Long-serving Home And Away stars Lynne McGranger and Shane Withington have often been asked if they’ll ever leave the show. But with both actors still relishing their roles, it’s a question they’ve never given much thought to.
For Shane, the joy comes from flexing his comedic muscles as surf lifesaving club president John Palmer, known more for his misadventures than dramatic arcs.
“Home And Away has been my life for the past 15 years, with a few ups and downs, but I’ve met terrific people along the way,” he says. “I’ve got to play some very comedic plots and it thrills me to do it. I love coming in every day.”
The same can be said for Lynne, whose character Irene Roberts has appealed to fans since 1991. And her fan club has only grown, with an “exciting” nomination for Most Popular Actress at Australia’s TV Week Logie Awards in 2023.
Of the big night itself, Lynne, 70, laughs, “When I got back to the hotel room, I realised I couldn’t unzip my dress. I raced out into the corridor and knocked on the nearest door, which happened to be housekeeping. I was greeted by a gentleman whose face lit up. He said, ‘I know you!’ I replied, ‘Well, you’re about to know me a hell of a lot more – can you unzip me please?’ He obliged and I hightailed it back into my room, leaving the chap a little gobsmacked.”
Lynne and Shane’s lives are as intertwined as those of their characters. “We’re great mates and we laugh a lot,” Lynne says of their enduring friendship. Nodding, Shane, 65, adds that his scene partner “is the nicest, kindest and most accommodating soul I’ve ever met”.
With her daughter Clancy now a newlywed and the recent birth of her great-niece Paris, Lynne says she has “plenty to celebrate” this summer. “But among the feasting, there’ll also be some napping, I suspect!”
Avid boatie Shane, meanwhile, will be back on the water after spending time with family. “I’m going to do a few more solo off-shore sailing trips – they keep me from actually turning into John Palmer!”