Creator: Alan Bateman
Written & Directed By: Various
Filming: The soap is filmed in Epping, Sydney, with exterior shots filmed mainly at Palm Beach and Collaroy, both of which are suburbs in Sydney.
Viewing figures: Received strong viewing figures in both Australia and the UK.
Runtime: Each episode lasts 22 minutes.
Home and Away chronicles the lives, loves, happiness, and heart-breaks of the residents of Summer Bay, a small coastal town in New South Wales, Australia.
Ray Meagher … as Alf Stewart
Lynne McGranger … as Irene Roberts
Norman Coburn … as Donald Fisher
Kate Ritchie … as Sally Fletcher
Judy Nunn … as Ailsa Stewart
Adam Willits … as Steven Matheson
Debra Lawrance … as Pippa Ross
Sharyn Hodgson … as Carly Morris
Tempany Deckert … as Selina Roberts
Melissa George … as Angel Brooks
Dieter Brummer … as Shane Parrish
Dennis Coard … as Michael Ross
Nic Testoni … as Travis Nash
Ryan Clark … as Sam Marshall
Kristy Wright … as Chloe Richards
Shane Ammann … as Curtis Reed
Rebekah Elmaloglou … as Sophie Simpson
Belinda Emmett … as Rebecca Fisher
Tristan Bancks … as Tug O’Neale
Richard Grieve … as Lachlan Fraser
Rachael Blake … as Mandy Thomas
Emily Symons … as Marilyn Chambers
Ben Unwin … as Jesse McGregor
Isla appeared as a regular on Home & Away from 1994 to 1997, playing the character of Shannon Reed in over 300 episodes.
Shannon, aged 16, arrived in the Bay in 1994 with her brother Curtis. The two were split up, with Curtis living with Alf & Ailsa, and Shannon with Pippa & Michael. It was soon discovered that Curtis and Shannon were an item, which shocked the small community … until they revealed that they were actually only fostered brother and sister.
During her 3 years in the Bay, Shannon battled anorexia, remembered she’d been molested by an uncle, had an affair with Shane, been in an abusive relationship, met her long lost mother, and had an affair with a married man.
When Shannon’s mother, a politician, arrived in the Bay, no-one knew who she was. She pretended to have had an affair with Fisher, but it was later revealed she was actually Shannon’s mother, who she did not have a good relationship with.
When she attended University she started dated the grungey Kye Lyons, much to the dismay of Pippa and others. Shannon continued seeing him and even moved out to live with him, but when he knocked Pippa out Shannon left him.
Shannon’s final storyline was
Home & Away is broadcast every weekday evening on Channel 7 in Australia. Isla’s first episode, #1555, aired on September 16th 1994, and her final episode, #2213, aired August 6th 1997 in Australia.
Home & Away is also broadcast is many countries around the world, including the UK.
• Isla was 19 when she started on the show, and left when she was 22.
• Was good friends with Kate Ritchie (who played Sally) whilst on the show.
• Described working on the show as a “great apprenticeship”.
• Says that some of the dialogue was so “laughable” it was hard to say, the worst of which was ‘Wild horses wouldn’t drag me away from you.’
• Worked with Heath Ledger during his brief appearance on the show in 1997.
• Isla describes the acting required on a soap is “acting from the neck up”, probably meaning just using your face and facial expressions.
• It was a full-on job, with filming taking place 5 days a week and up to 15 hours a day.
• When asked in an interview in 2010 what she thought would be on her tombstone, she replied, ‘Best known for her role in Home and Away.’
• Life imitated art, as Isla dated her Home & Away co-star Shane Ammann (Curtis) for a period during the show – Shannon and Curtis dated on screen, too.
• Isla was nominated for the TV Week Logie Award for ‘Most Popular New Talent’ in 1995, and in the following 2 years was nominated for the Silver Logie for ‘Most Popular Actress’.
• Isla said at the AACTA Awards in 2016 that she’d “go back to the Bay for sentimental reasons”.
