With Shortland Street celebrating 25 years on our screens this month, fans have been reminiscing about many of the soap's favourite characters.
One of those is Dr Sarah Potts. Played by Amanda Billing for the better part of 10 years, she was easily one of Shortland Street's most beloved characters and the good doctor's untimely death in August 2014 sparked an outpouring of grief amongst fans.
But, as she's shown in the couple of years she’s been away from the fictitious suburb of Ferndale, there are still plenty of reasons to love Amanda Billing away from the Shortland Street set.
Here’s just 10 of them.
1. Her creative pursuits are super inspiring
Billing is the master of the 100-day project.
Her photography series last year, where she photographed a different person every day for 100 days, was beautiful and insightful. And now she's committed herself to creating a painting every day for 100 days.
Yep, that’s right. A painting each and every day. And she’s really rather good at it.
Where she finds the time for such things in between her various acting and voiceover gigs (such as Find Me a Maori Bride, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Sensing Murder and Power Rangers Ninja Steel), we don’t really know.
We can only imagine she's somehow got her hands on the time-turner Hermione Granger used in Harry Potter to eke a few more hours out of the day.
2. She manages to make aquaerobics look cool.
When Billing hit the pool a month ago for an aquaerobics class, she excitedly told her Instagram followers that she hadn’t had so much fun doing exercise "since those high impact aerobics classes at Body Rock gym in Masterton in 1991".
We also salute her confidence in posting a togs shot to social media, following her own advice to "just wear the damn swimsuit".
3. She promotes ethical fashion.
Billing is also a big advocate for wearing clothing with a conscience.
When she’s not wearing something she’s made herself, the actress likes to wear items made by businesses using transparent and sustainable practices – a notion still not held by many consumers.
"Who made my clothes?" It's a rainy day in Auckland today so if you're going to the mall you could ponder this question. You could also ask yourself "Where do my clothes go when I throw them out?" It's nearly the end of @fash_rev week so in honour of their #LovedClothesLast campaign, here goes: @nudiejeans ethos is about wearing your clothes to pieces. They'll even help you repair them so they last as long as possible. @areafiftyonestore stocks them in AKL. NZ's own @wearyoga made the white top I've had for years and they're a #bcorp company so sustainability and transparency are their watchwords. The shrug I'm wearing took me two years to knit and although I was sick of the sight of it after I'd finished, I see now that it'll be with me the rest of my life. It's in Made-in-Straya #cleakheatoncountry yarn. #whomademyclothes #imademyclothes #fashionrevolution #nudiejeans #wearyoga #knittersofinstagram @fash_rev_ausnz 🙋🏻
4. She eats pies.
Yes, you heard that right. We've found a celebrity who's not afraid to imbibe delicious, hot carbs.
5. She's a word nerd
By her own admission, Billing is a "word nerd" and loves a good pun.
She has said that taking Te Reo classes made her think across two languages and see double meanings in language – which is how she came about creating clothing emblazoned with 'Ngati Ati Whaati'. (Arty farty, geddit?)
Billing still makes and sends out shirts emblazoned with her "tribe", saying it's "a little piece of my personal whakapapa now".
6. She takes a good elevator selfie.
If you’re going to take a photo of yourself in an elevator mirror (something Billing does a lot of online), you may as well make it as theatrical as possible.
7. She admits to having to google hashtag acronyms.
Because Lord knows we've all been there at some point.
8. She really does put the fabulous into 40 (and beyond)
When Billing reached her milestone 40th birthday last year, she told her Instagram followers it had "turned out to be a licence to give less f***s in general".
She also said she only felt "28 on the inside". Someone should tell her she only looks 28 on the outside, too.
9. She's funny.
She may have had some very serious storylines to act out as Dr Sarah Potts, but Billing is really rather funny.
Her Instagram feed is littered with puns and other quirky posts that have tickled her funny bone, and no opportunity to have a laugh, even a cheesy George Clooney billboard on the street, is ever squandered.
10. She has a purple unitard.
And she's not afraid to use it, folks.
When I was little I harboured a VERY secret desire to be part of Limbs Dance Company. This morning I realised that I'm currently working with two of its founding members and, because I'll be wearing a unitard, that technically makes me a contemporary dancer from 1982👊🏼. So yeah. You just don't know how your life is gonna turn out and it's never too late. ✋🏼💜#lifegoalachieved #jokingnotjoking #casualfriday #thespianlegs #purpletard #nzdcclubmystique