Kiwi soapie leaps ditch
KIWI soap Shortland Street debuted on its new home on Australian pay TV this week.
The long-running medical drama, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, now airs week nights on Arena.
"I'm so stoked it's going to be on telly over there. You guys are like our cousins," said cast member Amanda Biling.
Set in the high-pressure environment of an inner-city district hospital, Shortland Street follows the day-to-day romances and professional dilemmas of a team of caring doctors and nurses.
Biling has played Doctor Sarah Potts on the soapie for the past nine years.
After a tumultuous relationship with her former partner Zac, with whom she has a daughter, Sarah is enjoying a period of being single.
"I'm happy for her not to have a boyfriend for a while," Biling said.
"She's had so much relationship drama, but that's the essence of any soap opera so I'm sure she won't stay single for long."
Her focus, for the moment anyway, is on her work at the Auckland City Hospital.
"She's getting increasingly involved in the politics of hospital management," she said.
"She used to be an ED (emergency department) doctor but for health reasons she had to resign from her position. She struggled to find a job she's happy in, but she was hired as a clinical director, like the boss of all the doctors, she's very happy doing that."
She hopes Australian audiences warm to the show, and Sarah in particular, like viewers have in New Zealand.
"You're picking it up at a very dramatic time, so you can look forward to some pretty interesting psychological drama," she said.
"There's some love stories and a bit of tragedy in the lead-up to the Christmas episode.
"It's all ramping up to the Christmas cliff-hanger, which is a very exciting episode. It's a great combination of a big party, comedy, drama and a bit of chaos."