Inside the life of Neighbours’ Alan Fletcher from news reader wife to alopecia

Alan Fletcher nearly died while filming Neighbours

Alan Fletcher has played Doctor Karl Kennedy in Neighbours since 1994 and is a firm favourite among fans of the Melbourne-based soap.

The actor and many of his co-stars will be rejoining the cast of Neighbours for its Amazon Freevee reboot, but where did it all begin for Alan?

Marriage to Jennifer Hansen

Alam resides in Melbourne, Victoria, with his wife, journalist Jennifer Hansen, who he shares two children with; Veronic 27 and Tom 25.

He reportedly met the former Network Ten Melbourne newsreader Jennifer in 1986 at a comedy venue.

The pair tied the knot in 1990 and have been going strong ever since, with Jennifer revealing last year that she was quitting Smooth FM Breakfast to perform in Alan’s band.

“If you’re choosing between getting up every morning at 3.45 or touring with your husband and playing with his band in the UK, what would you do?” Jennifer asked the Herald Sun.

From the suburbs of Perth to Erinsborough

Alan grew up in the suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, with three brothers, and a young Alan would spend the holidays with his grandfather or his uncle at their farms as “there was not a lot of money to be had”.

“I would shear sheep, sweep up and basically get under everyone’s feet,” he said in a recent interview with The Times.

As a teenager, Alan developed a penchant for acting during his time at Wesley College in Perth.

However, it wasn’t until 1981 that Alan secured his first “big” acting gig in The Love Boat, filmed in Fiji and Vanuatu.

While Alan has played Neighbours’ resident Doctor for almost 30 years, he briefly acted in the soap in 1987 as a boxer called Greg Cooper before landing the role years later.

His battle with alopecia

Last year was a difficult one for Alan who opened up about his battle with alopecia with the world. 

The autoimmune condition, which results in unpredictable hair loss, affected him suddenly and began with “patchy hair loss”.

He told his fans on social media: “One thing I will say is that alopecia areata can be quite serious to people, particularly from an emotional point of view.

“Sudden hair loss is really troubling for a lot of people, particularly for young people who can be terribly bullied. There is support out there.”

The star was in good spirits when he opened up to earlier this year about returning to Neighbours which is back on screens on September 18.

The soap legend said: “The world is our oyster, you just don’t get a chance of doing this. We have been given a chance for a redo, it’s extraordinary.”

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