Here is a selection of the some of the questions we asked Jackie on the show.
Congratulations for being voted “Soap's Best Ever Mum” by our listeners for your role of Susan on Neighbours!
You know, I was absolutely thrilled, that's a lovely title.
What qualities do you think that Susan has that made people vote for her?
I think she is a good mum, she's a very kind mum. She's very sympathetic, but she also does get it horribly wrong sometimes (laughs). You know, she maybe embarrasses them occasionally or treats them a little younger than they really are, but she absolutely means well all the time. She would do anything for her children, they are her number one priority.
As well as being a mum to her own kids, Susan has played mum to so many other people's children, hasn't she?
I know! She's had any number of kids come through the house, she's been Toadie's surrogate mother, and Stingray when he came to town, spent quite a bit of time with Susan – various other children over the years have come into her life. And of course, now she has her current step-children, Rachel and Zeke, whom she loves as if they were her own.
Do you think her parenting technique has changed at all from when she was a mum the first time round?
I think she's a fairly relaxed mum. She trusts that the kids a sensible and gives them a pretty long leash, I think that's probably always been her style. Of course to combat her husband's slightly more rigid disciplinarian style, I think she can overcompensate and be a bit of a softie on occasions.
Talking of Karl, Karl and Susan also won the category of “Soap's Best Ever Couple” in our recent awards!
Isn't that lovely, it's amazing! Oh, that's thrilling, given that we've been apart for about three years.
The viewers really wanted Karl and Susan to get back together, didn't they?
Oh, yes. There was a very strong pull to get them back together. And for Alan (Fletcher) and I too, we were both very pleased that the story was able to come full circle.
When you hear from fans what sorts of things to do they commonly say to you?
At the beginning of the break up when Karl first ran off with Izzy, there was the very strong school of thought that Susan shouldn't take him back! And then as time went on, it was “Oh, I wish you'd get back together with Karl..” They want to know about the kids, and what's coming up, who's going to end up with who. They're just intrigued by all the relationships among all the families.
Is there anything Susan hasn't done or experienced that you'd quite like to see her go through?
(Laughs). Gosh! There's actually a very big story for Susan coming up where her whole idea of herself is absolutely challenged. It concerns her health, and I'm very excited about this story. I think it will be give me a whole other aspect of the character to play and it will make her prioritise her family, her friends and her career...everything. I think when someone's health is compromised invariably we look at our lives and how we've lived our lives and how we intend to continue to live our lives. So, I'm looking forward to that, but having said that, I do actually enjoy the comedy stories.
Do you have a message for the listeners who voted for Susan as “Soap's Best Ever Mum”?
Oh absolutely! Sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart. I've been doing this job for almost thirteen years now and you go into work every day and you do your best to try and keep your character on track and to keep your storylines truthful, and you hope that people are watching what you're doing and appreciating it, so to get an accolade like this is just such a lovely thanks from the audience and I would just like to return that thanks, I really, really appreciate it.