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Thread: Jane Harris (Annie Jones)

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Jane Harris (Annie Jones)

    Neighbours bosses have announced that Jane Harris – aka Plain Jane Superbrain – is making an exciting return to the Aussie soap.

    Annie Jones has reprised the role for the first time since 2005, when she appeared briefly in the show's 20th anniversary celebrations.

    Jane was a regular on Neighbours between 1986 and 1989 and was a close friend of Kylie Minogue's iconic character Charlene Mitchell.

    Originally portrayed as a nerdy bookworm – which earned her the 'Plain Jane' nickname on screen – the popular Erinsborough resident later underwent a glamorous makeover.

    Neighbours chiefs have now teased that Jane has some unfinished business on Ramsay Street and will be heading back with a mission to rectify the past.

    This is sure to mean crossing paths with Paul Robinson, the only regular character left who has history with Jane.

    Speaking about her shock comeback, Annie explained: "I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to return to Neighbours. As an actor, the best thing you can be is a working actor.

    "I've done a lot of guest roles but usually very short-lived, so this has been lovely to come back for an extended period and really get my teeth into a part."

    Stefan Dennis, who plays Paul, added: "This is going to sound terribly gushy, Annie is just the same as she was on the show 30 years ago – kind, funny and just a beautiful person to be around. I've loved having her back on set."

    Neighbours fans will see Jane make her return in early April.

    Show producer Jason Herbison commented: "Annie is a beloved star from the golden era of Neighbours and we are honoured to have her back on the show. She had a very interesting take on what her character Jane might be up to nowadays and we incorporated it into the storyline. There's warmth and nostalgia, yet also a very fascinating character journey."

    Greg Barnett, Channel 5's Commissioning Editor of Factual Entertainment added: "Neighbours fans across the world will be absolutely thrilled to hear that Plain Jane Superbrain is coming back to their screens. We're so pleased that Annie Jones has returned to the show and can't wait for our viewers to find out why Jane is back."

    Digital Spy

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  3. #2
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    Luv Annie Jones. It will be great to see her back for a little while.

    This is the TV Week story on her return:

    'Being Famous Is Frightening

    Neighbours star Annie Jones Opens Up About An Unsettling Side Of Fame.

    She starred in Neighbours at the height of its popularity. But far from relishing being in the spotlight, actress Annie Jones sometimes found it rather terrifying.

    "It was a little scary," Annie, 51, tells TV WEEK. "It was almost like Beatlemania, especially when we did a trip to London. It was just insane - quite frightening."

    Now, the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning actress, who played Jane Harris in the iconic series from 1986 to 1989, is returning to the soap in an extended guest role.

    It marks something of a comeback for Annie, who, apart from some small guest roles, has been mostly absent from our screens.

    "I've had quite a bit of time away from full-on work because I was a carer for my mother, who had Alzheimer's," she explains.

    Annie approached Neighbours about returning to the show. She even pitched some story ideas to the producers for Jane's return to Erinsborough.

    "I did have a couple of suggestions, but I've been sworn to secrecy," Annie teases. "I'm not allowed to say a word."

    What Annie can tell us is that her character has changed a lot since her "Plain Jane Superbrain" days in the late 1980s.

    "Jane has been looking after Mrs Mangel [who was played by the late Vivean Gray] in London for the past 28 years," she says.

    "So a lot of Mrs Mangel's views and attitudes have been rubbed off on Jane. She's kind of absorbed that, because she's been locked away in 'Mrs Mangel's World' for so long."

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  5. #3
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    Neighbours: first look at Plain Jane Superbrain’s return.

    What brings Mrs Mangel's granddaughter back to Erinsborough?

    Neighbours has released the first pictures of fan favourite Jane Harris’s return to Ramsay Street, as she catches newcomer Chloe Brennan in a very compromising position in the Rebecchis’ swimming pool. What would Mrs Mangel say?

    Chloe is busy entertaining Lassiters employee Brandon Danker as she tries to wangle a job at the hotel complex using her powers of seduction. She’s put the guy down as a fake referee on her somewhat-exaggerated CV, but plans to charm him into going along with her fraud by inviting him to the Rebecchi spa when Mishti lets slip the house will be empty for a while.

