Long-running Australia soapie Neighbours has launched the careers of many greats including Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem and the Illawarra’s own Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
The former Wollongong High School student, who lit televisions on fire as the seductive Izzy Hoyland from 2003 to 2007, is set to return to her old stomping ground of Ramsay Street on February 13 for a special feature-length episode.
“It was very nostalgic,” she told the Illawarra Mercury. “It was fabulous to be filming back at the studios where my career started and straight away I felt completely at home.”
Despite acting in a number of television and stage roles, nerves were still evident on her first day on set – worried she had forgotten how to play her character.
“But as soon as I got there, put the costume on and said a few lines … she kind of came flooding back,” she said.
Bassingthwaighte joins other past faces including Blair McDonough (Stu Parker), Andrew Bibby (Lance Wilkinson) and Anthony Engelman (Kevin “Stonefish” Rebecchi) for an episode centring around a belated 21st birthday for character Toadie. However Izzy is set to hang around Erinsborough for a little longer than one episode.
Bassingthwaighte – who is also a singer and entrepreneur – has brought her presence back to the small screen in full force over the past two years.
She starred as Peter Brock’s long-time girlfriend Julie Bamford in the mini-series Brock; a contestant on the 2017 series of I’m A Celebrity; and more recently as Gillian, an ex-girlfriend ready to stir the pot on The Wrong Girl.
At the moment Bassingthwaighte is auditioning for television pilots in America and ready to relocate her family overseas if the right roles comes up.