The Info List - Alf Stewart

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Alfred James "Alf" Stewart is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Home and Away, played by Ray Meagher. Alf was created as one of the show's eighteen original characters. Meagher originally auditioned for the role of Tom Fletcher, before being cast as Alf. He made his first appearance during the pilot episode broadcast on 17 January 1988. As of 2017, Meagher is the sole remaining original cast member and he holds a Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving actor in an Australian serial. For his portrayal of Alf, Meagher won the Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television in 2010.


1 Casting 2 Development 3 Storylines

3.1 Backstory 3.2 1988–

4 In popular culture 5 Reception 6 References 7 External links

Casting Meagher was cast in the role of Alf after appearing as a supporting character in numerous roles. He was one of only eight older actors that were cast in the serial's original line up.[1] Upon receiving his first regular role Meagher said "It's good for me to play someone like that after all the other blokes."[1] During an interview published on the Channel 5 website, Meagher revealed that he did not audition for Alf and the producers originally saw him for the role of Tom Fletcher (eventually played by Roger Oakley).[2] Meagher holds a Guinness World Record
Guinness World Record
as the longest-serving actor in an Australian serial for portraying Alf since 1988.[3] As of 2011 he is the only remaining original cast member still present.[4] During flashbacks to the character's past, Alf was portrayed by Max Buckley and Robert Jago respectively.[5][6] In April 2010, it was announced Meagher was taking a break from Home and Away, so he could travel to London to star in the West End production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Meagher said "[Home and Away] have very generously allowed me to do Priscilla in the West End from 20 September roughly until early March."[7] Meagher returned to the West End in October 2011. However, the actor, whose contract was up for renewal in 2012, said he was committed to staying in Home and Away because he still enjoyed the role of Alf.[8] Meagher is the only cast member whose contract entitles him to extra holidays.[9] In February 2013, Meagher told a reporter from the AAP that he had signed a five-year contract with Home and Away. But he is allowed to leave providing he gives six months notice.[10] Development In his early years Alf was described as a "good-natured rogue with a finger in every pie."[1] Meagher said that although some people think he is miserable, he sees him as an "upstanding member of the community".[11] He further added "He can be a bit grumpy and gets stuck into people and you have to be quick to catch his apology if he is wrong, but on the whole he is a big softie."[11] Alf has shown a keen interest in business. Whilst serving on the Surf Club Committee, he also works as a bartender. He also owns a bait shop and takes part in recreational fishing.[12] Meagher often changes dialogue to suit Alf's speech.[9] Alf's first on-screen relationship is with Ailsa Hogan
Ailsa Hogan
(Judy Nunn). Writers decided that they pair would marry early on.[1] When filming began heavy rain disrupted filming for two weeks. Nunn almost missed her own wedding due to the producers trying to get her film.[1] Meagher has stated that Alf's most memorable storyline is when he develops a brain tumour. He had to film the scenes twice, once with his co-star Nunn and the other without. Meagher said that it was an emotional experience.[9] Alf's relationship with sister Morag Bellingham
Morag Bellingham
(Cornelia Frances) has often been strained.[13] There has been a lots of fights and antagonsim between the pair. Morag later softens towards him after they reach an understanding.[13] Frances said: "underneath she will always care for him and look after him." Frances felt it perhaps not the best development because she enjoyed their "wonderful fights".[13] Alf's life changed when he was reunited with his teenage sweetheart Viv Standish
Viv Standish
(Maggie Kirkpatrick), who told Alf that she had given birth to their son, Owen, and put him up for adoption.[14] Alf then learned that Owen had died after being attacked by his son Eric "Ric" Dalby (Mark Furze).[14] Alf attends Owen's funeral and when he sees his grandson, he is tempted to approach him, but he decided to take Morag's advice and wait.[14] Meagher stated, "Alf feels a responsibility to this kid, especially since his dad was a ratbag. Alf's also been a bit of a failure in the fatherhood department, so in a way, Eric is a life raft – a way for him to make up for the past."[14] Storylines Backstory Alf grew up in Summer Bay and took an interest in business. His father Gordon and Scottish grandfather Angus also lived in the Bay. By the time he was thirty, he owned the Summer Bay Liquor Store, the Summer Bay Caravan Park, a boat hire service and a yacht brokerage.[1] Alf married a local woman called Martha Baldivis and they moved into the Summer Bay House at the Caravan Park. They had a daughter called Ruth. In 1985, Martha drowned and Alf decided that he could no longer live there and he let the Caravan Park decline, but looked after the house. He met Ailsa and they began dating, despite Ruth's dislike of her. Alf decides to sell the business and home to the Fletcher family.