    As the minxy Ms Brennan turns up the passion in the pool, the canoodling couple are confronted by an unexpected visitor – a prim and proper middle-aged woman who is not at all impressed with what she sees.

    Plain Jane Superbrain, as she was known back in the day during her original Neighbours stint from 1986-1989, was a former resident of Number 32, but why she’s back after all this time remains a closely-guarded secret for now.

    Why has Jane suddenly reappeared? And judging by her outfit, what on earth happened to her legendary makeover where she ditched the glasses? She’s looking pretty daggy these days…

    Neighbours airs Jane’s return on Friday 6 April at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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  7. #4
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    Digital Spy article with a bit of background on Jane Harris, for those unfamiliar with her past on Ramsay Street:

    Neighbours: Who is Plain Jane Superbrain? 6 things you need to know about the classic character.

    A Ramsay Street icon returns! But why all the fuss?

    Much excitement surrounds the return of Jane Harris to Neighbours after almost 30 years today (bar a cameo in 2005). The character was around in the soap's golden Scott and Charlene era of the late 1980s, when Neighbours started to really catch on in the UK – so for nostalgic viewers of a certain age it's the next best thing to Kylie making a comeback. Kind of.

    If you've forgotten what geek-turned-glamourpuss 'Plain' Jane got up to during her original stint, or you don't have the foggiest who this middle-aged woman in unflattering specs is, here's a quick recap on the life story of a true Ramsay Street legend.

    1. She had the most famous makeover in TV history

    Circa 1986, swotty schoolgirl Jane moved in with her gossiping gran Mrs Mangel when her parents went to live it up in Hong Kong. She was not-very-affectionately nicknamed Plain Jane Superbrain because of her dowdy dress sense and uncool academic prowess, but trendy tomboy Charlene Mitchell befriended the blonde and helped give her a makeover to entice classroom spunk Mike Young (one Guy Pearce – whatever happened to him?).

    Ditching the glasses, trowelling on the make-up and using an entire can of hairspray, Jane went from daggy dork to delectable diva. Much more glam than Charlene's greasy mechanic vibe, no?

    2. She was Scott and Charlene's bridesmaid

    Angry Anderson starts warbling, the soft focus lens comes on, Madge dabs her tears – we've all seen Scott and Charlene's iconic wedding clip a zillion times, and the bride's BFF Jane was there as bridesmaid alongside the groom's little sister Lucy.

    Sporting a shiny, and possibly flammable, peach dress, nothing screams '80s fashion like Jane's garish gown.

    3. She was a top model

    Working as Paul Robinson's secretary at Lassiters, an impromptu snap of Jane doing a Marilyn Monroe-style dress twirl pose caught the eye of the big bosses who made Jane the face of a major ad campaign, dubbing her the 'Lassiters Girl' and launching a modelling career.

    But our Jane was about brains as well as beauty, and her job at Lassiters saw her climb the corporate ladder to success as a businesswoman.

    4. Her mum was a total horror

    A few years after abandoning Jane without a second thought, her nasty mum Amanda came to visit and we got an insight into Jane's unhappy childhood. Jealous of her meek daughter's makeover and new-found confidence, glamorous but ageing Amanda encouraged Jane to return to her old ugly-duckling image so she'd get all the attention.

    Turns out she was only back in Erinsborough because she'd fled Hong Kong after committing fraud, so Jane and Mrs M sent the poisonous parent packing.

    5. She was a maneater

    THAT makeover made sweet Jane instantly irresistible to the local menfolk, and she racked up quite a few conquests in her time. Dreamy Mike was her first love, despite Mrs Mangel's initial disapproval, but his jealousy over other fellas gawping at her (can you blame them?) and the fact he cheated (was he mad?) eventually caused them to drift apart.

    Scandalously, Jane and Scott kissed during a brief spark of attraction which almost ended his marriage to Charlene, but they put it behind them when she threatened to leave town to escape the shame.

    Jane also fell for wealthy older guy Mark Granger, but their engagement was short-lived thanks to interference from his horrible mum, who made Mrs Mangel look like Susan Kennedy. Which brings us to her last suitor and exit from Erinsborough…

    6. She chose her gran over a guy

    In 1989, Jane inexplicably fell for widowed neighbour Des Clarke, who was grieving over the loss of wife Daphne in a car crash and struggling as a single parent to young son Jamie. To put the randomness of this age-gap romance into contemporary context, imagine if Xanthe suddenly got off with Toadie – yep, that's as icky as this was.

