'Neighbours' Annie Jones to return after 20 year career break to care for mother

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
Annie Jones (r) and Charlotte Chimes (l)  are joining the cast of 'Neighbours' as Jane Harris and her daughter. (Channel 5)
Annie Jones (r) and Charlotte Chimes (l) are joining the cast of 'Neighbours' as Jane Harris and her daughter. (Channel 5)

Neighbours star Annie Jones is returning to Ramsay Street after taking a 20 year career break.

The 52-year-old actress starred in the Australian soap opera as schoolgirl ‘Plain Jane Superbrain’ Harris back in the 1980s, alongside Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pierce.

Jones left the show in 1989 and put her acting career on hold for 20 years to care for her mother Elizabeth after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

She told the Daily Mirror: “I left just after Kylie and Jason, it was my decision. I just wanted to do other things, join other shows and do other jobs. A great number of actors had gone on to do amazing things after Neighbours.

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Cast members from the Australian soap opera 'Neighbours', (l-r) Craig McLachlan (Henry), Annie Jones (Jane) and Stefan Dennis (Paul), in London. They are looking forward to performing in front of royalty - alongside other residents of Ramsay Street - as the cast of 'Neighbours' are appearing at the Palladium in the Royal Variety Show.
Neighbours star Annie Jones with co--stars Craig McLachlan and Stefan Dennis in the 80s. (PA)

“I don’t regret it. It’s probably made me a better person in many ways. I think you learn from the stuff that life throws at you, that’s what it’s all about, life experiences.

“Anyone who has had anything to do with Alzheimer's or dementia will know what it's like. It's heartbreaking, seeing someone disappear before your eyes.”

Jones’ mother sadly passed away in 2016 and after making a guest appearance as part of Neighbours’ 35th anniversary celebrations in March, the actress is set to return to the Channel 5 soap as a fulltime cast member.

Jane famously left Ramsay Street to care for Mrs Mangel, her grandmother, played by Vivean Gray.

She is returning to Erinsborough with her grown-up daughter Nicolette, played by Charlotte Chimes.

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Jones revealed: “Jane's absorbed a bit of Mrs Mangel along the way. Jane always has her grandmother's voice in her head, she's always got that disapproving things in her head.”

Neighbours was the first soap opera to resume filming amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Stefan Dennis - who has played Ramsay Street’s Paul Robinson since the show’s first episode in 1985 - has revealed the set is a very different place to how it used to be, with temperature checks, colour coded teams, a strict no touching policy and crew members clad in gloves and masks.