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Author: Daniel Dasey
Date: 06/07/1996
Words: 422
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Tempo
Page: 23
OVER a stiff orange juice at Sydney's Soho Bar, Home And Away medico Katrina Hobbs is spilling the beans about the on-screen death of co-star Dieter Brummer.

The face of Summer Bay's earnest medical intern, Dr Kelly Watson, Hobbs drops a bombshell about the demise of teen heart-throb Shane Parish (Brummer) that will leave fans of the soap reeling.

"I killed Shane," she confesses. "My character removed his spleen and months later he cut himself on a nail and died of septicaemia. He couldn't fight the infection. Nobody's put the two together."

On set, the unlikely plot twist has earned her the nickname "Dr Death" from fellow cast members, but Hobbs takes the job of playing an on-screen medico seriously.

In the lead-up to joining the soap's cast last August, she tagged along with doctors on their rounds at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, taking notes on everything from their bedside manner to how they held their stethoscopes. An on-set nurse coaches Hobbs on the finer points of playing a doctor, and she hopes to accompany paramedics on a shift to experience first-hand the drama of real-life emergencies.

Outside Home And Away's shooting

schedule, Hobbs escapes to the Soho Bar on Kings Cross's Victoria Street to down a few soothing ales and unwind playing pool.

"It's not somewhere I go every weekend, but if I go out I will come and play on the pool tables," she says.

"I love the decor and the atmosphere. It's nice and light, not closed in, and I love the tiled effect."

Hobbs knows a thing or two about bars, having spent

a year pulling beers in her native New Zealand, as she waited for her acting career to take off.

"You learn to deal with people really well when you have to tell someone who's had too much to drink they can't have another round," she says.

She also learned a thing about pool and now counts working the tables in Sydney bars as one of her greatest passions apart from acting.

"The best time I ever had in a bar was when my

brother and I were playing pool for eight games in a row," she says. "We just beat every person who came up."

Between frames her preferred drink is a Heineken, a substitute for her favourite Kiwi beer, Max Gold.

"It's the best beer, naturally fermented, similar to Cascade, but it's got a Kiwi flavour all of its own," she says. "You don't get hangovers!"

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