    Jane and Des got engaged, but news that Mrs Mangel, who had relocated to the UK by this time, had suffered a heart attack caused her to drop everything to be at her grandmother's side. She promised Des she'd return for their wedding but it never happened and she settled in England to care for her dear old Nan.

    Apparently, Mrs Mangel has tasked Jane with a mission in her old neighbourhood to clear up some unfinished business – did she leave something behind all those years ago?

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  9. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    divorced with 2 kids, will they be introduced?

  10. #6
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    She hasn't aged very well.

  11. #7
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    Well she is 50 and looks like she's ageing gracefully and naturally. Much prefer that to the hollywood actresses with all the fake looking plastic surgery

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  13. #8
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    I enjoyed her scene with Paul

  14. #9
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    Digital Spy article:

    Neighbours reveals Jane Harris's big secret after a horror accident.

    Shane and Dipi are shocked by what she's been hiding.

    Neighbours finally exposes Jane Harris's secret next week as her covert behaviour leads to a shock accident.

    Jane (Annie Jones) has harboured a secret interest in Number 32 – her old home – ever since she arrived back on Ramsay Street earlier this month.

    Next week's episodes see Jane continue to scheme as she hatches a plan to get Shane Rebecchi and his family out of the house for a while.

    Jane convinces Dipi that she should enter her whole family into the Face of Lassiters competition, knowing that it'll keep them distracted for a few hours.

    Once the family are out, Jane seizes this opportunity by digging up their garden as soon as their backs are turned.

    Unfortunately, Jane's sneaky behaviour comes at a cost as she accidentally strikes a cable from the garden lights and receives a severe electric shock.

    Thrown to the ground by the force of the electricity, Jane is knocked unconscious and lies alone until Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) arrives by chance.

    Although Karl manages to revive Jane, she's left with some major explaining to do when Shane and Dipi arrive home and demand an explanation.

    Finally telling them everything, Jane reveals that she's been looking for some stamps that once belonged to her gran, Mrs Mangel.

    The stamps are very valuable and Jane needs to find and sell them so that she can afford to put her nan into care.

    Although Shane and Dipi aren't impressed by all the lies and secrecy, they do eventually take pity on Jane and suggest that they could all team up to find the stamps together. Will Jane find what she's looking for?

    Neighbours airs these scenes on Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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  16. #10
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    Digital Spy article:

    Neighbours confirms a sad death as Plain Jane Superbrain leaves again.

    She receives the news that Mrs Mangel has passed away.

    Neighbours waves goodbye to Jane Harris again next week as her guest stint comes to an end.

    Actress Annie Jones has recently reappeared on the Aussie soap, reprising the role of Jane more than 30 years after her Ramsay Street debut.

    The popular character's final week on our screens will see Neighbours confirm a sad death, as Jane receives the news that her grandmother Mrs Mangel has passed away.

    Viewers know that Jane has been living with Mrs Mangel in London for many years. In real life, Vivean Gray – who played the unforgettable Mrs Mangel in the '80s – died in 2016 at the age of 92.

    Early next week, Jane spends time with Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) and they both surprise themselves by opening up to each other.

    Jane admits that she feels resentful over having to put her life on hold to look after her nan. Although she feels like she has a weight off her shoulders after making the difficult confession, Jane soon receives the terrible news that Mrs Mangel has passed away.

    Jane feels particularly guilty that her nan passed while she was half way around the world and makes immediate arrangements to go home for the funeral.

    Before Jane goes, there's a touching moment when Paul gives her the painting of Mrs Mangel from the hotel lobby as a gift.

    When the picture is taken out of its frame ready for transport, there's a surprise discovery as a book of valuable stamps is found inside – exactly the thing that Jane came to Ramsay Street hoping to track down.

    Now confident that she has some extra money to set her up as she starts living her life again, Jane says a bittersweet goodbye to Erinsborough – with Paul expressing hopes that she'll be back for another visit soon. Could we see Plain Jane Superbrain back again?

    Neighbours airs these scenes on Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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