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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Nadia Breen

Belfast Neighbours star Patrick Harvey on his time playing Connor O'Neill in the popular soap

Former Belfast man Patrick Harvey who starred in Neighbours has told all on his time on the popular TV soap.

The final episode of the show will air in the UK on Friday night on Channel 5. Patrick played backpacker Connor O'Neill who arrived on Ramsay Street in April 2002.

The 38-year-old actor was born in Melbourne, with his parents being from Andersonstown in West Belfast.

The family moved back and forth a few times between Northern Ireland in Australia, with Patrick living from age nine to 15 here, going to St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School on the Glen Road.

Read more: Meet NI's biggest Neighbours fans as popular Australian soap comes to an end

Speaking on The Conor Phillips Show on Friday morning ahead of the finale being aired in the UK, the actor said: "I moved back to Australia from Belfast in 1999. My parents put me into an agent and I was doing a few shows over here and I auditioned for Neighbours once for a character.

"I met with Jan Russ who was casting at the time, she was casting for over 20-odd years and I was told by my agent, 'Don't let them know you've got an Irish accent, just do your Australian accent' - because I would always do voices and impersonations.

"I was doing voiceovers from when I was nine-years-old as well. At the end, I goes, 'Alright, see ya later' – in a Belfast accent – and she said, 'Stop there, come back, what was that accent? Do it again'. So that was my first audition.

Patrick Harvey as Connor O'Neill, Natalie Blair as Carmella (FremantleMedia Stills)

"The second audition, she said, 'Right we're going to do it twice, first in your Australian accent and second in your Irish'. The third audition for it, another completely different role, was the same and then she said at the end of that one, 'We'll get there soon'. I didn't know what that meant.

"At that stage I was probably in the country for about a year. Six months after that, I got a call from my agent saying, 'Hi guess what? Neighbours want you to go on for three months, they've written a character with you in mind, an Irish character and they want to give it a trial. A three month contact with the possibility of three years...'

"It ended up being four and a half years."

The actor now (Patrick Harvey/Twitter)

The actor won a Logie Award in 2003 for Most Popular New Male Talent for his role on Neighbours.

He told The Connor Phillips Show: "At the time I was up against someone else, Jay who played Jack Scully, and obviously a number of other people. I hadn't done much press in the lead up to it. I knew the favourite was Jay from our show... but as history reflects... just before the Awards somebody came up to the producers and went, 'You might want to get him to think about what he's going to say... It looks like he might actually get it'.

"That was the year Delta Goodrem won for Female Talent as well. It was an absolute shock. I was very, very shocked. The funny thing is, as I hadn't done much press, I went into the press room after and everyone was sitting there and they went, 'Any questions for Patrick?' and they went 'I don't really know' ... nobody knew who I was!

"After that I was doing magazine covers and stuff, and they realised!"

Patrick is currently doing voiceover work along with some roles in biopics and TV series, along with directing in a creative production agency.

The Neighbours finale will air on Friday, July 29 from 9pm on Channel 5.


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