“Good afternoon. Shortland Street Accident and Emergency Centre.”
That was the very first line of our longest-running serial drama, delivered on May 25, 1992, by one of the show’s much loved characters, Marjorie Brasch (nee Neilson), played by the iconic New Zealand actor Elizabeth McRae.
A quarter of a century later, Spy can confirm that Marj, now 80, is returning to Ferndale for the special 90-minute anniversary episode screening on Thursday, which is being described by producer Maxine Fleming as a “cataclysmic event”.
McRae has been long associated with the show, with several returns in 2002 and 2013 and her character remains at the top of the list in terms of fan favourites.
“I continue to watch the show — and although I have been back a few times over the years, it was quite surreal to be back in reception 25 years later,” McRae told Spy.
“I still remember watching the very first episode together as a full cast and we wondered how the general public and the critics would react. It was a mixed reaction, so never did I imagine that I would be back 25 years later. What a well-deserved achievement for all involved over the years.”
Michael Glavin and Claire Chitham.
Sentimental Shorty fans will be pleased to know that husband and wife Nick (Karl Burnett), and Waverley (Claire Chitham), who left Ferndale for the bright lights of Taranaki, will also return for the anniversary episode — and we have it on good authority that another two famous faces from the past are also set to return.
All will be revealed at a special screening in Parnell ahead of the TV2 screening at 7pm on Thursday.