Mark Furze who plays Ric Dalby in Home and Away was in the UK in July 2007 with castmates Jodi Gordon (Martha) and Kate Ritchie (Sally) to promote the show. Here is a selection of the some of the questions we asked Mark when he was a guest on The Soap Show.
I know that as well as being in Home & Away you also have a band. Could you tell us something about that?
Sure, it’s called Charger and I do lead vocals and rhythm guitar. I’ve been writing songs for the past year or so. Some of the band members are guys I grew up with and hopefully we’re going to be playing gigs around Sydney later this year. Whether or not we make any money out of it is irrelevant, because I love it, but if people like it – fantastic!
So did you get any advice from Alan Fletcher (Karl, Neighbours) when you were both doing Soapstar Superstar on ITV1?
Fletch is great, we got on really well. I’d never actually met him before that yet we’d probably been in the same room ten times. He was kind of like a dad while I was on the show and he gave me a lot of advice and help.
Did you enjoy doing Soapstar Superstar? Watching it, it looked like you were all under a lot of pressure.
(Laughs). Oh, that was the most horrifying experience of my life! I had a fantastic time and I wouldn’t take it back for anything, but it was so full on. It was ten days and I think I lost about thirteen pounds, because I could only eat one meal a day, I was sleeping five hours a night maximum and that really starts to wear on you. It was an incredibly draining experience, but I had an awesome time.
Ric in Home & Away has been involved in serious storylines like domestic abuse and workplace bullying. Do you ever hear from viewers who’ve been through those experiences in their own lives?
Yes, every now and then there are people who’ll write in with what they’ve been through. It’s okay for me to say my lines as an actor and go home, but it’s real life, it really goes on. I’m kind of glad people have contacted me about it. I try to do things as realistically as I can. There are a few topics we’ve covered that aren’t to be taken lightly, like Flynn’s cancer and the bullying in the workplace and I think it’s great that the writers decided to give them a go on a soap.
On a lighter note – is there an eligible girl in Summer Bay that Ric hasn’t dated?!
(Laughs). He’s had Belle, Cassie and now Matilda….I think Sal is the only one left! He’s done all right for himself old Ric, better than me – he’s a bit of a player!
Who do you think Ric works best with in a couple?
I think Matilda is probably the most suitable girl for Ric so far. Ric and Cassie was always a bit aggressive and Belle’s just a mad woman!
What’s it like working with TV veterans like Ray Meagher and Cornelia Frances?
Cornie is one of my best mates in the world – she’s such a good friend of mine, so working with her is great fun. And Ray is Home and Away. He’s a very funny bloke and the longer I’m on the show the better and better we get along, we’re quite close mates now.
Were you aware of any of the roles Cornelia Frances is famous for, like Sons & Daughters and The Young Doctors?
I have seen a lot of the re-runs and good old Corn as Sister Scott, she was a nasty piece of work in that, wasn’t she?! She does it so well. It’s funny knowing Corn as Morag and then seeing the other stuff that she’s done, it’s really quite exciting to see where she’s come from.