What do swimming superstars do with their time off? Visit the set of the Seven Network's Home and Away, of course!
While the rest of the cast was in the UK recently, Tammin Sursok- who plays Dani Sutherland in Summer Bay- was given the honour of showing Olympic gold medallist and world champion Ian Thorpe around.
Ian is no stranger to Home and Away. He had a cameo role last year and has dropped in from time to time to see his good friend Michael Williams, a sufferer of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, who is a regular visitor to the set." Watching and being part of the movie and television world fascinates me", Ian says." But more the process of how it's made as opposed to the result".
Ian has made no secret of his desire to work in TV when he hangs up his goggles. He has made a brief appearance in an episode of his favourite TV show Friends, and there are rumou he will link up with Calista Flockhart for a guest role in Ally McBeal.
" I've had a lot of doors open for me...but I wish I'd had a speaking role [ in Friends ]!" laughs the 18-year-old sporting idol. With a four-year contract with the Seven Network in his possession, it looks like more doors will open. According to one source, Ian and Seven boss Kerry Stokes often talk about Ian's on-screen possibilities.
" There are many areas I can explore with my contract", he admits." I have a longstanding relationship with the network, and I'm sure that will continue to grow. But I'd love to be involved in the production side, where I can be creative and let my contribution be part of the mystique that comes from film".
One person who would love to see Ian in front of the cameras is Tammin, who knows what it's like to be famous at a young age." It would be great for Ian to come back to the show", she says." He could play a lifesaver at the surf club or something". Perhaps it could be a regular role and his character could be Dani's new love interest?" Maybe!" says Tammin with a smile.