The Bachelor’s Tim Robards joins the cast of Neighbours

Australia’s first star of The Bachelor, Tim Robards, is returning to Network Ten, this time as a cast member on long-running soap opera Neighbours.

Robards says his character has shades of Suits’ Harvey Specter

Robards’ return to television mimics that of Sam Frost, who after appearing on The Bachelor season two, and subsequently The Bachelorette season one, joined Seven’s Home and Away at the start of this year

Robards will join the cast of Neighbours from early October, playing Pierce Greyson, a wealthy investor “who has more on his mind than just making money”, Ten said.

The network stressed Robards had auditioned for the role, and said he would flourish on air.

“Tim went through a lengthy audition process and impressed us with his take on the character,” Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said. “As soon as we put him in the room with the other characters he’ll be playing opposite, we knew we had our Pierce Greyson.

“It’s a great role and Tim has been a terrific addition to the cast.”

Network Ten’s executive producer of Neighbours, Sara Richardson, added: “Tim has been part of the Network Ten family since 2013 when he became Australia’s first Bachelor. We are thrilled to now welcome him to the Neighbours family in his first acting appearance. We cannot wait to watch his character, Pierce Greyson, flourish in air in the coming months.”

Robards said he would play a complex character, noting similarities between Greyson and other iconic television and cinematic creations.

“I’ve really enjoyed exploring the character. Pierce Greyson has a number of layers to him, so he is really interesting to play. He is a hybrid of Harvey Specter, sprinkle of Christian Grey and a little bit of Robert Redford – so it’s been great fun to explore,” he said.

“I watched Neighbours as a kid, so to be on the set with such iconic characters like Paul Robinson, Toadie and Susan is an amazing experience. The entire cast and crew have been so welcoming.”

When Robards joined The Bachelor, he was a chiropractor, and has since launched a fitness program The Robards Method.

He appeared on Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior both last year and this year, and is soon due to compete in the semi-finals.

Of his change in career direction, Robards said: “At the start of this year I made the decision to make acting the top of my priority list and I’ve been putting in the hard work behind closed doors with different coaches pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and then this role came up so I’m super excited.”

Neighbours was shifted from Ten’s main channel to Eleven on the multi-channel’s launch day, 11 January, 2011.

Its viewing numbers have steadily declined over the past decade, with last night’s preliminary OzTAM overnight metro ratings showing the program had just 146,000 metro viewers.

Its 30th birthday special in 2015 had a combined metro audience of 429,000 across both Ten and Eleven.

Rival Home & Away on Seven celebrated its 30-year milestone earlier this week, with 605,000 metro viewers tuning in and 690,000 watching the regular nightly episode.


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