Madeleine West Returns to Neighbours

Madeleine West discusses her life since leaving Neighbours and why she decided to return after 13 years.

Madeleine, what have you been up to since you left Neighbours in 2003?

Goodness where do I begin? Breeding! I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a broad and varied career since leaving the environs of Ramsay Street; going from film, to stage and back to screen – both small and large. I made a point of really taking on roles that were a pointed departure from Dee. So returning to the character of Dee now is a breath of fresh air.

Where has Dee been all this time?

Well, there are only two options really; she’s been abducted by aliens or she has been on a reality TV show. The audience will have to decipher which one.

What made you want to return to Erinsborough?

I have been asked over the years about returning, but it never felt like the right time. I was either entangled in another production or I was having children. The time just seemed right and I was presented with a storyline that I thought could really shake up Ramsay Street. That represented a challenge for me as an actor - which is always my foremost priority before I take on a role.

Have you come back to steal Toadie’s heart?

You will just have to wait and see, otherwise there’s a good chance I will get run down by a Neighbours tour bus.

Are there any surprises in store?

Of course there are, it wouldn’t be Neighbours if there weren’t. Can’t say too much just yet though.

You have written a book recently! Tell us about it.

Yes I have, it’s called ‘Six Under Eight’ – when parenting becomes an extreme sport. It’s a bit of an anti-parenting manual because, as a mother of six, I read every single parenting guide book on the shelf and they all talk about parenting by rules, colours, shapes, sizes and it just doesn’t work, because every situation is different. The key is having enough faith in yourself and your instincts, listening to yourself and your child and then you can’t go wrong. The whole motto of my book is that we are all just doing our best, and at the end of the day in the eye’s of our children we are the most perfectly imperfect parents they could ever wish for and that’s all they want, they just want us, and if we give them ourselves, we can‘t go wrong.