[15] 1988– Alf first appears in the pilot episode of the show, in which he sells the Summer Bay Caravan Park to Tom and Pippa Fletcher, unable to cope with living there following the death of his wife, Martha, three years earlier. By now Alf is involved in a relationship with general store owner Ailsa, who he marries in 1988, despite the disapproval of his daughter Ruth (Roo) and the revelation that Ailsa was convicted of the murder of her abusive father. After briefly separating, Alf and Ailsa reunite in late 1988, unexpectedly becoming parents to Duncan the following year. Alf later discovers he has a daughter, Quinn Jackson, from a previous relationship, but she rejects her father. In 2000, Ailsa reveals she also has another child, conceived after she was raped by a prison guard. This child turns out to be Shauna Bradley, who already lives in Summer Bay. In 2001 Ailsa collapses and dies suddenly as the result of an undiscovered heart condition. Two years later a still distraught Alf has a nervous breakdown and begins seeing visions of his dead wife. It's later discovered he has a brain tumour. In 2004 Alf discovers he has another long-lost child when he is reunited with his terminally ill former girlfriend, Viv Standish. The revelation leads Alf to realise local bad boy Eric Dalby, whom he loathes, is his grandson. After a difficult start the two build a relationship. The following year Alf is reunited with yet another long-lost family member when Roo introduces him to Martha, the daughter she gave up for adoption in 1988. In 2008, Alf is left upset when his best friend Sally Fletcher
Sally Fletcher
decides to leave the Bay. Sally and her daughter return to the Bay five years later, and she reveals that her daughter is dying and the only way to save her is to go to America for treatment. Alf helps her raise the money for the treatment. In 2010, Alf and his friends were stalked by Penn Graham, the son of a married woman Alf had an affair with in between his first wife dying and meeting his second wife Alisa. Alf decides to visit the Canberra war memorial with some students when he realises they do not care about ANZAC Day. As he looks around the memorial, he starts to suffer flashbacks to his time in Vietnam. Later that night, the students and Alf sleep outdoors in trenches as part of the war experience. Alf continues to suffer flashbacks and wanders off by himself, before collapsing. He is taken to the hospital and diagnosed with PTSD. He initially refuses to deal with it, but eventually opens up to a therapist. In popular culture In 2010, Facebook
fan pages caused controversy in the Australian media. One of the pages in question, " Alf Stewart
Alf Stewart
Rape Dungeon", led to calls for the social networking site to be more closely monitored.[16] The pages also featured false YouTube
videos of Alf and Meagher's voice threatening to rape other cast members.[17] The page gained 9500 users as fans.[17] However, other sections of 'the media' have pointed out that the 'pro-rape' Facebook
page is merely a joke, and not promotional.[18] Reception For his portrayal of Alf, Meagher was nominated for Most Popular Actor at the 2008 Digital Spy
Digital Spy
Soap Awards.[19] In 2010, Meagher won the Gold Logie at the Logie Awards. He was also nominated for Most Popular Actor.[20] The episode featuring Alf's breakdown following the suicide of an army mate, Jeff Marshall, who served with him in Vietnam, won the 1998 Australian Film Institute Award for Best Episode in a Television Drama Serial and was presented to director Russell Webb.[21] The episode featuring Alf's late wife Ailsa showing him a vision of Summer Bay without him won the 2003 Australian Writers' Guild Award for Best Episode in a Television Serial. It was presented to the episode's writer Coral Drouyn.[22] Robin Oliver from The Sydney Morning Herald said that Alf and Ailsa formed a "terrific partnership".[23] Rosemarie Milsome of the Newcastle Herald was critical of Alf's treatment of Chloe Richards
Chloe Richards
breastfeeding her newborn daughter Olivia in the diner, labelling him "The stereotypical ocker middle-aged male; judgmental, laconic and a pain in the backside." She added: "I thought Chloe should have decked Alf, but then I tend to fly off the handle and, anyway, it would have been difficult for her to have a good swing with a baby attached to her nipple."[24] Holy Soap have said that Alf's most memorable moment is "The classic episode ripping off It's A Wonderful Life, in which Alf, in the middle of a brain tumour operation, is led through Summer Bay history as if he had never existed."[25] They also describe him as "the Lou Carpenter
Lou Carpenter
of Summer Bay, a miserable but lovable legend who will never leave."[25] Hampshire
culture website Get Hampshire
branded Alf a "legendary misery-guts".[11] They also said he is commonly known for his use of declining Australian slang with sayings such as "flamin' mongrel".[11] Yahoo!7
opined he had become "a TV icon" for using his catchphrases such as "flamin'" and "strewth".[12] In Catherine Deveny's book "It's not my fault they print them" she joked that she was distressed after watching three episodes of Home and Away
Home and Away
and not hearing Alf say "flaming mongrels".[26] Virgin Media
Virgin Media
have also agreed he is "lover of stereotypical Aussie slang", stating "Stone the flamin' crows!" has been one of his typical lines. They added that their favourite was "Yer flamin' great galah!"[27] They also said "There's no doubt Alf is loved, despite being a bit of a rogue with a finger in every pie."[27] They went on to describe him as the "godfather of Summer Bay" and "Grumpy but kind and good natured."[27] Geoff Mayer, Brian McFlarne and Ina Bertrand said in their book "The Oxford companion to Australian film" that Meagher's roles have epitomised the rough-hewn, knockabout Australian character. They said he portrays the persona in Alf and brands him a popular character.[28] Jaci Stephen of the Daily Mail said that Alf is not the "adventurous type", so it was a shock to hear his intentions of travelling. She also expressed doubt that Alf could ever leave Summer Bay.[29] References

