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Sun-Herald

LONG-DISTANCE LOVE

Author: ROBYN WILLIS
Date: 12/01/1992
Words: 635
          Publication: The Sun Herald
Section: Television
Page: 15
AFTER a cold English Christmas, it was not the warm climate of Home and Away's Summer Bay that Nicolle Dickson missed the most.

Half the show's cast including Mat Stevenson , Emily Symons and Greg Benson were working in pantomimes across the country with the diminutive Nicolle, 23, starring in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

There she performed opposite recently returned Home and Away regular, Alex Papps , and Neighbours star, Mark Little.

But the man most conspicuous by his absence was Nicolle's husband, sales executive James Bell.

The couple were married little more than 18 months ago after a much-publicised romance and he travelled to England with her mother for Nicolle's performances in Cinderella in 1990.

However, he was unable to take holidays this year so the couple made do with phone calls and a fax machine.

Nicolle, who plays Bobby in the hit series on Channel Seven, said she had hired a fax machine to keep in touch.

"I faxed him at work every day and we limited ourselves to two phone calls a day - one in the morning and one in the evening," she said.

"I missed him but I was really busy."

Nicolle said she really enjoyed doing live theatre and would consider branching out when she leaves Home and Away.

While rumours are rife that Nicolle's departure from the series that gave her career a kick start more than four years ago is imminent, she said nothing was set in stone.

"I am going to sign for another year in April," she said. "The time has gone really quickly and each year I have been advised by my peers, my agent and cast members to stay."

Nicolle is not the only person with major decisions to make in 1992. Her on-screen character, Bobby, must decide who she loves - Frank (Alex Papps) or Greg (Ross Newton).

Nicolle said it will be a difficult decision for Bobby to choose between her former husband, Frank, and her new love Greg, the father of her foster child, Sam. "Part of her wants to go with Frank and the other part wants to go with Greg for different reasons," she said. "She is split in half."

Bobby's turbulent background contrasts markedly with Nicolle's stable family life.

As one of three girls, she said her family has always supported her and is delighted with her success.

Nicolle is one of Home and Away's original cast members, and she finds her role very fulfilling.

"The best thing is when you have a good scene, character or story you can throw yourself into," she said. "Those performances make you feel really good about yourself."

She said the show examines common family problems and shows ways of dealing with them.

This formula has made the show very popular to say the least, to the point where a scuffle reportedly broke out between Fleet Street photographers at Nicolle's wedding in 1990.

Nicolle said the family tried to avoid such problems by appointing an official photographer to provide pictures to the press. It didn't work.

While she would have liked to keep her relationship with her husband quiet, Nicolle said it was inevitable the media would want to know about it because she was in the public eye.

 
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