Shane Ramsay

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Shane Ramsay
Shane Ramsay.jpg
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Peter O'Brien
Duration 1985–1987
First appearance 18 March 1985
Last appearance 3 March 1987
Created by Reg Watson
Introduced by Reg Watson
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Gardener
Chauffeur
Home Queensland

Shane Ramsay is a fictional character from the Australian Network Ten soap opera Neighbours, played by Peter O'Brien. He made his first appearance on-screen in the first Neighbours episode on 18 March 1985. Shane is the son of Max and Maria Ramsay. His storylines included training to be an Olympic swimmer, being injured in two car crashes and his relationship with Daphne Lawrence. Shane departed on 3 March 1987. He appeared in 290 episodes.[1]

Casting[edit]

Peter O'Brien auditioned for the role of Shane Ramsay twice in 1984 and following the cancellation of medical series Starting Out, he was cast as the older Ramsay brother.[2][3] O'Brien made his debut in Neighbours' first episode. Shane was one of Reg Watson's original Neighbours characters.[4] The role of Shane made O'Brien a household name in his home country of Australia and overseas.[5] Stefan Dennis originally auditioned for the role of Shane, but he was later cast as Paul Robinson instead.[6] In the video The Official Neighbours Special: The First Ten Years, released in 1995, O'Brien said that he was working in England at the time when he received the role of Shane and he was not expecting Neighbours to last more than two years.[7]

O'Brien decided to leave Neighbours in 1986 as he had had enough of the show.[3] The Grundy Organisation tried to convince O'Brien to stay, fearing that the show would suffer from his departure, but O'Brien was determined to move on.[3]

Characterisation[edit]

Shane was described by Network Ten as a "very together guy, despite being deprived of a normal childhood because of his father's obsession with his diving training".[3] They also added that Shane had independence and an "inner strength".[3] O'Brien described the character of Shane as "a bit of a misfit".[7]

Storylines[edit]

Shane Ramsay was born shortly after his parents Max (Francis Bell) and Maria (Dasha Blahova) moved to Ramsay Street and Shane became best friends with his next door neighbour, Paul Robinson. Shane enjoyed swimming and Max entered him into an Under-12s swimming team in the hope that Shane would make it to the Olympics one day. To Max's dismay, Shane's training regime is regularly interrupted by girls wanting to get a glimpse of him in his Speedos. Shane falls for Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith) and they begin dating. Max is annoyed when Daphne moves in several doors down with Des Clarke (Paul Keane) as his lodger, as Daphne is a stripper. Shane and his younger brother Danny (David Clencie) are involved in a head-on car crash with bank robber, Gordon Miller (Red Symons), which kills Gordon's accomplice and leaves Shane with a back injury that dashes all hopes of him competing in the Olympics. Shane tries to become an air steward like Paul but his injury prevents him from doing so.

Daphne and Shane break up when Daphne realises she loves Des. Shane then dates plumber, Terry Inglis (Maxine Klibingaitis) , who works for Max. When Terry mentions that Gordon is her ex-husband, he is shocked and Gordon escapes prison and menaces Terry and Max but Shane is able to alert the police and he is returned to jail. Terry later marries Paul and Shane resumes his relationship with Daphne but once again, they break up and Daphne goes on to marry Des. Shane forms a gardening service with local doctor Clive Gibbons (Geoff Paine). Shane is worried when their first client, Beth Travers (Virginia Hey) begins showering him with gifts after he has sex with her. Beth later locks Shane in her wine cellar, but eventually releases him. Mike Young (Guy Pearce) asks Shane to coach him when he joins the school diving team and Shane takes a risk by diving for the first time since the crash. Shane then enrols in a business class and change his life.