^ a b c d e f Oram, James (1989). Home and away: behind the scenes. Angus & Robertson. pp. 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111. ISBN 0-207-16315-4.  ^ " Ray Meagher and Nick Hardcastle Q&A – Part 1". Channel 5. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 17 July 2013.  ^ Fife-Yeomans, Janet (19 December 2009). "Shadows fall on Home And Away". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ "Meagher nabs first flamin' Gold Logie". ABC News. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2 May 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ Series Producer: Cameron Welsh; Director: Geoffrey Nottage; Writer: Chelsea Cassio (30 June 2010). "Episode 5108". Home and Away. Seven Network. Seven Network.  ^ Series Producer: Cameron Welsh; Director: Jet Wilkinson; Writer: Sarah Walker, Matt Anderson (16 September 2010). "Episode 5164". Home and Away. Seven Network. Seven Network.  ^ "Meagher taking Home and Away
Home and Away
break". RTÉ TEN. Radio Telefís Éireann. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ Eames, Tom (12 October 2011). "'Home and Away's Ray Meagher: 'I have no plans to retire'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 13 October 2011.  ^ a b c "Ray Meagher, Home And Away". TV Choice. (Bauer Media Group). 16 November 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2013.  ^ "Alf reckons he's 'yesterday's man'". The West Australian. Seven West Media. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.  ^ a b c d Margrave, Lauren (24 December 2008). "Aussie soap star crosses the globe for panto". Get Hampshire. (S&B Media). Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ a b "Stone the flamin' crows! Ray Meagher wins Gold Logie". Yahoo!7. (Yahoo! Inc. and Seven Network). Archived from the original on 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ a b c "Cornelia: Morag hasn't changed". Holy Soap. (Channel 5). 9 March 2011. Archived from the original on 12 March 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.  ^ a b c d "Funeral for a stranger". Inside Soap
Inside Soap
(23): 39. 11–17 June 2005.  ^ Desmond, Kesta (1990). Home and Away
Home and Away
Annual. Grandreams. p. 10. ISBN 0-86227-787-6.  ^ Vasek, Lanai (25 May 2010). " Facebook
fury over pro-rape page". News.com.au. (News Limited). Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ a b " Facebook
group promoting rape and smearing Ray Meagher slammed". Herald Sun. (The Herald and Weekly Times). 24 May 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ Marx, Jack (25 May 2010). "'Rape joke' explained". News.com.au. (News Limited). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ Green, Kris (21 March 2008). " Digital Spy Soap Awards
Digital Spy Soap Awards
2008: The Winners". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ "2010 Logie Awards: Full List of Winners". Perth Now. News Limited. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.  ^ "AFI Award Winners Feature Categories 1958-2009". Australian Film Institute. 2009. Archived from the original on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2012.  ^ "Winners 1968-2006" (PDF). Australian Writers Guild. Retrieved 20 May 2012.  ^ Oliver, Robin (4 February 1991). " Home and Away
Home and Away
on Seven at 6:30 PM". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 4 February 2013.  ^ Milsome, Rosemarie (13 June 1998). "Nursing mothers getting the booby prize". The Newcastle Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 2. Retrieved 9 December 2012.  ^ a b "Alf Stewart". Holy Soap. (Channel 5). Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.  ^ Deveny, Catherine (2007). It's not my fault they print them (1st ed.). Schwartz Publishing. ISBN 1-86395-119-9.  ^ a b c "Home And Away: Who's Who?". Virginmedia.com. (Virgin Media Inc.). 25 January 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2011.  ^ Bertrand, Ina; McFarlane, Brian (1999). The Oxford companion to Australian film. Oxford University Press. p. 304. ISBN 0-19-553797-1.  ^ Stephen, Jaci (25 February 2011). "Jaci Stephen: The ultimate insight into this week's soaps". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

