HOME and Away celebrated its 30th anniversary in March 2018 with an explosive week of storylines set to turn Summer Bay on its head.
Soap stalwart Alf Stewart found his life on the line when he was trapped in a collapsed sinkhole – here’s the lowdown on what happened and how long Ray Meagher has been playing the classic character.
Channel 5 Alf Stewart is the sole remaining original cast member, appearing in the 1988 pilot episode
Who is Alf Stewart actor Ray Meagher?
Born Raymond Francis Meagher on July 4, 1944, Ray is a veteran Australian character actor.
Ray originally auditioned for the role of Tom Fletcher, before he was cast as Alf.
Despite going on to hold a Guinness World record for being the longest-serving actor in an Australian serial, Ray revealed he almost didn’t sign on to the show as an anticipated two-year commitment felt like a “lifetime”.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said he told them: “No, I’m not signing for two years, that’s a lifetime.”
He added: “I refused. That was 30 years ago. And I’m still here.”
Handout For his role as Alf, Ray has won the Gold Logie Award for Best Personality on Australian Television
What happened to Alf in the gas leak scenes and is he quitting the soap?
Ray has hinted his time may soon be coming to an end on the soap: “I’ve had a phenomenal 30 years playing Alf and I’d certainly like to continue, but the way things are looking at the moment, I’m not too hopeful.”
He revealed in an exclusive chat with The Sun that he is in negotiations with bosses regarding a pay rise – but the 74-year-old insists he is not planning to retire any time soon.
Alf’s gas leak storyline culminates in the show’s 30th anniversary when ex-hitman Robbo is involved in a car chase that ultimately ends when a vehicle smashes into a construction site.
The crash causes a gas leak which eventually results in a mains pipe exploding beneath Summer Bay.
A sinkhole emerges in a classroom, trapping Alf in mortal peril.