|Portrayed by||Chris Milligan|
|First appearance||26 November 2008|
|Introduced by||Susan Bower|
Charlie's Barman (2010–11)
Erinsborough Motors salesman (2011)
|Home||26 Ramsay Street|
Kyle Eugene Canning is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Chris Milligan. The actor successfully auditioned for the six week recurring role of Kyle and he made his first on screen appearance on 26 November 2008. Milligan was later asked back every couple of months to do a few weeks filming. After eighteen months of playing Kyle on a part-time basis, Milligan was given a full-time contract deal and he and his character were promoted to the regular cast. Milligan said he was ecstatic about his promotion and looked forward to developing his character further. In August 2011, Milligan had to be written out of Neighbours temporarily, so he could recover from an injury he sustained off screen.
Kyle was initially portrayed as an immature bad boy, whose physical presence made him fall into the role of a bully. However, his low academic intelligence made him vulnerable to people smarter than himself. A traumatic accident and his struggle to secure employment changed Kyle's ways. The character has been described as a larrikin, good hearted and laid back. Following his promotion to the regular cast, the show's writers gave Kyle some character traits similar to Henry Ramsay (Craig McLachlan). Like Henry, Kyle becomes the handyman of Ramsay Street and he later opens his own business, which brings him into contact with many of the street's residents.
Kyle's storylines have often focused on his various relationships and jobs. Kyle engaged in a brief relationship with Natasha Williams (Valentina Novakovic) and developed a crush on Kate Ramsay (Ashleigh Brewer). He later entered into a casual relationship with Jade Mitchell (Gemma Pranita), which turned serious. Following Jade's departure, Kyle began dating Georgia Brooks (Saskia Hampele). Other storylines for Kyle have seen him blackmailed by a corrupt police officer and temporarily damaging his eyesight by looking at the sun during an eclipse. The character has been well received by critics and Milligan was nominated for Best Daytime Star at the Inside Soap Awards in 2012.
On 20 October 2008, a reporter for The Courier-Mail announced Milligan had landed a recurring role on Neighbours. The actor won the part of Kyle following a successful audition. Milligan said securing the role had made moving away from his family and relocating to Melbourne worth the sacrifice. He made his first screen appearance as Kyle on 26 November 2008. In March 2011, Milligan revealed to TV Week that he initially had a six week guest role as Kyle, but he was then asked back every couple of months for a few weeks filming. After eighteen months of playing Kyle on a part-time basis, Milligan was promoted to the regular cast and given a full-time contract deal. His promotion came as the show lost two male cast members; Erin Mullally and Scott McGregor. Milligan told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy that he was "ecstatic" when he heard about his promotion and quipped "Kyle had been a guest character for nearly three years so it's great to be full-time now and to be able to evolve the character."
On 9 August 2011, Milligan snapped his Achilles tendon while playing football and had to be written out of the soap. The actor took a break from Neighbours for around five weeks and the writers were forced to rewrite scenes which featured his character. Executive producer Susan Bower said "We've rewritten some scenes which explain Kyle's absence, and as a former nurse, I'll be monitoring his rehabilitation." A few days later, it was announced Luke Pegler had joined the cast to fill in for Milligan and take over a planned storyline for his character. On 13 September 2011, a Channel 5 writer reported Milligan had returned to the set in time to film the final episodes of the 2011 season. Milligan was still using crutches and a writer for the Herald Sun said his injury would be worked into his storylines. Of his return, Milligan said "After a month of virtually sitting on the couch, I'm rapt to be back at work. I just have to pace myself a bit."
When Kyle first joined Neighbours, he was an immature "bad boy", who often hung around with school bullies, Justin Hunter (Chris Toohey) and Shane Gregory (Ryan Bate). Channel 5 said Kyle's physical presence made him fall easily into the role of a bully and eventual group leader, but his low academic intelligence made him vulnerable to people smarter than himself. Following a traumatic rafting accident on a school trip and his struggle to find employment, Kyle decides to change as he does not want to be the same person anymore. Milligan said his character has a "good heart" and that he has had to learn things for himself, as he has not had the right people around to show him the way. Kyle has been described as being a "trouble maker", a larrikin and "loveable-but-slightly-hopeless." The official Neighbours website said Kyle is the "local hottie", who is hard to take seriously, though his heart is in the right place. Kyle is also a "good-time guy", who has developed a thirst for adventure.
