Essex teenager wins part on iconic Aussie soap Neighbours

PUBLISHED: 14:56 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 11:29 29 July 2010

Gabriella Darlington

Gabriella Darlington

Archant

DESPITE having no professional acting experience a teenager has beaten off more than 1500 hopefuls to win a role in the popular Aussie soap Neighbours.

DESPITE having no professional acting experience a teenager has beaten off more than 1500 hopefuls to win a role in the popular Aussie soap Neighbours.

Gabriella Darlington, from Pleshey, will guest star as Poppy Rogers during a four-week stint on the iconic show.

The 18-year-old was whittled down to the final two in Channel Five’s Be A Star On Neighbours competition and after being announced as the winner began filming on Monday (July 19).

Miss Darlington used to do her homework while watching Neighbours and minimal acting experiences only include roles in school nativity plays.

She said: “I can’t believe how lucky I am. I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone get to Australia and win.”

The character Poppy is described as a “free-spirited” young woman who has encouraged her cousin, Ruby, to accompany her on a backpacking trip around Ruby’s native Australia.

Poppy’s adventurous nature takes them to a bar – arousing interest from some of Erinsborough’s most eligible bachelors.

The role has earnt her national recognition and media attention. She told The Sun newspaper: “It’s a huge stepping stone. I like the idea of being in soaps, but I’ve never properly considered it because I never thought I’d be able to make it.

“I’d love to be in Coronation Street or EastEnders, but I’m not going to look too far ahead.”

Gabriella will appear on UK screens from November 10 and fans will be able to see what happened when the two finalists went to Melbourne in a special programme airing in the same week on Five.

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