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Neighbours Jemma Donovan’s life – popstar father, Amanda Holden mix-up and spin-off fame

In Neighbours, Corey seeks vengeance on Harlow when her affair with Ned is revealed.

Jemma Donovan, who plays Harlow Robinson on Ramsay Street, has a less dramatic but equally interesting life off-screen, with family ties to Neighbours co-stars, a famous popstar father, and revealing her dream role outside of Ramsay Street.

Harlow has become a fan favourite among Neighbours viewers since her debut in 2019 as the daughter of Paul Robinson’s wicked son Robert Robinson. She even teamed up with TV star Amanda Holden in a recent plot.

The Daily Star takes a glimpse inside the lives of actress Jemma Donovan as her character Harlow’s life takes a drastic turn.

Fame for spin-off

Jemma had a connection to Neighbours before joining the renowned Australian soap in 2019, as she played Harlow Robinson in the spin-off series Erinsborough High for four episodes, a role she would later play in Neighbours.

The series covers what happens behind the doors of the town’s famous High School, where several Ramsay Street residents, including Libby and Susan Kennedy, have worked in the past.

Jemma had appearances in the TV series Spotless and the TV film Mr Stink in 2015 before becoming famous for her role as Harlow Robinson on Ramsay Street.

Jemma did admit to feeling pressured to prove herself to fans after earning the role of Harlow, telling The Mirror: “I think, at the beginning, I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to make sure that I establish myself here as well, and not just come on because of the family name in that way.”

“I guess there was some pressure, but I had a great time establishing myself.”

Fantasy role

Neighbours fans were upset when it was announced earlier this year that the popular serial would be ending after 37 years.

Jemma has opened up about the next step of her career in an interview with Digital Spy, revealing the character she would like to play next.

“At the moment, my objective is to be in a period drama,” Jemma stated.

“That’s exactly what I’d like to do.” It would also bring me back home, which I believe would be fantastic. I’ve never done anything like that before.

“So it doesn’t really matter to me as long as I’m doing what I love for the rest of my life.” As long as I’m satisfied. I’ll also go by ear, because I’m that way in life, and see what I want to do on any given day.”

Pop artist father

Since many Neighbours fans are aware, Jemma is not the first Donovan to appear on Ramsay Street, as her father Jason played Scott Robinson on the drama from 1986 to 1989.

With over 20 million viewers coming in to attend Scott and Charlene’s wedding in 1988, his character Scott Robinson was in a romance with Charlene, played by music icon Kylie Minogue.

After leaving the drama, Kylie and Jason embarked on a singing career that catapulted them to new heights of recognition around the world, culminating in the release of their duet Especially for You.

Following the success of Especially For You, which has become a slow dance classic throughout the years, Jason went on to create singles like When You Come Back To Me and Sealed With A Kiss, garnering four No. 1 hits during his stint with Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

Jason Donovan has also appeared in hit musicals like as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where his song Any Dream Will Do was a Top Ten hit.

Viewers also went crazy over the news that Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue would be reprising their roles as Scott and Charlene Robinson on Neighbours, with Jemma already hinting that fans will be overjoyed with the show’s conclusion.

“Our fans are so committed in the show,” she told The Mirror, “and I adore that they examine and analyse even the tiniest element — now that’s devotion!”

“I know our fans are going to be blown away by the finale, which is going to be really joyous… But that’s all I have to say for now!”

Jemma stated on ITV’s Lorraine that her father was her biggest supporter after she landed the role of Harlow Robinson, claiming that he started crying when he found out.

“He’s just so pleased,” Jemma added.

A well-known family

Terrance Donovan, Jemma’s grandfather, joined the soap in 1990 as Doug Willis, demonstrating that acting talent runs in the family.

He played Doug for more than 26 years, until his character died outside Lassister’s hotel in 2016.

Her aunt is also a known face to Neighbours viewers, since she is none other than Stephanie McIntosh, who portrayed Sky Mangel from 2003 to 2007.

She returned in 2015 for a brief cameo, and then again in 2020 as a police investigator investigating Finn Kelly’s death.

Although Jemma’s mother kept a low public profile, it is reported that she worked as a stage manager in London on a performance of The Rocky Horror Show, where she met her future husband Jason Donovan.

The couple married in 2008 and have three children, one of whom is Jemma.

Mix-up with Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden, a former contestant on Britain’s Got Talent and a radio broadcaster, recently starred in Neighbours as Harriet, the aunt of Jemma Donovan’s character Harlow Robinson.

Following the death of her mother Prue, previously played by Denise Van Outen, Harlow travelled to London to meet her aunt.

However, Amanda has subsequently revealed that many people mistakenly thought Jemma was her daughter while filming, telling the Daily Star: “The amount of times people stopped to ask, ‘Is that your daughter, Amanda?'” We have a striking resemblance in appearance. We both have fairly high foreheads and small round faces!

“She’s just so cool and sweet, and I clearly know her father.”

“I adore him and his entire family, so being a part of that was incredible.” And it’s all so camp!”

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