Shortly before Kyle's promotion to regular character was announced, TV Soap reported the Neighbours writers were going to give Kyle some Henry Ramsay-like traits. Of this, executive producer Susan Bower explained "He was at school with the gang and he's been back and forwards quite a lot, and we certainly feel that he has a future for the show - in much the same way as Henry Ramsay was sort of the handyman around the place. We've got some good plans for him." Kyle has been employed at both Charlie's and Erinsborough Motors, but he has long dreamt of opening his own handyman business. During an interview with Digital Spy in June 2011, Milligan revealed Kyle eventually starts his handyman business, which brings him into contact with all of the Ramsay Street residents. Kyle later becomes involved in a storyline that sees his business threatened by the development of a new shopping complex. Milligan said Kyle is "pretty laid-back" and would become an unexpected friend to some of the characters. In August 2011, Bower told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy, that Kyle is a guy with double standards, who "goes out and shags indiscriminately, but the girl he wants to marry has to be an angel." She revealed the writers were going to challenge this aspect of the character.
In May 2011, Milligan stated that it would be fun to see some of Kyle's friends and family introduced to the soap. Following an injury in early August, Milligan was forced to take a break from filming and Luke Pegler was brought in and cast as Dane Canning, Kyle's cousin. Dane arrives in Erinsborough to take over Kyle's room at Number 26 and look after his business, while he goes to care for his sick mother. Dane and Kyle have similar personalities and Pegler revealed that he spoke to Milligan about finding "some common ground" for their characters. Pegler stated that Dane and Kyle come from the same place and have developed the same habits. He quipped that they both have "bravado", while being softies underneath. Pegler later commented that Dane has "Canning DNA" and is just as oblivious to things around him as Kyle is. Milligan hoped that Pegler would return as Kyle's cousin as he was "fantastic to work with" and his character was popular with viewers. He added "Now the Canning family is expanding, hopefully that will include a cousin or two coming to stay."
In January 2012, new executive producer Richard Jasek revealed that Kyle's grandmother was being cast and it was later announced that Colette Mann had received the role of Sheila Canning. Sheila comes to Erinsborough to make a surprise visit to Kyle, but after she meets his neighbours and begins to like the life he has, she decides to "stick around to keep an eye on her beloved grandson." Of Kyle's relationship with his grandmother, Milligan told a What's on TV writer "The Cannings are a very close, working-class family and his gran rules the roost. He adores her, but also knows that he needs to keep a tight rein on her when it comes to him making his own decisions. She is also quick to judge people." Milligan said that Sheila does not approve of his relationship with Jade Mitchell (Gemma Pranita) as she perceives her "independence as arrogance". Susan Hill of the Daily Star reported that Sheila adores her grandson and would do anything for him, which rubs Jade up the wrong way. She added "It's going to be a very tricky time for Kyle as he tries to please them both."
The Canning family was expand again in late 2012 with the introduction of Kyle's cousin Harley (Justin Holborow). A Channel 5 website writer stated that Harley shares the same good looks as Kyle, but he does not share the same moral compass. Harley turns up in Ramsay Street in the back of a police car, which shocks Kyle. However, in a bid to show how responsible he has become, Kyle decides to take Harley in. He then learns that Harley has been in trouble with the law before and becomes determined to help him. Hill wrote "He realises someone needs to step in to straighten out Harley. But viewers will be left wondering whether Kyle has taken on too much."
In January 2010, Kyle goes on a date with Kate Ramsay (Ashleigh Brewer). Kyle asks Kate whether she accepted his offer because she is trying to make Declan Napier (James Sorensen) jealous, but Kate denies it and tells Kyle she wants to get to know him better. Declan is not happy and when he sees Kate and Kyle together and he sabotages the date. In May 2011, Milligan revealed Kyle has always liked Kate because she is nice and is unlike the other girls he has dated in the past. Milligan said while Kyle like her, he would never push Kate into liking him. When Kyle sees Kate has been hurt by her ex-boyfriend, Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor), he feels protective towards her.
