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EXCLUSIVE: Why Home And Away sweetheart Sophie Dillman isn’t spending Valentine’s Day with Patrick O’Connor this year


Sophie Dillman, who plays Sophie on Home And Away, will not be wined and dined by boyfriend and co-star Patrick O’Connor on Valentine’s Day.

But don’t worry, their enviable relationship isn’t in jeopardy — she’s simply prioritizing the incredible ladies in her life.

“There’s a group of my friends that always go to a big all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant and celebrate the gals,” Sophie tells Now To Love of her ‘Galentine’s Day’ plans.

They’ll spend the evening chatting and trading love horror stories, though the 28-year-old actress has none to tell about Patrick.

“I actually don’t have any horror stories. I mean, I’ve been hideously alone for a number of Valentine Days, but I’ve had no horror stories so I guess I’m very lucky,” she laughs.

Fans of Home And Away have always admired Sophie and Patrick’s on-screen connection, which has since blossomed into a lovely real-life couple.

While it’s tempting to imagine TV stars leading glamorous lives, Sophie says her favorite dates with Patrick are shockingly low-key.

“I love a home-cooked meal. When I’ve had a really big day at work, coming home and my partner having cooked dinner is my favorite thing in the world,” she tells us.

“He’s a very good cook. We’ve had some great meals together.”

Of course, some relationship milestones necessitate something extra special, and the couple has taken use of their own backyard in Australia for romantic holidays.

Sophie and Patrick spent one of the most “wonderful” long weekends of their lives at Hyams Beach in Shoalhaven a few years ago, though they won’t be escaping this Valentine’s Day.

“I have never seen such beautiful water and such a great little town, great little pub, beautiful vibes. I highly recommend it!” the actress says.

Road vacations, especially short ones like the three-hour drive from Sydney to Hyams Beach, can put a relationship to the test, as Sophie knows.

Arguments over directions, music, and bad car singing are typical, but she and Patrick, unlike some couples, manage to keep the peace on lengthy rides.

“Patty and I are really lucky, we’ve done a fair few road trips together and we seem to do alright. I don’t think we’ve ever had any really major fights,” she laughs.

“My beautiful Mazda has the screen that shows you where you’re going at all times, so there can be no confusion [about directions]. And if there is confusion, it’s only the driver’s fault.”

That’s especially true if Patrick’s the one driving, of course!

The couple also spent a lot of time filming Home And Away in Palm Beach, where Sophie predicts that there will be a lot of heart-shaped chocolate today.

She says she’ll be sharing the love with her co-stars, including Lynne McGranger and Ada Nicodemou, and that her character Ziggy will be feeling the love as well.

“I think she will definitely be spending it [Valentine’s Day] with Dean [Patrick’s character], they’ll probably go for a surf and have pizza and beer. That’s their dream,” Sophie says.

Since 2017, fans have known her as Ziggy, but the laid-back actress says she relates more with a totally different movie character, especially when it comes to love.

“I just feel like I am Bridget Jones,” she laughs, referring to Renee Zellweger’s character in 2001 rom-com Bridget Jones’ Diary.

“She’s lovely but real, she makes mistakes, she’s down to earth and he [Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth] loves her exactly the way she is.”

We’re wondering if this means Sophie has a celebrity crush on Colin Firth. Nope!

“I’ve actually got a really strange crush on Kevin James. Kevin James and James Corden are two huge crushes of mine,” she admits bashfully.

“I also think they would be excellent companions on Valentine’s Day. They’re funny, they’re witty, they’re always going to be up for a good time.”

Sophie confirms that Patrick is aware of her strange crushes and that he teases her about them on a daily basis.

Sophie has her wardrobe selected and color-coordinated to match the romantic theme, as well as her ruby red Mazda, for her Galentine’s Day supper tonight.

But, most significantly, Sophie’s ensemble “also provides you ample room to eat as much as you want” — she’s a woman after our own hearts!


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