– Isla Fisher: “I still look fondly back on those days, of course. That’s where I learnt [my craft] and I still have friends from that era.” (speaking in 2011)
– Isla Fisher: “After four years of soap fame and being in the limelight, I thought it was time to have some training so I might have longevity in my career. They said that offers of film work were coming in, but I left because it was a gut instinct.” (speaking in 1998, on why she decided to leave the show)
– Isla Fisher: “I feel sorry for me, too!” (speaking in 1996, about all the dramatic storylines Shannon had!)
– Isla Fisher: “It’s so funny because every one always says to me ‘You’ve come such a long way from Home And Away’ and that’s one of those few times when you think ‘Oh I wish I was back on Home And Away – on the beach, not in this freezing castle.'” (speaking in 2010, about filming Burke & Hare)
– Isla Fisher: “You learn a lot about acting, about working with three cameras and working on soap is really the toughest acting you’ll ever do. Some of the dialogue, you would never say and you have no time to prepare because you do fifteen scenes a day but I think it’s definitely a great training ground.”
– Isla Fisher: “Some of the lines were so laughable, you’d really have to work harder than you ever will again to make them even seem realistic.”
– Isla Fisher: “The good thing about coming from a soap background is that you do your work experience in the most difficult conditions. You work long hours, the dialogue is difficult to say in an honest way, you have to cry on cue and you have two minutes to prepare for an emotional scene. That’s a great foundation for other stuff.”
– Isla Fisher: “Definitely not. I do not miss that.” (when asked, in 2009, if she missed the show)
– Isla Fisher: “I think there weren’t many work opportunities in Australia at the time so we did our work experience on Home and Away. Everyone says to me, can you believe that you went from Home and Away to Hollywood and sometimes we will be shooting a movie like this and it’s freezing cold and it’s grey and you’re wearing a corset and it’s icy weather and you think, ‘Actually I wish I was back on Home and Away filming on a beach.'”
– Isla Fisher: “I’ve had a lot of feedback about that [anorexia] storyline, particularly relating to the bulimia. I think everyone is self-conscious about one part of their body or another, and I’m no different, but I still felt a lot of research was required for me to play the part truthfully. I spoke to health experts and girlfriends of mine who have had anorexia.”
– Isla Fisher: “I’m not there to have the entire population fall in love with my character — that’s unrealistic. I think the audience likes to see a bad side to everyone, and Shannon can be quite devious. Can you imagine the fan mail I’m going to get after this? Everyone’s going to write in and say, ‘She’s awful. Get rid of that vixen Shannon!'”
– Isla Fisher: “At 18, we shouldn’t be making this amount of money. We wouldn’t earn this at Macca’s and we wouldn’t earn this after 10 years at uni, so I think we’re doing very well.” (speaking in response to criticism about her job and pay)
– Martin Henderson: “I can’t even remember my characters name but I was the love interest of Shannon, Isla Fisher’s character. I was in the Navy … some crazy thing … Mandy was my sister. I don’t even know. I never even watched it. They were like ‘You’re Mandy’s brother’, and I was like ‘Am I?’” [Laughs]
– Kate Ritchie: “When Isla Fisher (who played Shannon) and Tempany Deckert (who played Selina) were on the show, we were always good mates.”
– : “”
Fisher fantastic to the max! Isla was a regular on the soap for 3 years, and had several big – and often controversial – storylines, making her an integral part of the show for that time. Her episodes were always a highlight for me, and Shannon was my favourite character during her era because of her fieriness, determination … and that red hair! It was the project that made me a fan of hers, and 18 years later I still love her! Run to our video archive and/or YouTube to watch some of her episodes – it’s undoubtedly a defining part of her career.
As a young and popular member of the Home & Away cast, and someone who had a lot of big storylines, Isla did a lot of promotion for the show. She appeared on the cover of several Australian TV magazines, teasing upcoming storylines and talking about her character and showbiz life, and also attended various events with her co-stars, including the TV Week Logie Awards in 1996 & 1997.
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Press page (related: 90’s interviews)
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 1997 Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 1996 & Earlier Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Unknown, Earlier 90’s Years Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 1997 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 1996 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 1995 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Miscellaneous Magazine Clippings Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Miscellaneous Magazine Covers Scans Gallery
Isla Fisher Web‘s 90’s video interviews – currently none available
• News & Updates for Home & Away at Isla Fisher Web