She’s one of Australia’s favourite screen darlings and former Home and Away star Kate Ritchie has paid tribute to the show that made her a household name.
The Aussie soap turned 30 years old earlier this week and Kate, who was just eight years old when she joined the cast in 1988. She played the role of Sally Fletcher, a foster kid who went on to grow up in front of the nation and win the hearts of millions of viewers in Australia and around the world.
Fans watched each night as Sally literally grew up in front of them. They watched her on her first day of school, witnessed her first kiss, were there when she got married and of course, survive a disaster or two in the fictional town of Summer Bay.
Kate departed the show in 2008 after 20 years on set, but it’s clear that the role had a huge impact on her life. The 39-year-old took to social media with an array of behind-the-scenes photos and videos of her time on one of Australia’s favourite TV shows.
She shared a photo of herself as a child on the first day of set. “First official day of shooting on a show no one had yet heard of.. 1987.. Balmain backstreets..,” she wrote.
In another photo, she could be seen in the iconic Summer Bay High uniform, sharing a scene with the late Heath Ledger. He briefly joined the cast in 1997 as bad boy Scott Irwin, who Sally fell madly in love with.
She shared another snap of herself as a child when press from the United Kingdom came to Australia to talk about the new show. “The day the British press came all the way to Summer Bay to see what all the fuss was about,” she captioned that photo.
Kate uploaded Polaroid pictures of herself cozying up to some hunky lifesavers as a teenager and another where she was hanging out in the green room as a kid with some of her other co-stars. She described them as “the best days”.
Perhaps the most iconic photo of all was one with current cast member Ray Meagher. Fans will recall that his character Alf Stewart joined the show 30 years ago with Kate and remains a fan favourite three decades later.
While it has been some time since we’ve seen Kate on screens, she is now a radio host on Nova. Still, fans couldn’t get enough of the flashback photos and quickly shared their fondest memories of Home and Away with Kate.
One person wrote: “Amazing memories. Thanks for sharing. I watched home and away back then. 30 years! Making me feel old!!”
Another fan added: “Watched that first episode, we all went around to my Nans to watch it 🙂 I was the same age as you then!” A third message read: “I still remember seeing the initial previews for the show and my Mum and I waiting for it to start. I can’t believe that it was 30 years ago.”
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