Following Max's departure to reconcile with Maria in Queensland, Shane's uncle Tom (Gary Files), aunt Madge (Anne Charleston) and her daughter Charlene (Kylie Minogue) move in. Shane is involved in another car crash, which results in the death of Tom's friend, Jean Richards (Margot Knight). Shane is charged with manslaughter, but the charges are later dropped when a witness comes forward. Shane's cousin Henry (Craig McLachlan) moves in after he is paroled following a three year prison sentence for robbery. Shane is hostile towards Henry, as he has prior form for theft, and begrudgingly shares his room with him. When Shane loses $100, he is quick to blame Henry, but forced to apologise when the money turns up. Shane then moves out of Number 24 and leaves to travel around Australia.

Reception[edit]

For his portrayal of Shane Ramsay, O'Brien won the 'Most Popular New Talent' award at the 1986 Logie Awards[8] The following year, O'Brien won the 'Most Popular Actor' award.[9]

Virgin Media branded the character as a retro soap hunk in a special feature reported on their website, stating: "Shane Ramsay in Neighbours possibly had the best mullet ever seen in soap history. But he was kind and was like an older brother but with the advantages of not being related."[10] They also branded O'Brien as one of Neighbours most popular cast members in the history of the series for his portrayal of Shane.[11] Lorna Cooper of MSN TV listed Shane as one of Soap Opera's "forgotten characters" and also brands him as Neighbours' "first major hunk".[12]

Ruth Deller of television website Lowculture gave Shane a 3.5 out of 5 for his contribution to Neighbours, during a feature called "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons".[13] Deller said "The mullet-tastic Shane was the 'housewife's choice' back in the 80s, something that has served actor Peter O'Brien well over the years".[13] She added "He was in love with Daphne (and for a while the actors playing them had a romance in real-life) and was heartbroken when she ended up with Des Clarke".[13]

Telecommunications network Orange profiled past Neighbours characters, in this feature they joke about Shane's most memorable stating: "Being involved in a dramatic car crash, which shattered the talented diver’s dream of competing in the Olympics. Worse still, it meant soap fans never got to see Shane in his Speedos again. Sigh…"[14]

In her book "Soap opera", Dorothy Hobson describes Shane and his family as "more working class than other characters", also stating: "They had working-class jobs but were not represented as cloth cap wearing or dowdy, they were bright and modern and representative of a vibrant and working population."[15] Andrew Mercado in his book Super Aussie Soaps brands the Ramsay family as being the backbone of the serial during the early years.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://perfectblend.net/reference/charactercounts/index.htm
  2. ^ Kennedy, Victoria (14 July 2007). "Exclusive: Peter O'Brien". The Mirror. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Oram, James (1988). Neighbours: behind the scenes. Angus & Robertson. p. 96. ISBN 0-207-16075-9. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Lorna (17 March 2010). "TV's Neighbours: where are they now? Peter O'Brien - then". MSN TV. Microsoft. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Cooper, Lorna (17 March 2010). "TV's Neighbours: where are they now? Peter O'Brien - now". MSN TV. Microsoft. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Stefan Dennis (Neighbours' Paul Robinson) Interview". Last Broadcast. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Peter O'Brien (1995). The Official Neighbours Special: The First Ten Years (VHS production). Network Ten. 
  8. ^ "28th Logie Award Winners". TV Week. Ninemsn. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "29th Logie Award Winners". TV Week. Ninemsn. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Retro soap hunks - Shane Ramsay". Virgin Media. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Retro soap hunks - Peter O'Brien". Virgin Media. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Cooper, Lorna (20 September 2010). "Neighbours' Shane Ramsay - Soap's forgotten characters". MSN. (Microsoft). Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Deller, Ruth (23 July 2009). "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Lowculture. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Neighbours stars: where are they now?". Orange.co.uk. (France Télécom). Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Hobson, Dorothy (2003). Soap opera. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 0-7456-2655-6. 
  16. ^ Mercado, Andrew (2004). Super Aussie soaps: behind the scenes of Australia's best loved TV shows. Pluto Press Australia. p. 230. ISBN 1-86403-191-3.