Family to meet Neighbours stars in Oz after contest win
AN INVETERATE competition entrant has finally struck it lucky – and next year will be flying to Australia to meet the stars of her favourite TV soap.
Zoe Parker, from Crowlas, has won a trip for two Down Under after entering the Channel 5 Neighbours competition.
One of Australia's best- known exports, the programme is famous for launching the careers of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as well as offering early acting roles to future Hollywood stars such as Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce.
To win the competition, Zoe said: "All I had to do was send my name and phone number off to an address in Derby – something I did on a scrap of paper and with a second-class stamp.
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"I've entered loads of competitions over the years and never won a thing so I couldn't believe it when I was told I'd won.
"It still hasn't sunk in; to start with I thought it was a hoax, and didn't really believe it until I checked it out on the Channel 5 website."
Zoe admitted she had been watching the dramatic goings-on in the community of Ramsay Street in Erinsborough ever since she was a girl and still sat through five episodes a week most weeks.
"I get some ribbing from friends and family but still enjoy it," she said.
Now she, her police officer husband Ryan and three-year-old daughter Sophie are looking forward to the trip in spring when they will spend three days in Melbourne, meet the cast and tour the studio.
Zoe said she didn't have any special favourites among the cast but was particularly looking forward to meeting the actors who play the older characters such as Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson), Tom Oliver (Lou Carpenter) and Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne (Karl and Susan Kennedy).
The Parker family will then be flown to Fraser Island, off the coast of Queensland, where they will spend a further week in the World Heritage Site, which is ringed with spectacular sandy beaches with ancient rainforests in the interior.
Zoe and Ryan honeymooned in the Maldives but this trip is the first time they will have gone as far afield as Australia.