Before Byron, there was Evan.
Neighbours spoilers follow from Monday’s UK episode (July 25).
Neighbours waved goodbye to Byron Stone in the show’s latest episode, but only the most dedicated fans will have realised that it wasn’t actor Joe Klocek’s first time bowing out of Erinsborough.
Nowhere Boys star Joe has played the role of Byron over the past few weeks, shaking up life for his mum Jane Harris and sister Nicolette Stone.
But what about Joe’s first – largely forgotten – role in Neighbours? Here’s a quick refresher, just in case it passed you by.
Who did Neighbours star Joe Klocek previously play in the show?
Joe Klocek’s first Neighbours stint aired in 2017, when he took on the role of Evan Lewis.
Evan was introduced as a new apprentice mechanic at the local garage, where he worked alongside established regulars Tyler Brennan and Ben Kirk.
Ben was put out to realise that Evan had more experience than him, with three years of training under his belt.
This led to some early rivalry between the two lads, as Evan showed his superiority and crushed Ben’s belief that he’d be showing the new employee the ropes.
Yashvi Rebecchi quickly took a shine to Evan when she realised that they both shared a passion for BMXs, which led to a bond between them.
Sadly, Yashvi’s new romance turned sour when she discovered that Evan had been secretly trolling her neighbour Piper Willis.
Evan turned manipulative by falsely letting Yashvi believe that she’d injured him by knocking him over with a car. He warned Yashvi to keep quiet about the trolling if she wanted to protect her own supposed secret.
Of course, soap wrong’uns don’t stay unpunished forever and it wasn’t long before the truth was revealed and Evan was brought to justice over his actions.
Joe’s Neighbours return as Byron Stone
Joe’s first Neighbours character Evan only appeared for a month-long stint, featuring in five episodes.
Evan hadn’t been mentioned since, so show bosses were clearly hoping that few people would notice when Joe was cast in the role of Byron Stone for the soap’s final weeks on air.
During their early planning for the 2022 season, show bosses intended to make Byron a regular character.
When Neighbours was axed, the creative team decided that they’d still introduce Byron for a brief stint so that viewers would get to meet Jane’s son.
Script producer Shane Isheev told Insertions.us: “He is a character that we would have got a lot of mileage out of, and he would have stuck around long-term. We had plans to bring in Jane’s ex, Vic too and we would have had a ball with that.
“We didn’t want to miss out on seeing some of those faces show up, so that’s why we still have Byron, and we still have Estelle – just so we can see them.”
Joe’s final scenes as Byron aired in Monday’s UK episode, as he said goodbye to Jane and Nicolette and headed off to Cape Town.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 6pm on Channel 5 and streams on My5. The series finale will air in the UK on July 29 at 9pm on Channel 5.
In Australia, the show airs Mondays to Thursdays at 6.30pm on 10 Peach and streams on 10 Play. The series finale will air in Australia on July 28 at 7.30pm, simulcast on 10 and 10 Peach.