Nat Bass on Neighbours: “Such an amazing launchpad … I learned so much”

As she returns to Ramsay Street, Natalie Bassingthwaighte reflects on the soap that changed her fortunes.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte was recently confirmed to return to Neighbours as part of its final episodes, reprising her role as the notorious homewrecker, Izzy Hoyland.

Despite the wild storylines she performed, largely from 2003 – 2007 (she returned briefly in 2018), it remains a highlight of her acting resume.

She told TV Tonight its conclusion in August was a loss to the industry, especially for its training opportunities.

“It’s heartbreaking for so many people. It’s just been such an amazing launchpad for so many including myself. I learned so much on the show.

“To farewell it feels a bit surreal to be really ending … I think you have to be grateful and go, ‘Wow, it lasted so long and it made a lot of people smile over the years.’ But it’s hard for everyone, not just the actors, the writers, the crew. So many people have been employed by that show for many, many years and it’s nice to see Australian stories told on Australian TV.”

After many guest roles in television ‘Izzy’ elevated Bassingthwaighte’s profile.

“I’d had a good career, but when you go into a TV world, the number of people that are watching you compared to being on stage or anything, is mind blowing. The reach was so different. I would be stopped on the street and things like that, which I’d never experienced before. But Izzy was such a fun character, so juicy. I’ll be forever grateful for that role.

“Alan, Jackie and Stefan and Ian … what a blessing. They would help all of us when we were all learning the ropes. They are still such beautiful friends of mine.”

Bassingthwaighte later moved into TV presenting roles, including dance contest So You Think You Can Dance for 3 seasons, and later judging The X Factor for 4 seasons.

So You Think You Can Dance was one of my favourites. I love the passion in dancing so much. They say you have to love dance, to do what you do, because it’s not like you get paid the big bucks to be the star at the front or whatever. They’re usually unrecognised, so to have that show really put them at the forefront was beautiful. They leave nothing on the dance floor, they just give all their heart and soul. I adored that show so much,” she exclaims.

X Factor was such fun. It”s actually wild to look back on and think that I was a part of that. It’s such a big juggernaut globally, and the things that I got to do …jetting first class to have lunch with Simon Cowell and back, in the same day to LA. I’d just had my baby and I thought that was hilarious. A whole other world!”

Bassingthwaighte is also set to appear in the Elvis movie and is currently hosting Space 22 Tuesday nights on ABC.

One Response

  1. It’s a shame neighbours couldn’t create another bad girl like Izzy. It left a massive hole in the show. Home and away does it so well on how to create, love to hate characters.

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