Even though they were only regulars on the show for a few short weeks, the Rodwell family cemented their position in Neighbours lore by becoming the final household to reside on Ramsay Street.
In May, Wendy, Andrew, and their daughter Sadie relocated to Number 26. They later played a significant part in Hendrix Greyson’s moving out plot.
Sadly, because Neighbours was decided to cease, many of the planned storylines for the Rodwell family never happened.
Candice Leask, who portrayed Wendy, was recently interviewed by Digital Spy to get her thoughts on working on Neighbours.
Before you started on the show, were you a fan of Neighbours?
When I was around 4, I first began to watch Neighbours. Up to the time I started college, I watched it nonstop at my grandmother’s place. I subsequently began working really hard in my studies and performing in some plays, so I didn’t watch much television during that time.
“I recall keeping up and watching what characters like Paul were doing as I flipped around the stations. My auntie is a tremendous fan, so whenever I would stop by, we would speak about it and she would fill me in on everything. It seemed like we were talking about individuals I knew, which made it incredibly fascinating!
“This was the fifth Neighbours audition I attended, so I really kept up I’ve been so desperate to be on the show up until now. As soon as I received the part, I kept watching to see how, even when I wasn’t acting, I was still a part of the plot.
How did the role come about?
“When I first received the audition and read it, I was unsure if I could pull off Wendy Rodwell. I set it aside, but when I picked it back up two days later, I found many more things to which I could connect.
“Two weeks after the audition, I assumed that someone else had been offered the role. However, I later received an email stating that I had been offered the position of Wendy. Because I didn’t believe it would ever happen, I was frozen. I then started leaping around and got ready to walk down Ramsay Street. I didn’t get much sleep because I had three weeks to get ready.
Did you have any sneaking suspicions that Wendy might make another appearance last year even though she was only meant to appear in one episode?
“I believed there was a probability that they were attempting to establish another family because I was aware that Andrew Rodwell had already been an on-off character for a year and a half.
“We both looked at each other and said, “We really want to be on the show!” when I first met Lloyd [Will, who played Andrew]. Let’s demonstrate our capacity for chemistry. We had a strong desire to be a member of the Neighbours community.
“We might see more of Wendy, one of the producers of Neighbours, Andrew Thompson, told us. He escorted me around the production to meet the writers after I concluded my second day of filming. Later, I learned that Wendy was being added to more.”
How does it feel to know that you were part of the last ever Neighbours family?
“I’m so appreciative, and I’m sure Lloyd and Emerald [Chan, who played Sadie] are feeling the same]. It would have been nice if it had continued. When we joined up, we had no idea that we would be the final Neighbors family. It dawned on us when we learned that the show had lost its funding.
“The fact that we were multicultural was what made it so awesome. Although we are all Australian, our diverse backgrounds have contributed to Neighbours’ development over the past 37 years.
“When I sat back and thought, “Wow, I’m a half-Chinese actress, and I’m going to be part of the last family on Neighbours,” it was really exciting. That’s quite cool, and it demonstrates the development of television.”