External links

Alf Stewart
Alf Stewart
at the Official AU Home and Away
Home and Away
website Alf Stewart
Alf Stewart
at the Official UK Home and Away
Home and Away
website Alf Stewart
Alf Stewart
at the Official IE Home and Away
Home and Away
website Alf Stewart
Alf Stewart
at Holy Soap

v t e

Home and Away
Home and Away

Present characters

Martin Ashford Ben Astoni Coco Astoni Maggie Astoni Ziggy Astoni Marilyn Chambers Hunter King Brody Morgan Justin Morgan Mason Morgan Tori Morgan Raffy Morrison John Palmer Leah Patterson-Baker Olivia Fraser Richards Irene Roberts Alf Stewart Roo Stewart

Past characters

Charlotte Adams Tasha Andrews Rachel Armstrong Billie Ashford Gina Austin Xavier Austin Dan Baker Andy Barrett Josh Barrett Morag Bellingham Saul Bennett Sasha Bezmel Donna Bishop Shauna Bradley Casey Braxton Darryl Braxton Heath Braxton Kyle Braxton Charlie Buckton Ruby Buckton Adam Cameron Annie Campbell Geoff Campbell Kat Chapman Selina Cook Johnny Cooper Nate Cooper Miles Copeland Lucinda Croft Drew Curtis Jazz Curtis Ric Dalby Blake Dean Martin Dibble Donald Fisher Simon Fitzgerald Sally Fletcher Tom Fletcher Nicole Franklin James Fraser Lachlan Fraser Brodie Hanson Chris Harrington Jack Holden Lucas Holden Sam Holden Tony Holden Beth Hunter Kit Hunter Matilda Hunter Robbie Hunter Scott Hunter Kim Hyde Emma Jackson Jett James Peta Janossi Aden Jefferies Elijah Johnson Melody Jones Charlotte King Tamara Kingsley Jude Lawson Noah Lawson Ryan Lee Evelyn MacGuire Oscar MacGuire Zac MacGuire Martha MacKenzie Greg Marshall Sam Marshall Steven Matheson Mitch McColl Jesse McGregor Floss McPhee Denny Miller Roxy Miller Seb Miller Casey Mitchell Grant Mitchell Frank Morgan Carly Morris Liam Murphy Gypsy Nash Joel Nash Natalie Nash Rebecca Nash Tom Nash Travis Nash Viv Newton Tug O'Neale Phoebe Nicholson Maddy Osborne Matt Page Angel Parrish Nick Parrish Shane Parrish Vinnie Patterson VJ Patterson Kane Phillips Alex Poulos Joey Rainbow Curtis Reed Shannon Reed Harry Reynolds Chloe Richards Damian Roberts Finlay Roberts Angelo Rosetta Haydn Ross Pippa Ross Angie Russell Josie Russell Flynn Saunders Pippa Saunders April Scott Bianca Scott Ricky Sharpe Bobby Simpson Sophie Simpson Colleen Smart Lance Smart Narelle Smart Hayley Smith Ken Smith Nick Smith Romeo Smith Will Smith Ailsa Stewart Celia Stewart Duncan Stewart Rob Storey Hugh Sullivan Dani Sutherland Jade Sutherland Kirsty Sutherland Rhys Sutherland Shelley Sutherland Belle Taylor Sarah Thompson Cassie Turner Amanda Vale Dexter Walker Indi Walker Sid Walker Kelly Watson Justine Welles Josh West Hannah Wilson Jack Wilson Matt Wilson

Characters by year

1988 1989 1990 1991 1993 1994 1995 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2