MDA: articles

Michael and Gigi Edgley

Gigi Edgley and her famous father Michael embrace the limelight.

Jason Donovan drops ABC drama

SYDNEY: London-based Australian actor Jason Donovan won’t be coming home for a third series of ABC drama MDA.

Donovan has signed on for a six-month stint at the London Palladium Theatre to play Caractacus Potts in the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

“I can quite frankly say that that is not going to happen,” Donovan said from London, in reference to MDA.

The ABC confirmed in July that the drama would return for a third series but said then it was unsure whether Donovan would return.

“It is not something that I can say I feel great about,” the 36-year-old father of two said. “I wish I could be there doing it, but circumstances have been such that no-one could confirm or deny the third series and you just have to go off and do what you have gotta do.”

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is based on the famous movie of the same name. It follows the journey of eccentric inventor Potts and his children Jemima and Jeremy. They join confectionary heiress Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts to outwit the evil Baron Bomburst.

“I did it for five weeks in February and it is sort of the antithesis of what I have been doing in Australia, which is straight drama,” Donovan said. “My daughter is also in school so to be able to be here and do that at the same time is good.”

Donovan said the role was about 30 per cent acting, 30 per cent dancing, 30 per cent singing and 10 per cent improvisation.

Following Chitty, Donovan’s not sure what the future will hold. “Entertainment is what I do and however and whatever that encompasses, I will rise to the challenge.

“I hope it is the mixed bag I have now. As long as I am a working actor, I am a happy actor.”

Donovan has lived on and off in the UK since the late 1980s. He moved there after playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours, something that elevated him immediately to the London A-list.

“I have had a bit of a red carpet journey in this country so had I been a backpacker, it might have been different,” he said.

Unlike Neighbours’ most famous export Kylie Minogue, Donovan has no regrets about his time on the Australian soap.

Other Neighbours’ graduates include Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Pearce, Holly Valance and Delta Goodrem.

“The one thing that I feel good about in my life is that I gave everything I did 100 per cent so those opportunities don’t come along that often,” he said.

“The success Neighbours had, which enabled you to go on to other things, doesn’t come along too much in a lifetime so you either take advantage of that or you dont.”

Minogue and Donovan, or Charlene and Scott, had one of the most famous on-screen romances in Australian television history. And although they both live in London, the pair rarely catch up.

“I’m sure if our paths cross, we would probably say hello, but I don’t necessarily pick up the phone on a regular basis to her.”

By Jonathon Moran
September 10, 2004