British viewer wins role in Aussie soap

16th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Australian soap opera "Neighbours" -- consistently more popular in Britain than in its homeland -- has handed a new role to a UK competition winner, British broadcaster Five said Friday.

The show, which launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Natalie Imbruglia and Jason Donovan, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and offered female British fans the chance to appear as a character for a month.

Gabriella Darlington, 18, from Chelmsford, northeast of London, beat off competition from more than 1,600 hopefuls in Five's "Be A Star" contest.

She will guest star as Poppy Rogers, described as a "free-spirited" backpacker who makes an impression on the local bachelors.

Darlington has flown to Melbourne, where the show is recorded.

"I can't believe how lucky I am. I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone get to Australia and win," she said.

Filming starts Monday.

© 2010 AFP

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