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”Why we quit:” Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor on leaving Summer Bay

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All good things must come to an end!

Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor may have come to Summer Bay separately, but they are leaving together.

The real-life couple who play Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson on Home And Away announced their decision to depart the venerable drama series in an emotional statement.

The performers have only started to feel the weight of their decision when TV WEEK meets up with them to say farewell.

Sophie, who debuted on the program in 2017, says she and Patrick found it “extremely hard” to say goodbye to their characters, but they knew the time was right.

”We have both done everything possible with our characters and it was time to start a new chapter,” Sophie, 30, says.

”It’s bittersweet and emotional, but we realise how lucky we are to have had such an incredible run.”

When Patrick turned 30 last year, it was a huge milestone that indicated he was ready to move on. Patrick joined the series in 2018 as the clumsy River Boy Dean.

We began filming Home And Away when Sophie and I were 24 years old, he claims.
That requires a significant amount of my time and commitment. Throughout the time we were there, I felt like I transformed into six different people.

Both as a performer and a person, there has been significant growth. Although it’s a fantastic place to work, I was prepared to go on.

Fast-forward to their final days on set, and the nervous energy was replaced by emotion as they said goodbye to friends and colleagues.

Sophie and Patrick admit they would have found it hard to walk away alone. But as they move on together, they’re thankful for the show that changed their lives – on and off screen.

”It’s been the best part of my life,” Sophie says.

”I’ve learnt so much. Everyone who was involved allowed us to do the best job in the world. I’m so honoured.”

Patrick echoes the sentiment:

”I was a bit overcome on the last day, because H&A has been such a big part of my life,” he says.

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