We were thrilled to interview the legendary Alan Fletcher, actor best known for his role as TV’s heart-throb Dr Karl Kennedy on Neighbours. He is a father of two children, Veronica and Tom, and has been married to Jennifer Hansen for 23 years.
You’re best known for your part as Karl Kennedy in Neighbours. What’s life on Ramsey Street really like – describe a typical day-in-the-life.
There are no typical days on Neighbours because the shooting television is a precarious business. It seems like almost everyday something happens to interrupt the schedule and throw shooting into chaos. Given that we are working on 18 episodes simultaneously it’s a wonder we get everything shot. But, at the end of the week, we generally get there.
Besides your ongoing role in Neighbours, your recent stint over in the UK in panto, and life as a musician in your band ‘Waiting Room’ – how important is it to find time to relax, and what’s your idea of a perfect non-working weekend?
Every weekend I make a point to watch my son play cricket or basketball, I try to always have a game of golf and catch up on some television or film for relaxation. My daughter is passionate about horror cinema so we watch at least one scary movie per weekend.
What have been your most favourite scenes to film in Neighbours, and which character from the past would you most like to bring back into the show?
My favourite scenes are the very comic ones, particularly the ones I shoot with my stage wife Jackie Woodburne. My favourite character from the past that I would love to see come back is Joe Mangel played by Mark Little.
How child/family-friendly have you found the showbiz industry from a working father’s point of view?
I have been very fortunate working full time on Neighbours because my hours of work vary wildly. Some days I am at work for twelve hours and other days only a few hours. As a result I have often been available to drop off and pick up my children from school and participate in their extra-curricular activities.
My great blessing is having a partner to share parenting duties. The plight of the single parent in Showbiz is completely different and can be extremely stressful.
You’re an ambassador for the charity Blue September. Tell us a bit about this important charity.
Blue September’s charter is to raise funds for research into cancers in men and to raise awareness amongst men of the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have regular check ups. The organisations that Blue September helps to fund commonly research cancers that affect women as well.
If you could play any role, in any other film or TV show, who/what would it be?
I would like to play a ramshackle slightly dotty private detective in the Colombo mould.
With regards to both your acting and musical career – where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my influence from the actors and musicians I work with.
How much medical knowledge have you picked up in the twenty years you’ve played Dr Karl?
I have collected some very basic first aid knowledge and I can say Angioblastic T Cell Lymphoma very quickly.
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
A person who thinks about the world very seriously in as light hearted a way as possible.