Neighbours star Alan Fletcher has spoken out about Eve Morey's recent exit, admitting the cast were all really sad to see her go.
Eve bowed out of her role as Sonya Rebecchi last month, after nine memorable years playing the popular character.
Shortly before her final scenes aired, Eve revealed in a chat with Digital Spy that it wasn't actually her choice to leave. The surprise decision was due to big changes behind the scenes when Neighbours was renewed on its new multi-year deal.
Sonya's heartbreaking exit story then saw her pass away in Toadie's arms, only a few weeks after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January.
Speaking to Digital Spy about the strong reaction to Eve's departure, Alan – who plays Karl Kennedy – said: "Obviously we were desperately sad to see Eve go. She's such an incredible actress. And as Eve has said in the press, it was a budgetary thing.
"Unfortunately, that's the harsh reality. But to be honest with you, in 25 years, I've seen a lot of people come and go. In most cases, people want to go, but occasionally they don't. And it is the harsh reality of being an actor.
"But we, as actors, totally accept that and understand it. Of course, you're sad, but you go, 'Hey, in most cases, people have had a really good stint, and they're going to go on to do amazing things.'
"I'm sure Eve will be doing incredible work somewhere else pretty soon."
Speaking about Eve's input in Sonya being killed off, Alan added: "Eve said in her farewell that Sonya was the sort of character who would never leave her children. She'd never walk away from them. So in a way, they kind of had to kill her.
"But in doing so, the legacy she leaves is this amazing storyline about ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer awareness – which has had a big impact. A lot of people have been talking about that."
Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK's leading ovarian cancer charity, providing information and support and funding life-saving research.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).
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