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Home and Away star calls out show's change of direction, asks for more diversity

Aussie actor Ray Meagher has played Alf Stewart since 1988.

Home and Away legend Ray Meagher has spoken out about the iconic soap changing direction from its original premise

Home and Away, which started in 1988, followed the Fletcher family taking in foster children in the seaside town of Summer Bay. Ray has played the beloved Alf Stewart since the start of the show and is signed on until at least 2027.

These days, there are fewer kids on the show, I'm not even sure if Summer Bay High exists anymore, and there's a lot more scandalous behaviour. And of course, drama with cults, abductions, car and motorcycle accidents, health scares, and everything else under the sun.

Home and Away's Ray Meagher
Home and Away's Ray Meagher has played Alf Stewart since 1988. Photo: Seven

Ray has now said a change in direction, most notably in 2011 with the introduction of bad boy gang the River Boys, saw the show go on a different journey, with a focus now still storylines revolving around crimes.

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“There is still penchant for a River Boy,” he said in an interview with TV Tonight. “I mean, that was just a great period. But was it Summer Bay? Hmmm …. in my humble opinion, not to that extent.”

The original River Boys were introduced in 2011. Photo: Seven
The original River Boys were introduced in 2011. Photo: Seven

Given current storylines revolve around Lyrik band member Theo experimenting with drugs, Cash trying to catch a stalker, and Mac and Levi entangled in an affair, Ray said there was nothing wrong with the storylines or the focus on "sex, drugs and rock and roll" he also stipulated that the change of pace "came in too big of a dose", making a more permanent transformation of the show.

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He also went on to say that he thought it was time the show had better LGBTQ+ representation.

“It’d be nice to have a nice gay character come into the Bay. That would be good,” he said.

“However, how many of them do we have in Summer Bay? There would definitely be a percentage, whether they’re above the ground or underground still in a town like the Bay."

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