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G'day! I've flown 12,000 miles to be your new Neighbour; Nicola remodels her life.

It's a storyline so romantic no soap opera writer could have dreamed it up.

A beautiful young English girl falls for a handsome Aussie, follows him half-way round the world - and lands a role in the show which made her boyfriend's name.

Nicola Charles met Scott Michaelson in London, shortly after he had quit starring in Neighbours.

"We met in a nightclub a couple of years ago," explains former model Nicola, 26. "We haven't been apart since.

"It was very romantic. I kept looking at him - though I didn't really realise who he was - and he kept looking at me.

"In the end a friend introduced us - and that was it!"

All was going wonderfully for the couple until Scott, 27, who played hunky Brad Willis in Neighbours, returned home to produce a movie.

That's when Nicola decided to make a new life for herself Down Under.

And what a life it turned out to be. For the model-turned-actress landed a role in Neighbours.

From next Monday she plays Sarah Beaumont, half-sister to Stonie's girlfriend Catherine, who arrives in Erinsborough trying to escape a tortured past.

"It's very exciting," says Worcester-born Nicola, who is now happily settled in Melbourne.

"At home in England I was a big fan of the show. I used to rush home from school to watch Jason and Kylie."

After school Nicola went to drama college where she trained as an actress and dancer.

"Acting was always my first love," she explains, "but I modelled for six years."

She made TV commercials for beauty products, chocolates and soft drinks and currently appears in the Pantene shampoo ads.

She also appeared in a clutch of pop videos for David Essex, Five Star and Soul 11 Soul.

"It hard to give up the modelling because the money's so good," says the star. "But it's very stressful. The pressure to look good is soul destroying.

"So I'm very excited about being able to move into acting. It's brilliant." In Neighbours Nicola will be playing a character who has an English and Brazilian background - a bit of real-life the writers have woven in from Nicola's own biography.

Her writer father was born in Brazil.

"I'm often homesick for England," she admits.

"I miss my dad and mum, though I'm hoping they'll be out for a visit soon.

"I also miss my cat, Uncle Reg, and seeing my favourite football team - Liverpool.

"But the great thing about being in Australia is being in Neighbours - and being with Scott.

"We are very much in love." So will they marry?

"I think we will one day but as far as I'm concerned marriage is a state of mind. It's about commitment and respect. It's not a piece of paper.

"But maybe I'll change my mind when I want to start a family. I love kids - I'd like six.

"But a palm reader told me I'll have four, so maybe I'll have to settle for that!"

Nicola plans to stay in Australia for the foreseeable future.

She has a residency visa that allows her to work there as long as she is in a permanent relationship - and insiders say that the makers of Neighbours have high hopes for her.

A spokesperson says: "Nicola has real star potential. We think she's going to be a big hit."
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Malins, Sue
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 27, 1997
Words:552
Previous Article:JENNY'S BULIMIA ORDEAL.
Next Article:STRONG END OF THE STICK.


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