" Head (Stephen Hall), Josh tries to make Todd see sense. One evening when Todd is attacked by Boof for informing the police, Josh comes to his friend's aid and subdues Boof with a few kick-boxing moves.
Josh agrees to help Melissa in her scheme to expose Lassiter's for using frozen tuna and they sneak into the kitchens and head towards the fridge where they find the tuna but a kitchen hand shuts the door, leaving Josh and Melissa trapped. Josh quickly stops the fan from freezing them but Melissa is in danger due to suffering from epilepsy and not having her medication to hand. The couple are saved but Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) is unimpressed with the damage to the fridge and demands payment for the damages. When Josh begins violin lessons and constantly talks about a woman named Katrina, Melissa is quick to accuse him of cheating on her with another girl. Melissa tracks down Katrina and realizes she is much older than Josh and has worried for nothing.
After a runaway truck ploughs into the Andersons' newsagents, Josh and his family are left homeless and jobless with the prospect of having to return to Mildura, which Josh does not really want as he has made friends and is settled in Erinsborough. Jim (Alan Dale), Todd's uncle agrees to let Josh stay at Number 26 and share a room with Todd. When Josh is subpoenaed to testify against Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy), Jim's mother-in-law, who is suing a hotel after a fall, He is torn between perjuring himself or making Helen look bad on the stand. Under pressure, Josh flees and retreats to his old garage. School principal Dorothy Burke (Maggie Dence) convinces Josh to return to the Robinsons.
Shortly after Melissa and her family move to America, Josh finds himself attracted to Lucy, Todd's cousin, who is home from boarding school. Josh is shocked and appalled when he realises that Lucy is attracted to her new-found half-brother, Glen Donnelly (Richard Huggett). Josh later supports Lucy in the ensuing fallout. Josh continues to woo Lucy by buying her expensive gifts, and even going as far as hacking into Erinsborough High's computer system to change her grades. When Josh owns up to Dorothy about the hacking and takes the rap, Lucy admits she changed the grades herself after Josh backed out and left the computer on. One day while working on a surfboard in the garage, Josh accidentally splashes some acetone in his eyes, rendering him temporarily blind. While out with Todd and Brad Willis (Scott Michaelson) one day, Josh wonders into the road and is narrowly missed by a car. Lucy agrees to help Josh until his sight returns. When it does, Josh doesn't hurry to let anyone know and keeps up the pretence of being blind to enjoy Lucy's affections.
When Josh finds himself short of money, he takes a job as a stripper using a gladiator's costume to disguise him. When one of the bookings is for Helen's hen party, Josh panics at first but then realises no-one will recognise him. At the end of his act, Josh's helmet is removed by Caroline Alessi and his identity exposed, leaving him embarrassed. However, Josh's confidence is restored when his friends tell him not to be ashamed of his body. Josh later asks bookish classmate "creepy" Phoebe Bright (Simone Robertson) on a date, but she is upset when it is revealed that the only reason Josh has done so is because of a bet he lost with Todd and Brad. Josh does fall for Pheobe for real when they are cast in the Year 11 production of Beauty and the Beast. They begin dating but Phoebe's father, Arthur (Barry Hill) disapproves of Josh and warns him off. After Arthur suffers a heart attack, he lets Josh continue seeing his daughter.
After returning home from spending Christmas 1991 in Surfer's Paradise with Brad and Lucy, Josh discovers that Todd and Phoebe have fallen in love with each other and he refuses to have anything to do with either of them. Josh dates Phoebe's arch-enemy Trish Longley (Susan Ellis) to prove that he doesn't care that his feelings are hurt. Trish later plants an exam paper in Phoebe's locker as revenge, which Josh gets the blame for causing more friction between them. However, after a talk with Jim they eventually patch up their differences with Josh before he leaves Erinsborough to return to his parents in Mildura.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Neighbours, the BBC asked readers to nominate their 20 favourite obscure characters. Josh came in second place and the readers said "All I can remember is that something happened to cause him to lose his sight and then he tried to pinch Todd's girlfriend".
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- "Your 20 favourite obscure Neighbours characters". BBC News. BBC. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2010.