Fans were shocked to learn that Jason Donovan’s daughter Jemma was not hers while the two were filming scenes for Neighbours together, according to Amanda Holden.
Amanda, 51, will appear in a guest role as Aunt Harriet in the Australian soap next week, with regular Jemma, 21, playing her niece Harlow Robinson, with the two filming sequences last year before the show’s cancellation was revealed.
Amanda, who has two children, Alexa, 15, and Hollie, nine, claimed that observers were startled to hear they were not related, claiming that they have “very high foreheads and little round features.”
She said: ‘The amount of times people stopped to ask, “Is that your daughter, Amanda?”. We do look quite similar.
‘We’ve both got kind of quite high foreheads and little round faces!
‘She’s just so cool and so sweet, and I know her dad, obviously, very well. I love him and the whole family, so it was just so brilliant to be part of it all. And just so camp!’
Amanda, the host of Heart FM’s breakfast program, went on to say that she’d known Jemma’s famous father Jason, 53, for years and that she’d even sought out an autograph from him as a fan when she was younger.
Amanda had never anticipated to work with Jemma after meeting her when she was much younger.
‘I met her when she was a little child, but not as an adult,’ she explained. As a result, it’s strange to see your friend’s daughter working all these years later.
‘Jason is someone I’ve known for a long time. He won’t remember this, but when he was a pop star, I stood in line at the age of 21 to get his autograph while he was in Joseph. He drew a squiggle on the board! I was a huge Kylie and Jason fan growing up.’
Before establishing his career as a music singer in 1988, Jason played Scott Robinson in Neighbours.
His character was noted for his romance with Charlene Robinson, who was played by Kylie Minogue, a former Neighbours cast member.
On being asked to appear in the soap as Aunt Harriet, Amanda said: ‘I don’t really know why they thought of me for Harriet, but I’ve always been a fan of Neighbours.
‘I was one of the people who used to rush home from school to watch it.
‘It’s just a brilliant thing to do, especially now that the show is being rested. I was so disappointed not to be able to do it when they first asked, so to be able to be part of it now is such a thrill.
Also, being a part of the Donovan family makes me feel like an adopted member! It’s enough for me to be on the outskirts of Neighbours royalty.’
‘I think there are characters that you grow up with,’ she continued about why the serial is so popular. There are some who come and go, but the stalwarts are still there.
‘I think you need those, and you need to focus on them. I think it really helps that it’s in a place that we’re not so familiar with.
‘It’s sunny, the streets are wide, it’s uncrowded. I love our soaps over here, but I think it’s the sunniness of it all, and the landscape.
‘The outback and Ramsay Street is another character in itself.’
After it was reported early last month that British broadcaster Channel 5 had rejected the Australian series in favor of local material, it was declared that Neighbours will be canceled.
‘We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June,’ Neighbours bosses announced on social media.
‘Following the loss of our key broadcast partner in the UK and despite an extensive search for alternative funding, we simply have no option but to rest the show.’