Following Terese’s discovery that Toadie and Melanie have slept with each other, we sat down with Ryan Moloney, Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Elmaloglou and Stefan Dennis in an exclusive interview to find out what the actors feel about their characters’ behaviour and relationships.

When Neighbours returned in September, fans were shocked to see Toadie marrying Terese. We had been away for two years, but the last time we visited Erinsborough Toadie had just said “I do” to Melanie. We subsequently learnt that Melanie had run away, leaving Toadie and the kids behind, with little or no explanation. At the same time, Paul jilted Terese at the altar, riddled with guilt after he thought he had covered up the murder of Krista Sinclair.

Whilst all of this was explained during the show’s much-anticipated Flashback Week, we never really got an explanation about how, following this, Toadie and Terese ended up together.

Rebekah Elmaloglou shared her opinion on how the pairing happened: “We don’t really actually know. This is something that I’ve always said, that when we did the Flashback Week it would have been great to go into that a little bit.. maybe we still will.

I think when Paul walked away from the vow renewal, Terese was devastated. I think a friendship just sort of grew with Toadie. It all happened on a camping trip with the Rodwells and love blossomed.”

Ryan Moloney gave the view from Toadie’s side: “In his brain he was heartbroken. He’d just lost love again. The kids were incredibly hurt and confused. It was a mess really.

Terese was going through similar things and they just found their stories were somehow aligned and they connected along the paths of two people who had been hurt and were scared to lose again.”

Rebekah thought more about how the story has been told, so far: “I would have liked to have a bit more background on how it actually happened.”

And we are absolutely here for more flashback to see how Toadie and Terese approached that first kiss!

Interestingly, when we asked the pair if they thought that it really was true love rather than circumstance between Toadie and Terese, the two actors had slightly different opinions. From Ryan’s side, he is adamant that Toadie is in love with Terese: “He definitely loves her, absolutely, without a doubt. That not to say he doesn’t love Melanie. Especially when he finds out the reason why she left.”

Rebekah wasn’t quite as definite about the situation: “Maybe. I think she finds a lot in Toadie that she didn’t get from Paul. That was was security, family, a bit of normality. I think she spent so many years with the treacherous Paul, the tumultuous relationship. I think it was just like ‘a normal guy, a great dad, a great partner, normal job, no games.’ I think she just loved it”

For Toadie, Ryan thinks that pairing up with Terese was a refreshing change: “Probably the thing that’s interesting about Toadie and Terese’s relationship is that Terese is a fierce business woman and in Toadie’s mind it’s almost as though this could be the first person that he doesn’t have to save. It’s almost as though she’s the boss. He can just not have to save anyone, just have fun, just love her.

I think for her that works because she has only been with liars like Paul. There is someone who just genuinely loves her without an ulterior motive.”

So, is Melanie ‘The One’? Ryan acknowledges that his character is very different when he is around the two women in hs life: “They’re completely different relationships. The dynamics of the two are so far apart. You can see the people within these relationships are different when they’re with their other partners.”

And that is very apparent when we see Terese and Paul together. Whilst there are plenty of ‘Terage’ moments when she gets into arguments with Paul, it is when the two are together that we also see her at her most gentle. Maybe Paul is her perfect match, after-all…

She arrived in Erinsborough married to Brad Willis who was still a surfer boy at heart, with little or no ambition. Who can forget her relationship with Paul’s son Leo (Who can forget his drunken declaration of love?) and weirdly later ended up getting involved with Paul’s half brother Glen, who was more than a little rough around the edges. Like her relationship with Toadie, in all of these situations, Terese was the boss and the power dynamic is definitely one-sided.

So we asked Rebekah why she thought that Terese has this magnetic attraction to Paul, who is completely the opposite to every other man in her life. We asked what does Paul have that all of Terese’s other loves didn’t have?

“ONE LEG!” quipped Stefan Dennis, causing Rebekah to fall into fits of giggles.

“I think Paul and Terese have such great business minds and they work really well together. They just know each other so well. They read each other so well. They have worked together so well in business…” Rebekah hesitated.

“Look… deep down, girls like bad boys!!”

Stefan smiled at that, agreeing fully with Rebekah’s comments: “I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head there. The thing about it is if Paul WASN’T a bad boy, would Terese have hung out for Paul for so long? He’s a bad boy. He’s a rich bad boy. He’s a powerful bad boy, He’s a stubborn bad boy.”

Rebekah made sure she stood up for Terese: “But that’s not why she is into it. She’s rich, she is powerful. She’s got all that!!”

Realising that this is the key, why Paul and Terese really are the perfect blend, Stefan agreed: “That’s it. They have that together.”

