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Author: JESSICA ADAMS. Jessica Adams's Stars are in Sunday Life magazine.
Date: 11/05/2003
Words: 538
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Metro
Page: 3
DO you know what Neighbours is called in Iceland? And can you remember the name of the song that peaked at No. 50 in the charts in 1990 for Craig McLachlan ? (Appropriately enough for his record company, it was called I Almost Felt Like Crying.)

Neighbours knowledge could be to your advantage if you intend being a serious player in Sydney's social scene at the moment, because in the absence of anything better to do, inner-city types are not only queuing up to get into Neighbours Nites, they are actually ringing and booking.

It was only when I revealed myself as the astrologer and sometime Sydney Unzipped columnist for this newspaper that I was let in although I had to shove my way past quite a few Prada handbags and tread on numerous Chanel espadrilles in order to do so.

The great thing about Neighbours, of course, is that it attracts strapping young British backpackers. Thus it was that, as a Ramsay Street virgin, I found myself sharing a ballpoint pen and an answer sheet with uberspunks Tim and Tom (not their real names, obviously) who were on their gap year from Oxford.

Tim and Tom had been picking fruit in strange places, and getting an all-over tan at every possible opportunity not that any of the chicks on the table were complaining, you understand.

Even more impressively, despite the extremely posh Tim and Tom being only slightly older than Neighbours itself, they still had phenomenal inside knowledge of the soap.

``What happened to Lucy Robinson when she left Ramsay Street?" boomed the quizmaster into a microphone.

``Got a modelling assignment in Singapore," said Tim blithely.

``Yeah, but that was only after she had an incestuous relationship with her half-brother Glen, got kidnapped, became an alcoholic and rang up a big credit card bill," said Tom, not wanting to be outdone.

``Which two cast members of Neighbours would you associate with amphibians?", the quizmaster challenged us.

``Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan," I said, quick as a flash.

``Oh no, no, no," Tim waved me aside with a flourish, as only an Oxford gap year student can. ``It's Toadfish Rebecchi and Tadpole Reeves ."

After that I was in Neighbours hell for what seemed like an eternity.

``Which actor played Toby Mangel ?"

``Finn Greentree-Keane," said Tim and Tom in unison.

``Which famous Neighbours name is contained in the anagram, malted red goo?"

``Ah yes, that'll be Mrs Mangel ," I said, confidently. But it was Delta Goodrem almost as silly a name as Finn Greentree-Keane , might I add, although not quite as freakish as Serendipity Gottlieb . And that was the name of a Neighbours character, by the way, not an actor.

The evening ended with a bottle of champagne (gorgeous Tim won the Natalie Imbruglia lookalike contest without even needing to enter) and a few free jugs of beer. And our table picked up bonus prizes for knowing that Neighbours is called Nagranner in Iceland (``Nagranner, everybody needs good nagranner") and Buren in Belgium. And no, you didn't know that did you?

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