Kyle worries about competing with Mark for Kate's affections, as he is not as intelligent and successful as him. Kyle also knows Kate is very smart, which further dents his confidence. When Mark learns Kyle is interested in Kate, he asks her out, but is later forced to postpone the date. Kyle decides to take advantage of the situation and invites Kate to spend the evening watching films with him. Kate accepts and enjoys the time she spends with Kyle. Mark later accuses Kate of trying to make him jealous and Kate decides to put him behind her, by agreeing to go on an official date with Kyle. When asked who he thought the right woman for Kyle is, Milligan said "That's a hard one. He and Kate would make a nice couple, but I think he needs someone who is going to challenge him."
Following her split from Andrew Robinson (Jordan Smith), Natasha Williams (Valentina Novakovic) starts dating Kyle. The following month, she decides to dump him, but to her surprise, Kyle gets there first. TV Soap explained Natasha grows bored of Kyle's company, but Kyle also becomes bored with his younger girlfriend and he "wastes no time severing their ties." Kyle's actions embarrass Natasha and he agrees to let her pretend that she dumped him. She then lies to Andrew that "she's kicked Kyle to the curb", instead of the other way around.
When asked who she would like to see her character, Jade Mitchell, find love with, Gemma Pranita suggested Kyle. Pranita thought Jade and Kyle's "contrasting personalities" would work together if they entered a relationship. She explained "I think the characters can learn a lot from each other. Jade is very worldly and smart and Kyle has a more simple and uncomplicated nature." Kyle and Jade share a house together and on the night of their housewarming party they kiss, which thrills Jade. However, Kyle still sees her as a friend. Kyle and Jade later have sex together and Kyle suggests they engage in a friends with benefits arrangement, to which Jade agrees. During a feature on soap couples that should be together, Inside Soap said Kyle should give up lusting after Kate and realise Jade is "The One." The magazine opined that while neither of them have had a relationship for more than twenty four hours, it does put them on an even playing field.
When Jade was given a chance to work in the United States, she and Kyle began a long-distance relationship. Upon her return to Erinsborough, Jade invited Kyle to accompany her back to the US. However, after learning that Jade would be away for a year, Kyle made it clear that his life was in Erinsborough. A devastated Kyle then decided to break up with Jade, even though he still loved her.
When Kyle supported Georgia Brooks (Saskia Hampele) through a tough time at work, she began to question her relationship and future with Scotty Boland (Rhys Uhlich). When Georgia decided to spend the afternoon at a fundraising barbecue with Kyle, instead of being with Scotty she felt guilty. Hampele said Kyle was a distraction for Georgia. When Georgia has a good time at the fundraiser, she realised there was an attraction. When Georgia made a quick exit from the fundraiser, Kyle got confused and thought she had developed a crush on his house mate Rhys Lawson (Ben Barber). Believing that her feelings for Rhys would lead her to have her heart broken, Kyle urged Georgia to stay with Scotty. Hampele quipped that Georgia liked Kyle and thought he felt the same way, so it came as "a blow to her" when he pushed her away. Georgia and Kyle continued to hide their feelings for each other and Kyle dated Jana Noviac (Kyrie Capri). Milligan commented that Kyle did not go out looking for Jana, but she sort of appeared and made Georgia jealous.
Georgia later ended her relationship with Scotty. When asked if Kyle would "step up to the plate", Milligan stated "I think he's almost scared by his feelings for Georgia. He's one of those guys that when he gets a girl he thinks is right, he wants to marry her." When Kyle came to Georgia's place to fix the pool, she offered to put some sunscreen on his back and TV Week's Thomas Mitchell declared that "the electricity is off the grid!". However, Georgia's aunt, Angie (Lesley Baker), interrupted them. Georgia got back together with Scotty and they became engaged. However, when Kyle learned that Scotty had made sexual advances towards Chris Pappas (James Mason), he told Georgia the truth and Scotty left town. Milligan told an Inside Soap writer that Kyle had "a knack for finding the most complicated girls." Kyle and Georgia eventually began dating when Kyle helped Georgia clear her name after she was accused of stealing drugs from the hospital. When they believed their relationship was in a good place, Kyle and Georgia had sex with each other for the first time.
