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Kiel McNaughton’s shock Shortland Street exit

As fans reel from the departure of Shortland Street's beloved James "Scotty" Scott, actor Kiel ocNaughton reveals that the move was also a shock to him. "It wasn't my decision to leave, so it's taken a

As fans reel from the departure of Shortland Street’s beloved James “Scotty” Scott, actor Kiel McNaughton reveals that the move was also a shock to him.

“It wasn’t my decision to leave, so it’s taken a while to sink in,” admits the father-of-three, who has starred in the hit soap for four and a half years.

But while the actor has been coming to terms with this big change in his life, he hasn’t been letting the grass grow under his feet.

Kiel’s been pouring blood, sweat and tears into getting his own show off the ground, while forming a professional team with his gorgeous wife, fellow actor Kerry. The pair are also paving the way for another massive move, to shift the whole family over to the UK in a few years time.

Kiel admits that he will miss his second home at Shortland Street, but is philosophical about his exit from the show.

“That’s the life of an actor,” he explains. “You have no control over your work. You do all that you can to keep the role alive and do justice to the writers, but at the end of the day you’re there to tell a story, and that story can end.

“We’ve been busy creating stuff,” he says with a smile. “We’ve made a couple of pilots and pitched them to networks and a number of opportunities have come up. It’s like one door has closed and five others have opened,” explains the star, who, as well as directing his wife in a play recently, has also been working with Kerry and their colleague oillen Baird to create a series for TVNZ ondemand called Auckland Daze, which will begin filming later this year.

Not that forming a husband and wife team comes without its pitfalls. “We’ve been in each other’s hair 24/7, so we’ve had to get used to that,” grins Kiel. “We’ve had a few run-ins.”

Kerry laughs, “Kiel would be asking, ‘What have you got on today? How do I fit into that?’ It was like having four kids instead of three! Kiel’s quite forgetful, so I became a bit of a PA. I kept having to say, ‘You do know I’m doing other things, right?'”

But despite having to get used to a new dynamic, the couple know they’ve got the chemistry for success. “We feel passionate about the same things and we have the same goals,” says Kerry, smiling at her husband. “The difficult thing would be if it started to affect our marriage. You have to drop issues at work and come home and talk to each other like man and wife.”

But of course their most important collaboration is still raising their gorgeous kids, Api (7), Kiki (5) and Noah (3). About to appear on TVNZ 7’s new show Raising Children in New Zealand, Kiel says he knows how hard parenting can be, and is pleased to be part of a helpful resource.

“When I became a parent my dad said to me, ‘It’s your job to grow them into happy, healthy adults,'” tells Kiel. “And that can be hard work.”

Now the plan is for the whole ocNaughton family to move out of their home in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges and try life in the UK for a few years.

“Kerry has a British passport and we want the kids to get their citizenship too,” says Kiel. “They have to live there for four years before they turn 16 and as Api is now seven, we’ll need to be there within five years. We want to be able to get jobs in our industry while we’re over there, so now we’re figuring out the path we can take to achieve that. If we can build a portfolio of work over the next few years that might allow us to do creative stuff over there, then that’s great.

“In that way it’s kind of a good thing what happened with Shortland Street. I don’t think I would have chosen to leave because it’s such a good job, but now it’s forcing us to look into the future. It’s definitely helping keep us motivated!”

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