Everyone loves Neighbours' Steph Scully

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"Many times I've had people running up to me in the street and wrap their arms around me because they want a cuddle," smiles Carla Bonner.

As an integral part of Neighbours' heart and soul, Bonner has recently notched up 10 years with the soap. She is the only original member of the "Scully family" to have remained on the street, and for that she is very grateful.

"I was very lucky to have been kept on for all these years without a family, considering it's such a family-based show. But I've had a great time and it's gone so quickly."

Bonner says audiences have responded to the character of "Steph" and stuck with her through all her roller-coaster story lines.

"It's really nice," she says. "'Steph's' been loved. I've never copped any abuse on the streets, I've never had a negative response. There's been one person in the entire 10 years that said to me 'I don't like 'Steph' and neither does my mum!'" she laughs.

Some of those story lines have put her through the wringer. There have been marriages, cancer, remission and pregnancy. She says she gets more than her share of heavy story lines.

"Everyone has their ups and downs but 'Steph' I always saw as more of an 'up' person. But she's really been tested over the years and it gets to be a real drag playing in the doldrums."

Shortly she will enjoy the return of her on-screen mother, Lynne Scully played by Janet Andrewartha. Along with Libby (Kym Valentine) and Toadie (Ryan Moloney), she is one of Steph's closest confidantes.

"And 'Toadie's' been a real rock, an absolute gem. They're soulmates those two. Not necessarily on a romantic level, although it was touched upon for a little while. But the friendship is stronger than any passion."

Bonner says she has also kept in touch with some of her other on-screen family, including Jay Ryan, who played her brother Jack.

"Jay and I have remained like brother and sister. He's divine. Kate Keltie who played Michelle, I see every now and then. Now Janet's back. It's wonderful."

Neighbours airs 6:30pm weeknights on TEN. While in the UK it can be seen on Five at 5:30pm.

What has been your favourite 'Steph' moment over the years? Discuss it in the Neighbours forum!

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