Viewers of Neighbours who are old enough to remember the 1980s can only readily recollect a small number of characters.
Most likely, the list includes Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Madge and Harold, Henry, Paul, and Plain Jane Superbrain.
But the mild-mannered Dr. Clive Gibbons is sure to be another name in the mix for devoted Australian soap opera viewers.
When Clive, who owned a gorillagram agency, famously moved onto Ramsay Street in January 1986 dressed as a gorilla, Max Ramsay became enraged.
After starting a gardening business and letting Daphne move into a spare room when her engagement to Des fell through, the upbeat but slightly kooky character went on to save Lucy Robinson’s life by performing an emergency tracheotomy after she was stung by a bee, and eventually fall in love with Susan Cole. However, she eventually left Erinsborough when she realised she didn’t love him.
Geoff Paine, who played Clive, left the show in February 1987 after only a year because he was afraid of being typecast.
“I do remember wearing the gorilla suit, which we shot on day one for my character,” he subsequently recalled. I questioned whether this was the direction of show business and what on earth I was doing in this gorilla outfit. I simply dress odd, right?”
Geoff later remarked, “Clive was getting just too wonderful to be true. His decision to quit came shortly after co-star Peter O’Brien, who played Shane Ramsay, also left for a position on The Flying Doctors. Even though he was only 24 years old, the man devoted every free moment to either repairing Daphne’s coffee maker or someone else’s romantic life.
Geoff, a Melbourne native, returned to the position for the show’s 1000th episode two years later, but he left again almost as swiftly as he had come.
Since then, Geoff—who spent three years in drama school before landing his first-ever professional role on Neighbours—has made appearances on TV programmes like A Country Practise, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, and Mal.com, as well as in a number of theatrical productions, including the popular musical Hair.
According to reports, he also had twins in 1994.
But in a shocking turn of events in 2017, Geoff made his 18-year absence from Neighbours uproariously, with Clive Gibbons now serving as the hospital’s COO.
Geoff was obviously upset to learn that Neighbours will end in July 2022 after such a remarkable run, and he described recording the finale as “a little tearful. As everything draws to a close, you become aware that you’ll be wrapping up a tale or that this may be your final collaboration with a certain director or actor.
Thankfully, it was eventually discovered that Neighbours had been saved by Amazon Freevee and would be making a comeback in September. Geoff might even join the journey once more.