When Kyle decides to hold a sale at the car yard to bring in extra revenue, it attracts the attention of Constable Wes Holland (Daniel Hamill). Wes demands money from Kyle in return for providing security for the event. Kyle is stunned and Milligan told Inside Soap that he does not know how to react. The actor explained "Holland makes it clear that if Kyle doesn't pay up, big trouble will come his way - and how do you respond to that?" Kyle is shaken up by the confrontation with Wes and he turns to Kate, who advises him to speak to Mark. Kyle is reluctant because of his history with the detective. However, when Kyle returns to the car yard to remove the sale signs, he gets another visit from Wes. The officer gets physical with Kyle and threatens to destroy his stock. Kyle then decides to go to Mark for help. Kyle explains the situation to Mark, but the story is not very believable. Milligan said "At first it isn't easy for them to work together because it's hard for Kyle to seek help off someone he's already had problems with, and he knows how Brennan feels about him - plus it's another cop, so he isn't convinced that Brennan will believe him." Mark is under the impression Wes is a trusted colleague, so he decides to get proof before he believes Kyle. Mark finds the evidence he needs and he and Kyle confront Wes. When asked if the situation would be a turning point for Kyle and Mark, Milligan said that it was. He added while they would not become best friends, they would not be enemies either.
During a solar eclipse, Kyle looked up at the sun, which caused him to go temporarily blind. While enjoying a spa with Georgia, Kyle's dog, Bossy, stole his safety glasses and he decided to look directly at the eclipse. Kyle damaged his retinas and Georgia quickly rushed him to the hospital, where he was told that he had to wear eye patches. Kyle was then forced to rely on those around him, causing him to become frustrated. When Kyle started to miss his independence, his housemate, Chris invited him down to the car yard to help out. Milligan explained "He needs to get out of the house. Everyone is on his case trying to help him out, but Kyle pushes them away. Chris invites him down to the car yard, and Kyle will take anything to get out of that little bubble. Chris is being a good mate and trying to offer Kyle something to do. But even Chris gets to a point where he tells Kyle he needs to rest." Realising Chris does not want him around, Kyle stormed off and put himself in danger by walking onto a busy intersection and into the path of an oncoming car. Chris managed to rescue Kyle in time and dragged him back to the pavement.
Shortly after moving to Erinsborough, Kyle becomes friends with school bullies, Justin Hunter and Shane Gregory. Kyle invites Zeke Kinski (Matthew Werkmeister) to join them when they decide to skip school one day. Principal Andrew Simpson (Peter Flanigan) bans pranks on muck-up day, but the boys run through the school wearing balaclavas and spraying silly string, scaring several students. Andrew suspends them for a week. The students go on a rafting trip and Kyle fights with Declan Napier. Andrew suggests a raft race and Kyle joins Zeke, Justin, Bridget Parker (Eloise Mignon) and Libby Kennedy (Michala Banas). Their raft capsizes, during a prank set up by Kyle and Justin. The two boys make it to the riverbank, but Zeke goes missing and Kyle is left traumatised by the accident. A few months later, Kyle agrees to pose as Zeke's radio personality, Lost Boy, in order to keep Sunny Lee (Hany Lee) from discovering the truth. Kyle bullies Harry Ramsay (Will Moore) and later asks his sister, Kate, to the Debutant Ball. Kate turns him down and Kyle ends up going to the Ball with Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie). When Libby suspects Kyle has not written his English essays himself, Sunny reveals Kyle is blackmailing her into writing them for him.
Kyle goes to Harold's Store and enquires about a job. He also asks Kate for a date and she agrees. The date ends when Declan starts a fight with Kyle. A few months later, Andrew Robinson convinces Rebecca Robinson (Jane Hall) to give Kyle a job at Charlie's. Kyle briefly dates Natasha Williams and competes with Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major) for the spare room at Kate's house. Kyle applies for a job with Lou Carpenter's (Tom Oliver) second hand car business and he is given a trial run. Kyle realises Lou does not trust him to close a sale and he quits. Lou apologies and Kyle asks for a pay rise and the chance to run the car yard on his own, which Lou agrees to. Kyle continues to have financial trouble, but he manages to get a job with Jade Mitchell. While running late to meet a client, Kyle accidentally moons some onlookers as he changes in his car. Mark Brennan charges him with indecent exposure and Kyle has to pay a fine, which leaves him without money for rent. Jade fires him, but Kate helps him out by employing him at Harold's Store for the day.
