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I thought I'd die if I fell asleep; Interview with Tempany Deckert.

It was panic stations for Home And Away star Tempany Deckert when she really did find herself home and away.

The Summer Bay beauty, Selina Roberts in the hit soap (ITV, 12.55 and 5.10pm), was rushed to hospital earlier this year with glandular fever.

It was too late to write her out of the scripts and studio chiefs had to hire former Echo Point star Louise Crawford to fill in for her. Happily, 18-year-old Tempany is now fully recovered but she admits she was terrified by her ordeal.

"My throat kept getting smaller and tighter," she says. "I thought that if I went to sleep I might die.

"At the very least, I thought my career was over." Indeed, she was so keen to get back to work she had a relapse the day after her return.

"I couldn't do anything, my voice was really slurred," says Tempany, who is now determined to take life more slowly.

Over the past year, she has been involved in a run of exhaustingly steamy storylines.

In today's episode, Selina takes her romance with bad boy Jesse a significant step further. "Selina has always been into boys," laughs Tempany. "In fact, they're her only real interest!"

But the current plot is tame compared to Selina's recent past.

She has been accused of murder, had a pregnancy, miscarriage and near- death experience, as well as falling into the clutches of a sinister religious sect.

And then there was a spot of illicit extra-curricular activity with one of her teachers at Summer Bay High school.

"It's been a busy time," Tempany admits.

"I joined Home and Away at 16 and hoped to continue school by correspondence course.

"But there's scarcely enough time to eat or sleep - let alone do anything else." Her parents live in Melbourne, hundreds of miles from the Home And Away studios, so Tempany is now staying with relatives in Sydney.

And they are making sure she looks after herself properly.

"It's a mistake to say 'Yes' to everything," says Tempany.

"It's important to look after yourself."
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Malins, Sue
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 21, 1996
Words:346
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