EXCLUSIVE: Veteran Neighbours actor Tom Oliver is exiting Ramsay Street, ending a 28 year run as the show’s longest-serving cast member, Lou Carpenter.
Oliver joined Neighbours in 1988 for a six month stint but proved so popular fans petitioned for his return -a move that would see him remain for nearly three decades. His impressive TV soap run is only eclipsed by a matter of weeks by Home and Away‘s Ray Meagher.
Over the years Lou Carpenter has enjoyed a lengthy friendship with Harold Bishop (Ian Smith), been the Erinsborough mayor, run businesses including a bar, mechanics and general store, enjoyed several romances and attempted a string of hare-brained get-rich-quick schemes.
In 2009 Oliver’s role was scaled back to part-time, then subsequent occasional appearances from 2015.
But there is some good news for diehard soap fans. While he is formally departing the cast, producers don’t rule out a future guest appearance.
Jason Herbison, Executive Producer, told TV Tonight, “Tom Oliver is one of our all-time favourites and in Lou Carpenter has created one of Australian TV’s most iconic characters. And, as with all things Ramsay Street, we try to keep our storylines unpredictable and surprising. Watch this space.”
Oliver returns for a significant storyline joined by actress Tina Bursill on Friday November 4.
Neighbours airs 6:30pm weeknights on ELEVEN.