After Kyle fixes a chair, Lucas suggests he starts a handyman business and Kate helps him work out a budget. Kyle asks Kate on a date and she agrees. Kyle organises a sale at the car yard and it attracts the attention of Wes Holland, a corrupt police officer who threatens Kyle for money. Kyle turns to Mark for help and when Wes comes to collect his money, Mark arrests him. Kyle moves into Lyn Scully's (Janet Andrewartha) spare room and later rents the house from her. He asks Kate out again, but she turns him down. Kyle asks Jade to move in with him and when they have trouble raising the rent, Mark also moves in. Kyle quits his job, after he loses a car selling competition with Lou. He decides to set up a handyman business and Lou invests in it. Kyle and Jade kiss at their house warming party, but Kyle tells Jade that it did not mean anything. Mark leaves and Kyle and Jade struggle to find a new housemate. Kyle asks his friend Honga to move in, but Jade objects and asks Michelle Tran (HaiHa Le) to move in instead.
Kyle and Jade soon get fed up of Michelle, but they realise they cannot kick out because she is dating Lucas. Jade and Kyle have sex and agree to be friends with benefits. Kyle and Jade's initial attempts to get Michelle to leave fail, but she eventually leaves when Rhys Lawson (Ben Barber), posing as a property inspector, tells her she needs to pay for damages to the house. Michelle exposes Kyle and Jade's arrangement to Lucas and Sonya Mitchell (Eve Morey). Kyle goes on a date with Danielle Paquette (Georgia Bolton) and invites Rhys to move in. Kyle learns a shopping complex is being built in Erinsborough and realising it could ruin his new business, he starts a petition and teams up with Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) to stop the development. The company behind the development offer Kyle a large amount of money for his business, but he does not want to sell up. Kyle tells Jade he has feelings for her, but she rejects him. Kyle goes to Frankston to care for his sick mother and his cousin, Dane, comes to stay.
Kyle returns a few weeks later with his leg in plaster and he reveals he fell over his mother's dog. Kyle gives Jade a handmade photo frame for Christmas and they kiss. Jade opens up to him about her abusive ex-boyfriend and why she has commitment issues, but the moment is ruined when Kyle realises she had an affair with Malcolm Kennedy (Benjamin McNair). Kyle is angry with Jade and when she tells him she loves him, Kyle walks away. When Kyle learns Jade is leaving for Sydney, he races to Federation Square to stop her. Kyle believes he has missed Jade's coach, until she appears and reveals she stayed for him. When Jade fractures her toe, Kyle tries to look after her, but Jade will not let him. He later questions her about her ex-boyfriend and Jade tells him she is trying to get used to being in a relationship with him. Kyle becomes concerned when Kate takes off without telling anyone, but initially fails to notice Jade is put out by his concern for her. He later apologises and they make up.
Kyle asks Jade to meet his grandmother and move into his room, but she tells him she is not ready. However, Jade does tell him she loves him. Kyle's grandmother, Sheila, comes to visit and she initially mistakes Kate for Jade. Sheila later tells Kyle that she does not think Jade is the right girl for him. Kyle takes part in a bachelor auction for charity and Kate places the highest bid. However, Kyle cancels their date to go to Sydney with Jade. Kyle asks Kate to pose as his girlfriend to help woo some potential clients for Dial-A-Kyle. Kyle is wins the contract and during their celebration, he and Kate kiss. Kyle goes to tell Jade about the kiss, but she reveals that Troy Miller (Dieter Brummer) is her abusive ex and opens up to him. Jade later asks Kyle to move into her bedroom. Kate tells Jade about the kiss and Jade throws Kyle out. Sheila comes to visit Kyle and he tells her about his break up with Jade. She admits that she was wrong about him being right for Kate and tells him to try and win Jade back.
