Colette Mann, who portrayed Sheila Canning on Neighbours from 2012 until 2022, has revealed Kyle Canning and Roxy Willis’ departures from the programme, which is due to happen next month.
Since her debut on Australian television in May 2012, Sheila Canning has been a forceful presence on Ramsay Street. However, she’s been noticeably absent in recent weeks, abruptly disappearing from screens in an unusual instance of a long-running figure disappearing off-screen.
Sheila’s off-screen exit saw her fly to New York to see her daughter Naomi, who was in hospital with her partner. Sheila boarded an aircraft to join Naomi in the United States, initially on a temporary basis, but her stay was extended after Naomi’s boyfriend died, leaving Naomi to raise three children alone.
Now, Sheila’s actress Colette Mann has hinted that she won’t be the only Canning to leave Erinsborough in the coming months, as the programme nears its conclusion.
Colette confirmed that Chris Milligan (Kyle Canning) and Zima Anderson (Roxy Willis) will both departing the programme in the near future in an interview with Hospital Radio Reading’s Isolation Interviews, and that their departures influenced her choice to leave Neighbours.
Collette told presenter Matthew Rolland, “Another reason for my wanting to leave is that Kyle and Roxy are leaving really soon.” “And Richie, who plays Levi, wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to continue on until June, so I didn’t want to be stuck behind the bar, saying, ‘What can I get you, love?’ with no family.”
“So I decided that it was time for me to go, and it would be better if I went first.”
Chris Milligan’s departure from the programme has long been speculated, and it was widely assumed that his character Kyle would die at the start of the 2022 season.
Instead, Kyle recovered completely from his testicular cancer diagnosis, and Britney Barnes (Montana Cox) was the one who killed when a telegraph pole struck the Flamingo Bar.
However, rumours about his departure persisted, and it appears that supporters were right to be concerned. A number of the cast members were observed at what was generally assumed to be a leaving party for actors Chris and Zima shortly before the news surfaced that Channel 5 would stop broadcasting Neighbours this summer, a move that has resulted in the show being cancelled entirely.
Newlyweds Kyle and Roxy are currently attempting to become parents, with Roxy wishing to become pregnant as soon as possible. With their departure rumoured to be just a month away, the characters appear to be heading for a happy ending.
Colette revealed that the gruelling hours on Neighbours contributed to her decision to quit. Kyle and Roxy’s departure wasn’t the only cause for Colette’s departure.
“I’ll be honest with you, it wore me down like any work,” Collette admitted. “And after ten years, any job would wear you down, but the hours and everything were just becoming too much.”
Sheila, the persona she played for ten years, was an emphatic “no” when asked if she would miss her.
“The fans take it so personally when you leave,” Colette joked, “and it’s a job.” You can quit any job. They wouldn’t be so furious if I worked in a bank and then left.
“It got to the point where she couldn’t do anything else, and I was simply repeating myself week after week.” I was performing the same plots with slightly different characters, and – not that I’m complaining; I had a lovely ten years on the show – but I simply come to the end of it and think, ‘I think I’ve done it all; I don’t think there’s anything further I can do,’ and that’s how I felt with Sheila.”
She also expressed her satisfaction with her character’s abrupt farewell.
“The fans appeared to think I needed to get into the infamous Ramsay Street taxi, which I didn’t want, so I was quite satisfied with how things turned out.”
“Well, I loved my family, and I loved working with people like Chris Milligan and Damien Richardson, and Morgana O’Reilly, and then of course, Richie Morris, and then just towards the end of my time, Roxy Willis, which is Zima Anderson [who] came into the family as being married to Kyle,” Colette said of her favourite aspect of being a part of Neighbours.
“I was fortunate in that we got along with everyone that came into my family, and I was fortunate in that I was able to work with some excellent performers.”
“Seeing those people every day was the thrill of coming to work.”
Colette also said that she isn’t a big fan of Neighbours and will just watch it until the conclusion.
She admitted, “I don’t watch it every night anymore.” “I used to, but not anymore.” I’ll watch it if Richie [Morris] texts me and says, ‘I want you to watch tonight,’ or anything, but I’m not going to watch it all the way through.”
The departure of Kyle and Roxy is set to air in the UK in mid-April.
After the departures of Sheila, Kyle, and Roxy, Levi is the only remaining Canning on the programme, as well as the last inhabitant of No. 26 Ramsay Street.
This has sparked discussion about who will move into No. 26 if Levi does not want to stay there alone.
There is conjecture that the Rodwell family — Sergeant Andrew Rodwell (Lloyd May), wife Wendy (Candice Leask), and daughter Sadie (Emerald Chan) – will be moving to the street, as we mentioned in our previous Neighbours Arrivals and Departures piece.
With only about 5 months until the final episode of the show airs in the UK, it’s likely that if the Rodwells are set to move to Ramsay Street, they’ll do so sooner rather than later.