As Martha and Alf tie the knot, Home and Away actress Belinda Giblin talks drama, romance and her hopes for a kick ass future for Martha!
Summer Bay favourite Martha Baldivis is about to achieve the almost impossible when she gets hitched to one of the Bay’s longest serving singletons, widower Alf Stewart. Actress Belinda Giblin talked to whatsontv.co.uk about the romantic surprise wedding and what’s coming up for one of Home & Away’s best-loved couples.
When Martha made a return from the dead two years ago after being tracked down by daughter Roo Stewart, she knocked her former hubby Alf Stewart for six.
The couple married when they were young but Martha supposedly died in a tragic drowning accident when Roo was 12-years-old.
It was only recently revealed that Martha had staged her own demise, as she was suffering from borderline personality disorder. In the intervening years, she was treated for the condition and made a new life for herself.
In the years since Martha’s disappearance Alf remarried once, to the much-missed Ailsa. She died from a heart attack 20 years ago and he’s been pretty much single ever since.
When the pair were reunited, Alf found it difficult to forgive her…
“When Martha came back to the Bay Alf didn’t want to know her. She went away for six months but Roo wanted her to come back and we tried again,” explained Belinda.
“For her to come back to the Bay was the bravest thing she could do. She made a decision that she wanted to be there for her daughter and for Alf. Their reunion was a very slow burn and it was quite romantic because she wanted Alf to court her again.”
The recent shock death of Mason Morgan during the armed hospital siege, however, prompted Alf into uncharacteristic action!
“When Alf proposes Martha thinks it’s a knee jerk reaction to all the grief. She just loves him so much that she feels like he’s doing it to make them feel better rather than the romantic proposal she wanted.”
Fortunately, Alf is able to convince Martha that he’s on the level and the wedding is on – with only a few days to arrange it! Roo turns wedding planner and along with the couple’s friends and family they pull together to create the perfect day.
Alf scrubs up well for the ceremony – although he can’t be coaxed out of his trademark fishing hat – while Martha looks spectacular in a designer-style wedding dress.
“I tried on so many bridal gowns – white bridal gowns, proper bridal gowns,” revealed Belinda. “But then the wardrobe mistress found this dress that she absolutely loved. It’s powder pink, which is my favourite colour, and layers of net. It’s really pretty and very classic.”
Now that Martha is set to be a permanent fixture in the Bay, Belinda says she’d be more than happy to be in the thick of the action. She’s already had a long career on Australian TV and on stage, including a starring role in ‘80s soap Sons and Daughters as the scheming Alison Carr.
“My fear about any role is I will just end up making cups of tea and saying hello to people. If I had my way there would be a lot of energy and drama” Belinda insisted. “I don’t want to be just the wife at home making tea. I think Martha has to make a stand for womanhood!”
Belinda has known Ray Meagher, who plays Alf, since the early ‘70s, when they starred in an Australian police drama called Matlock together. Actress Judy Nunn, who played Alf’s late wife Ailsa, is one of Belinda’s best friends and suggested Belinda for the role of Martha.
“Ray and I get on famously. He’s a darling, darling man. Kind, generous, a real gentleman and lovely to work with,” shared Belinda.
“Ray, Georgie (Parker, who plays Roo) and I spend a lot of our time on set laughing. It’s amazing we get anything done! We’ve got real chemistry together. I think you’ll find Martha is a lot more energetic and happy from now on.”
Watch Home and Away every weekday at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5