Jade allows Kyle to move back in and he organises a party for her when her singles boot camp is franchised. Jade reveals that she still loves him and they get back together. Kyle's cousin, Harley, turns up in a police car and Kyle takes him in. He calls Harley's mother and learns that he has been in trouble with the police before. Kyle then decides to take care of Harley and straighten him out. Kyle learns that Jade has been offered a chance to go to Los Angeles for six months to set up her singles boot camp franchise and he encourages her to go. When Jade tells Kyle that she has been offered the chance to stay in LA for a year, Kyle breaks up with her and explains that his life is in Erinsborough. Jade decides to stay, but Kyle tells her that she has to go and she leaves for Los Angeles. Kyle begins hanging out with Connor O'Neill (Patrick Harvey) and Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney). Harley's bad behaviour forces Kyle to contact Sheila and get her to take him back to Frankston. He later allows Chris Pappas to move in, but is surprised when Sheila also decides to stay.
Kyle develops feelings for Georgia Brooks, who is in a relationship with Scotty Boland. Kyle briefly dates Jana Noviac, but he breaks up with her as he does feel anything for her. Chris tells Kyle that Scotty made sexual advances towards him and Kyle tells Georgia. Kyle is devastated when Rhys dies and he has to break the news to Rhys' mother and ex-fiancée. Georgia and Kyle begin a relationship, after he helps her to get her job back at the hospital. They briefly break up when Georgia applies for an overseas job despite saying she would not. During an eclipse, Kyle looks at the sun and damages his eyesight. Kyle becomes frustrated when Georgia and Sheila try to help him. He decides to break up with Georgia and he then has a one-night stand with Kate. Feeling guilty, Kyle goes to Frankston. Upon his return, he makes up with Georgia and he gets his sight back. Kyle is adamant that Georgia can never know about his one-night stand. Kate has a pregnancy scare, but learns that she has premature ovarian failure instead. Seeing that her boyfriend is not supporting her, Kyle takes it upon himself to be there for Kate.
After accidentally spilling coffee on a stranger, Kyle buys her a new one and she flirts with him. Kyle later learns the stranger is Georgia's cousin Gemma Reeves (Kathryn Beck), who asks him to keep their first meeting a secret. When they catch Gem eavesdropping on their conversation, Kate and Kyle are convinced that she has heard them discussing their one-night stand. Instead Gem tells Georgia about her first meeting with Kyle, which briefly causes tension between Georgia and Kyle. Sheila encourages Kyle to propose to Georgia and gives him a ring, which he loses. Kyle and Georgia get engaged and decide to move into Number 24 together. After hacking into Kate's laptop, Gem finds an email from Kate to Kyle detailing their one-night stand, which she added to the congratulatory emails at Georgia and Kyle engagement party. Georgia reads the email and ends the engagement. She later asks Kyle to choose between her and Kate. Kyle tries to start a romantic relationship with Kate, but it does not feel right and he decides to break up with her. Before he does, Kyle learns that Georgia is pregnant. When Georgia tells Kyle that she is moving back home to be with her family, he manages to get her to change her mind by proving that he is able to take care of her and the baby financially. Kyle is devastated when Georgia suffers a miscarriage.
A writer for Holy Soap said Kyle's most memorable moment was "When he thought he had killed Zeke in the raft race disaster." Jaci Stephen of the Daily Mail branded the serial "The Kyle Show" after the character became the centre of more storylines in 2011. A What's on TV reporter called Kyle a "lovable troublemaker", while a Channel 5 writer thought he was a "cheeky chappy." A reporter from the Daily Record called Kyle a "wannabe-Romeo" during his pursuit of Kate. Another reporter said he was a "lovable idiot", which made him irresistible to Jade. Sarah Ellis of Inside Soap wondered how long Kyle and Jade's friends with benefits deal would last until they saw what the rest of the world could.
In October 2011, another reporter from the Daily Record praised Kyle's promotion to regular cast member, saying "whoever decided to bring him in on a permanent basis deserves a big pat on the back." The reporter added that Kyle had been a breath of fresh air ever since he moved into Ramsay Street. Cameron Adams of the Herald Sun called Jade and Kyle's relationship "bumpy" and he praised Milligan for not letting his torn Achilles stop his character from hobbling around on crutches. In 2012, Milligan was nominated for Best Daytime Star at the Inside Soap Awards.
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