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Home & Away icon Ray Meagher claims show has strayed from what made it beloved: ‘It’s not Summer Bay’

One of Home & Away’s most beloved stars has claimed the show has become unrecognisable

Home & Away icon Ray Meagher has hit out at the show for becoming unrecognisable from its original premise.

He has criticised network execs for letting Home & Away stray from its original concept of a seaside community and its original Fletcher family taking in foster children premise.

Ray’s remarks refer to the popular River Boys storyline which was first launched in 2011. It featured a trio of tough male characters, played by Lincoln Younes, Steve Peacocke and Dan Ewing, who brought trouble to Summer Bay.

Since then, the show has focused on more hard-hitting, crime-based character arcs.

“There is still penchant for a River Boy,” he told TV Tonight of the show’s recent history of bringing bad boys onto the show to stir up drama.

“I mean, that was just a great period. But was it Summer Bay? Hmmm …. in my humble opinion, not to that extent.”

He added that while there’s nothing wrong with a little “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, he insisted that it “came in too big of a dose” and transformed the show into something beyond what it was meant to be.

Meagher recently renewed his contract to star on Home and Away for another five years, and will be on the show until at least 2027. At the time, he thought the show would end up “crashing and burning”. Little did he know he’d go on to become of the most recognisable Aussie soap stars ever.

“We’d done the pilot and to be honest, I was older and more cynical, and was convinced it would crash and burn like most [shows] do,” he remarked.

Meagher went on to share that he felt it was time the show had better LGBTQ+ representation among its cast of characters, especially in today’s climate.

“It’s funny you ask me that, having spent a goodly period in Priscilla here and in London, NZ and Brisbane – a year and a half probably. It’d be nice to have a nice, ‘normal’ – whatever that means – gay character come into the Bay. That would be good,” he explained.

“However, how many of them do we have in Summer Bay? There would definitely be a percentage, whether they’re above the ground or underground still in a town like the Bay.

“But I think it’d be nice to have something like that where a character comes in … ‘G’day mate. G’day’ as is life. I agree with all that. “The one thing that I have a bit of a problem with is sometimes when you realise there’s a representative hole when people tend to think, ‘Oh, jeez, we’ve ignored that area,’ and then there’s a wash of it. And you think ‘no community looks like that.’”

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