And it is undeniable that Stefan and Rebekah, as Paul and Terese, have incredible chemistry. Even in the most unlikely of circumstances. We asked the pair what it was like to film the sexually charged scene when Paul found Josh’s plaque at the rubbish dump.

“I don’t recall it being sexually charged. Was it?” questioned Rebekah.

Stefan confirmed that the pair, did indeed have a ‘moment’ whilst searching through bags of rubbish.

Rebekah still wasn’t convinced. “Did we have a moment? I need to go back and watch it. Look, we are always having moments and that’s the wonderful thing, since we’ve been back with the new series and Terese and Toad have been together, the writers have written a few occasional scenes where, you know, Terese bumps into Paul in the complex and they are just so enjoyable, so fun to shoot, because they’ve just bought back the classic spark that Terese and Paul have.

They’re a little bit flirty. They’re a little bit power-play. They’re this, they’re that. There is that sexual thing, but it’s always fun.”

Whilst we have seen Terese and Paul dance around each other since the show returned, one character that has not done a lot of dancing is our Melanie. Since she made her high-impact comeback during Flashback Week, we have seen a slightly more broken version of Melanie. That has all changed though over the last couple of weeks, since she set her sights on Toadie, we got a glimpse of the old Melanie back. The tiger-print returned, the Melanie bounce returned (we have even heard the laugh a couple of times). So we asked what it was like for Lucinda Cowden to get that side of Melanie back.

“Oh yes! It was great just to be able to put make-up on again! It was actually a really difficult decision for a woman in her fifties to decide to go with no make-up for 4 months! I was just so happy about that.”

So, is fun Mel finally back? “It’s starting. It’s the beginning of that. But she’s got to question a lot of stuff before she becomes a properly independent-thinking woman again. There are some really fun storylines coming up for her, after all of this horrible drama settles, there are some more fun things.

I’ve been wanting for her to absolutely come out of her shell and just find her confidence again. I don’t think that Melanie does find her confidence at this moment in time. I think she puts on the outfit, she does the strut and it’s all that. But she still doesn’t know where she is at the moment. She still doesn’t know WHO she is.”

Some of Melanie’s most comedic moments over the past few weeks have been scenes with Terese, two rivals at arms over the love of Toadie. From a showdown in Ramsay Street to glares across the counter at the Coffee Shop, we asked Lucinda if it has been fun to play off against Rebekah in these scenes?

“Oh yes, SO much fun. Really good, I’ve really enjoyed it. Bek and I can’t bear each other!”

Ryan and Lucinda both laugh at that. But she was quick to confirm it was just a joke: “We have a lot of fun with that and we DO love each other”

Lucinda confirms that now the cat is out of the bag about Melanie and Toadie sleeping together, there are plenty more great scenes she gets to share with Rebekah where there is a power shift and Melanie starts to realise the error of her ways in sleeping with a married man.

So, there are a lot of relationships to rebuild in Erinsborough. Will Toadie and Terese be able to get over this and make their marriage work? Should they make that marriage work? Are Toadie and Melanie really meant to be together?

So, Toadie has to repair his reputation and Melanie needs to do a lot of work to stop people thinking badly of her in this situation. But there is one man in Erinsborough who always seems to come out of everything smelling of roses – Mr Paul Robinson.

Terese has been the only person (aside from Chelsea) who has stood by Paul’s side since David’s death. But with everything we have learnt about Paul since the show returned, his involvement with Eden, covering up Krista’s “murder”, trying to subsequently run Krista out of town, an act which lead to the death of his own son, David… can Paul come back from this and build bridges? Has Paul Robinson learnt his lesson?

Stefan, who has played Paul for almost 39 years is certain that Paul will bounce back:

“Will he ever come back from this? Yes. WIll the people around him ever come back from this? Yes. Eventually. Some will take longer than others. Will he learn his lesson? Of course not. Paul never learns his lesson. That’s the kind of person he is. The old expression is that a leopard never changes his spots and that is the case with Paul.”

So now we wait to see how all of this will pan out. Terese is hurt beyond all belief that her husband cheated on her and both Toadie and Melanie are likely to get a lot of judgement from their friends and neighbours over their actions… and then we need to think about the children too. How will Hugo and Nell respond to the news?

One thing is for sure, the revelation of Toadie and Mel’s affair will bring plenty of unmissable drama to Ramsay Street for weeks and months to come. You can catch the new episodes of Neighbours streaming from 7am, Monday-Thursday, on Amazon Freevee and Amazon Prime Video.

By Matt Sole

Matt was a Neighbours fan through the late 1980s and 1990s. After a number of years living overseas he returned to the UK and fell in love with Ramsay Street again in 2017. Away from Neighbours, Matt spent many years working as an Entertainment Director for a major Cruise Line. He is also an avid quizzer and has appeared on many TV game shows including Bridge of Lies, competing with other members of the team.