Summer Bay is a home away from home for avid fans of the three decade old television soap

Harrowing cliffhanger: Fans were left wondering who would survive the attack on Yabbie Creek's Northern District Hospital.
Harrowing cliffhanger: Fans were left wondering who would survive the attack on Yabbie Creek's Northern District Hospital.

It's hard to imagine a television world without Home & Away. It has given us many stars of stage and film and kept us glued to the small screen four days a week as we have met and said goodbye to a host of characters.

One of the newer breed who joined the cast in 2017 is Sam Frost who plays nurse Jasmine Delaney.

She came to television via The Bachelor (2015 winner) and then The Bachelorette (2015) and we saw her on Hell's Kitchen before she landed in the fictional tourist spot of Summer Bay.

Frost says she had concerns about people taking her seriously after her stint on the "reality TV" shows.

"Considering I hadn't acted before, it was only natural to be concerned. I couldn't have got through it without the crew, the production staff and the cast.They are so supportive. They have helped me grow and enabled me to back myself and follow my instincts."

Her character, Jasmine, has gone through so much, especially in the past year with her relationship with Robbo (Jake Ryan). "I have enjoyed the challenge. It's so exciting reading the script and wondering what on earth can happen next," Frost says.

She believes the story lines Jasmine has faced have definitely seen her grow as an actor.

"Oh, absolutely. One of my favourite things has been the challenge to cry and feel so many emotions. You have to dig deep and find the truth of your character and I am so thankful the writers and producers have trusted me and have faith in me to allow me to go in those directions.

"When I first started I thought I would be a lovely fluffy nurse, I had no idea all this would happen. The great thing is that as I've grown as an actor, Jasmine's story has gotten bigger.''

Frost says her first weeks on set were alongside Ada Nicodemou (Leah). "I admire her so much as an actor and a woman. She is truly cool. She was so supportive and kind, and a phenomenal actor.

"As my character developed I worked more with Lynne McGrainger (Irene). She's hilarious. She's been like a mother figure to Jasmine and we have a ball together. It's really nice to have these role models.''

Frost says Ray Meagher, who plays the gruff Alf Stewart, is so kind. "He's one of the nicest people in the world; he looks after everyone."

Of course one of the things that keeps fans enamoured with the show is the constant romantic involvements from teens at the high school to the senior citizens.

There have in fact been more than 30 weddings on the show and there will be another one when Alf marries Martha (Belinda Giblin).

It is also one of the most dangerous places on earth to live. There have been more than 20 deaths over the years and there is another to come in the series return according to the Seven Network promos.

Meanwhile, where has Leah disappeared to? With everything else going on, will we find out where Leah has been and why, in the 2020 premiere? Surely she isn't the other departure alluded to in the promos? How would Justin (James Stewart) possibly cope after what the family went through last season if Leah is gone as well?

December is certainly a risky time to be in the Bay, Frost says, in light of the cliffhanger episodes that usually have fans in tears at season end.

"I loved shooting the finale and the premiere, it was something different for me. We had Emily Symons (Marilyn), Emily Weir (Mackenzie), Zoe Ventoura (Dr Alex), and Courtney Miller (Bella), all these strong boss women together.

"We spent 10 hours a day filming these emotional scenes, it was amazing, seeing them perform and rise to the challenge they were set.

"I think that's one of the greatest things about working on Home and Away. It really is a sisterhood. We work together and are good friends on and off screen."

There are of course lots of attractive men on the series, says Frost. Who could argue with the likes of Heath Ledger, Chris Hemsworth, Guy Pearce, Julian McMahon, Luke Bracey, Luke Mitchell, to name a few who went on to fame in Hollywood.

Current heartthrobs are Tim Franklin (Colby), Patrick O'Connor (Dean), Orpheus Pledger (Mason - sadly killed off in the 2019 finale), James Stewart (Justin) and Jake Ryan (Robbo).

And standby for an influx of new males on the sands of Summer Bay when a new family joins the cast.

There have also been a number of ladies who went on to the bright lights of Los Angeles to achieve success after spending time in the seaside town.

Melissa George, Tamara Weaving, Tammin Sursok, Isabel Lucas and Kassandra Clementi are among the alumni of Home & Away.

One thing is certain, apart from producing some excellent talent, Home & Away has never shied away from tackling the big issues. Last season alone saw mental health, eating disorders, epilepsy, drink driving, drug use, murder and paraplegia covered.

Then there's the more than 20 births in this microcosm of all the world's humanity.

Towards the end of last season we saw Frost's Jasmine hint at wanting her and Robbo to have a child of their own after she had been dead against it.

Looking after Tori's (Penny McNamee) child with Robbo, while Tori lay in a coma, seems to have changed Jasmine's mind. Will we see a mini-me Robbo before the end of 2020?