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Behind the scenes of The Young Doctors

The Young Doctors may famously have never won any awards during its six year run, but it was an undeniable hit with viewers. Here are some facts about the classic soap.

1397 episodes of the show were recorded between 1976 and 1982. The first episode was actually numbered “episode 0”, and was split into two half hour shows for the overseas market.

Countries where The Young Doctors has been screened include Trinidad, Barbados, Angola, the Netherlands, France, Canada and the UK.

The Young Doctors was a huge afternoon hit in the UK, often watched by millions of viewers.

The UK was also home to the Young Doctors Appreciation Society, which at its peak had over 8000 members.

Gwen Plumb (Ada) didn’t appear in the very first episode. Her first appearance was in the second show.

The only character to appear in both the first and last episodes of the show was Dr Graham Steele (Tim page).

Unlike many soaps and serials, The Young Doctors filmed all scenes in chronological order.

In the early days, the studio where the show was filmed didn’t even have air conditioning. In the summer, the actors’ make-up would melt and run down their faces. The cameras would get so hot that they needed to have ice packs and cool towels placed on them to get them working again.

In earlier episodes, the Albert’s exterior shots were filmed in a pretty unconvincing studio set. Later, Sydney’s Greenwich Hospital was used for outside location shots.

Pat Hutchence, mother of INXS singer Michael, was the show’s make-up artist. Before they were famous, INXS even performed at a cast and crew party celebrating Channel 9’s decision not to cancel the show.

Regular character Dennis Jamison wasn’t in the first episode of the show, but his wife was. No, not Caroline, but his real-life wife. She played the Denham’s irresponsible babysitter. She reappeared a few years later, as a stripper friend of nurse Dolly Davis.

Kim Wran, who played Caroline Fielding, had a more glamorous background than her character. Her father is the former NSW Premier Neville Wran, and she once danced with Prince Charles!

Helen Gordon had a daughter who worked as a nurse at the hospital (Jill), and the actress who played Helen, Lyn James, had a daughter working at the Albert too. Sally Tayler (Dr Vicky Daniels) is Lyn’s real-life daughter.

The last scene was shot on 29th October 1982. By that time, over 10,000 people had worked on The Young Doctors.

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