Home and Away fans have crowned the show’s most popular character. For the 9th time, Back to the Bay invited fans of the show to vote for their favourite character, and we have been counting down the results over the past week.
We have invited members of the Back to the Bay forum every two years since 2004 to vote on who they consider to be the greatest Home and Away characters of all time.
Members were asked to list a total of seven characters, with voting open for a month. We then distributed their favorite seven points, their second favourite six points, and so on.
On Sunday 13th December, we began counting down the results by revealing the characters who scored only one point. A further collection of winners were disclosed each day, with the top 3 characters revealed on Christmas Eve.
Here are fans’ Top 10 Home and Away Characters without further ado.
9. Pippa Fletcher/Ross (50 points)
Played by Vanessa Downing & Debra Lawrance
Even if she slipped three positions from the last time, it’s easy to get complacent about Pippa being in the Top 10, but there was a moment where it looked like she was going to be stuck about where Phoebe Nicholson is.
For her first decade, Pippa was pretty much home and away and her exit appeared unlikely, but eleven years after her last appearance, we are still here!
9= Ryder Jackson (50 points)
Played by Lukas Radovich
Ryder put in a creditable showing last time round, but this time he’s got more than twice as many points to crack the Top 10.
It’s been a quiet year for Ryder in some ways, as he hasn’t had a whiff of romance since the girl who last year shared a sex tape of him online. It was a busy one in other ways, as he managed to visit both his father and his uncle in short order (who had never met each other!).
7. Leah Poulos/Patterson (61 points)
Played by Ada Nicodemou
Leah surpassed Sally’s tenure of 4,610 episodes in September of this year to officially become the third longest-serving character in the show, and celebrates by reaching the Top 10 for the first time since 2010.
Last time out, she was a bit in the doldrums, but her relationship with Justin and post-kidnapping storyline gave her a much-needed burst of life.
7= Marilyn Chambers/Fisher (61 points)
Played by Emily Symons
If you add all of Marilyn’s stints together, if she’s still on the show in two years, she can just about be right behind Leah in the count.
This year also saw a bit of a shake-up for her, as she split up with John and ended up taking the old position of Leah as the lodger of Alf and Roo. This… doesn’t seem like a burst of life like that, but she still has her spot in the Top 10 anyway.
6. Donald Fisher (66 points)
Played by Norman Coburn
Don slips a couple of places but still puts in a respectable showing.
I’m not sure when the last time he got even an oblique mention from ex-wife Marilyn was, so he’s doing well to stay in people’s minds. The firm-but-mostly-fair headmaster for most of the show’s first decade and a half remains a favourite among those who’ve seen him.
5. Dean Thompson (67 points)
Played by Patrick O’Connor
A great rise for Dean, who last time round was right down in 37th place but more than tripled his point score to make it into the Top 5.
Though he’s never quite shaken off the new River Boy’s mantle, his famous Ziggy romance and cute scenes with his newly discovered son, along with the forum members, have also managed to win John Palmer over!
4. Irene Roberts (69 points)
Played by Jacqy Phillips & Lynne McGranger
Irene actually raises a spot and picks up a few more points from her last round of showing, helping to drive Donald Fisher back to the previous update.
Most of what Irene did this year is hard to recall, but she is being put to good use. Since her effort to look after Bella was rather catastrophic, the show may have finally stopped pretending to be just one generation of teenagers!
3. Alf Stewart (71 points)
Played by Ray Meagher
Alf slumps a lot after tying for the last time round for the first time, but can take comfort in the fact that he is the best of the new cast.
This year, over thirty years after the first, Alf managed to have his second wedding in the show’s lifetime. He’s pretty much picked up Pippa and Sally’s baton as the one arguing that Summer Bay is there to give anyone who wants it a home. Only if they are on a long-term deal, however.
2. Morag Bellingham (97 points)
Played by Cornelia Frances
Despite a conspicuous absence of mentions during that period, up one place from the third last time round.
After the death of Cornelia Frances, some people consider the show leaving Morag in limbo to be quite insensitive. But maybe there’s a consolation to be found in believing that she’s still out there, not stopping innocent people going to prison but after about two weeks getting them out again on appeal.
1. Sally Fletcher (121 points)
Played by Kate Ritchie
Standard service is restored after the shake-up two years ago with the tie for first place: Sally finishes fifty points above the character she shared the top spot with last time, and more than twenty points ahead of her closest rival.
She spent twenty years almost embodying what the show was all about, but the unexpected happened, like Pippa, and the show was actually able to move on without her.
You can view the full list of winners, and a list of all the regular characters who received “nul points“, on the Most Popular Character 2020 mini site.
Don’t worry if you disagree with the winners, you will have another opportunity to vote in 2 years, as we celebrate a big milestone and host the 10th Most Popular Character vote in late 2022.
Thanks to all who voted, to Red Ranger 1 for the commentary, and to Dan and the President for compiling the votes.