Respected actor Don Hany (East West 101, Offspring) is about to appear on Neighbours in a classic soap switcheroo, replacing Tim Robards in the role of billionaire businessman Pierce Greyson.
Robards was due to scheduled to finish filming with the show in Melbourne next month. But due to COVID-19 regulations and travel restrictions, he has wrapped early to return to Sydney to be with his wife, Anna Heinrich, as they prepare for the arrival of their first child.
Hany will assume the character for his final weeks on air.
Tim Robards’ final episode will air on Monday, 19 October with Hany to become Pierce from Friday, 23 October.
Tim Robards said: “I would like to thank the amazing cast, crew, Fremantle and Network 10 for the incredible opportunity to play Pierce Greyson. I have absolutely loved my time on the show and will miss it immensely.
“I made the gut wrenching decision to depart Neighbours early as my responsibilities as a husband and father have to take precedence. If I’ve learnt anything in this pandemic it’s that the health and wellbeing of my family has to come first.”
Don Hany said: “I’m thrilled to have been invited to be part of a show that is part of Australian television history. I’ve never done the show before, so it’s all new and I’m so happy to be here.
“It’s a testament to the resilience of Neighbours that it’s still running at a time like this.”
Executive Producer, Jason Herbison said: “With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit movement and with the risk of Tim potentially not being able to travel, we all felt that in these astonishing times, Tim should return home to Sydney to be with his wife Anna ahead of the impending birth of their first child.
“We thank Tim for his passion for Neighbours and wish him and Anna every happiness as they embark on parenthood.”
It’s not the first time Neighbours has seen roles replaced temporarily including Michala Banas replacing Kym Valentine in the role of Libby, and various other recasting for the roles of Scott Robinson, Lucy Robinson, Jack Scully amongst others.