Stuart Parker (Neighbours)
|Portrayed by||Blair McDonough|
|First appearance||13 December 2001|
|Last appearance||5 April 2006|
|Introduced by||Stanley Walsh|
Stuart Parker is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Blair McDonough. He made his first appearance on 13 December 2001. Stuart lived with Toadfish Rebecchi and Connor O'Neill at number 30, during which time the house became known as "The House of Trouser". Stuart's storylines included becoming a policeman, temporarily losing his eyesight, joining a cult, which almost cost him his friendships and marrying Sindi Watts. Stuart departed on 5 April 2006 after McDonough quit to pursue other projects.
In 2001, McDonough became a runner-up in the first series of Australian Big Brother and his looks and personality attracted the attentions of the Neighbours' bosses. McDonough had mentioned on Big Brother that he wanted to be an actor and as Neighbours was run on the same network, they believed that it be a good cross-promotion if McDonough joined the cast. McDonough had to audition for the part of Stuart Parker and he said "I didn't really prepare that much, I just went in and did it". He was offered the part, which was supposed to be for three months. Shortly before his debut episode aired, McDonough had his three month contract doubled and producers hoped the actor would commit to a permanent role.
McDonough quit the show in October 2005 after four years to move to the UK. A spokeswoman said "It was an enormous opportunity... and he's a bit sad leaving Ramsay Street because he's had a great time. But it's time to move on."
Stuart turns up in Erinsborough and his friend, Drew Kirk allows him to stay with him and his wife Libby. Stuart is a trained mechanic and was given a job at Carpenter Mechanics. Stuart begins a relationship with Dee Bliss and she invites him to move into Number 30. Stuart's ex-fiancee, Tracey Slattery shows up in Ramsay Street and Stuart explained that she had cheated on him on the eve of their wedding. Upon Tracey's departure, Stuart and Dee split up. Stuart then begins to develop feelings for Felicity Scully. Stuart then decides to join the army, but he isn't happy and decides to take a job as a hospital porter instead. Following Drew's death, Stuart promises Libby that he will be there for her and he quit his job at the hospital. Shortly after becoming a couple, Felicity tells Stuart that she is leaving for New York. Stuart proposes to her and she accepts. Once Felicity had left, Stuart began spending time with Libby and her son, Ben. Stuart later admits that he had made a mistake getting engaged and calls Felicity to tell her their relationship is over. Stuart found the garage hard to run by himself, and he took on Stephanie Scully. Stuart was accused of causing Dee's death when the car Toadie was driving on their wedding day was not deemed roadworthy.
Stuart meets Jonathan Verne at a festival and he tells him about his group, 'Life Mechanics'. Stuart joins the group and ignores his friends who say he is joining a cult. He began to spend more time with Jonathan and he started running his own meetings. His friends began to turn against him. It was then revealed that Jonathan had been conning money out of people all over the country. Stuart retreated away from everyone for a while, before making it up to them. Stuart then applies to be a police officer. On his first day, Stuart is partnered with Olivia McPherson, they get on well and Stuart begins to develop a crush on Olivia. However, when he discovers she is corrupt, he reports her. Stuart wasn't getting on well with Toadie's new girlfriend, Sindi Watts, but during an argument, they kiss. Sindi told Toadie, and they stayed together. When Toadie breaks up with her, Stuart and Sindi begin a secret relationship.
During a fire at the pub, Stuart tries to rescue Sindi, but the pub collapses and traps them. When they are rescued it was discovered that Stuart had severe injuries to his eyes. The Helen Daniels Trust donated money to Stuart so he could have an operation to fix his sight. Stuart grew suspicious about Sindi's behaviour when his friends began to get injured. Liljana Bishop slipped off a ladder and Susan Kennedy hit her head on a cupboard door, while Sindi was around. Sindi tells Stuart that she is jinxed and goes through hypnotherapy treatment. Sindi then proposed to Stuart, who accepted. Stuart began to grow suspicious of Sindi again when he found out that his friend, Trent Hoffa was hit by a car. After confronting Sindi, Stuart was forced to apologize when Trent woke up and said the driver had dark hair and glasses. Sindi showed up at Stuart's bucks' night, but when Toadie claims to have seen her, Stuart doesn't believe him. On the day of the wedding, Toadie finds evidence that proves Sindi was there. However, he knocks himself out and Sindi takes the evidence. Upon waking, Toadie goes to the church and tries to stop the ceremony. Stuart punches him and he and Sindi marry. Toadie turns up during the honeymoon with the evidence about Sindi. Stuart witnesses Sindi pushing Toadie down some stairs and realises that Toadie was right. Sindi is taken to a psychiatric ward and Stuart tells that he will stand by her. Sindi asks for an annulment and tells him that she is transferring to another clinic. When Stuart's father hurt his back and was unable to work, Stuart argued with his brother, Ned, about which one of them would return home to help out. Stuart puts his sergeant's exam on hold and calls Sindi to ask if she would join him in Oakey. She agrees and he departs Ramsay Street with Angie and Kevin Rebecchi.
For his portrayal of Stuart, McDonough was nominated for a Logie Award for Most Popular New Male Talent at the 2002 ceremony. Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald praised McDonough's performance during his debut, writing "He is, in fact, a surprise: a perfectly adequate performer, considering he comes with no formal qualification in drama." In July 2004, British newspaper The Daily Mail called Stuart a "resident heartthrob" and added that he was "down-to-earth". Nick Levine of media and entertainment website Digital Spy included McDonough in a picture feature of male soap stars.
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- Duck, Siobhan (13 August 2008). "Neighbours' Blair McDonough on why Big Brother got bad". Herald Sun. Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Miller, Kylie (22 November 2001). "Networking". The Age. Fairfax Media. p. 14. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- Wilkes, Neil (13 October 2005). "'Neighbours' star quits, moves to UK". Digital Spy. Digital Spy Limited. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Ede, Charisse (3 April 2002). "TV's longest night is back". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
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- Levine, Nick (13 January 2008). "Gay Spy picture special: Soap Stars part 2". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Stuart Parker at Perfectblend