Malcolm Kennedy

Malcolm Kennedy
Malcolm Kennedy
Mal kennedy.jpg
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Benjamin McNair
Introduced by Ian Bradley (1994)
Stanley Walsh (2002)
Ric Pellizzeri (2004-05)
Susan Bower (2011)
Duration 1994–97, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011
First appearance 3 October 1994
Classification Current, regular
Date of birth 30 June 1977
Home London
Occupation Student at Erinsborough High (1994–95)
Coffee Shop Assistant
Cuppa Diem Salesman

Malcolm George "Mal" Kennedy is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Benjamin McNair. He made his first on-screen appearance on 3 October 1994 arriving to live in Ramsay Street with his family. Malcolm's storylines explored a long term relationship with Danni Stark, a friendship with Stonefish Rebecchi, a career as a handyman and later, coffee chain salesman and a marriage to Catherine O'Brien. Malcolm departed on 5 February 1997. McNair made two brief returns in 2002 and 2004 and a year later he reprised his role for the show' 20th anniversary. In May 2011, it was announced that Malcolm would be returning to Neighbours for four months. He returned on 18 July 2011.


Character creation and casting

In 1994, the Neighbours' storyliners decided to introduce the "solid" Kennedy family as they felt that they needed to take the show back to its roots when it seemed that all the houses on Ramsay Street were populated with misfits and distant relatives.[1] McNair joined the cast as eldest sibling Malcolm, brother to Libby (Kym Valentine) and Billy (Jesse Spencer).[1][2][3]

McNair departed Neighbours in 1997, but he made a return in 2002 for six weeks.[2][4] McNair said "It's been five years since Mal packed his bags and went to England and that's five full years of doing other things for me. But I learnt a lot doing Neighbours and coming back for a stint is perfect. Let's just say he's not the Mal he used to be."[4] At the end of his guest stint in May, Doug Anderson of The Sydney Morning Herald wished Malcolm good luck.[5] McNair returned again in 2004.[6] In February 2005, it was announced that McNair would be among many former Neighbours actors reprising their roles for the show's 20th anniversary in July of that year.[7]


Following his arrival, Malcolm quickly got involved in Ramsay Street "shenanigans" and became attracted to Danni Stark (Eliza Szonert).[1] They embarked on a "passionate" relationship and became inseparable.[8] Their parents disapproved, but Malcolm and Danni were determined to be together and they rented Number 32, so they could have some privacy.[8] They later moved in with Malcolm's best friend Stonefish (Anthony Engleman) after they struggled with the rent, but when his mother came to stay, Malcolm and Danni moved back to their old homes.[9]

On 9 May 2011, it was announced revealed that McNair would be returning to Neighbours for a four month guest stint.[6] The actor begin filming his first scenes the following week and Malcolm began appearing from 18 July.[6][10] Malcolm returns to Ramsay Street to help repair his parents' marriage, after Susan becomes emotionally involved with another man. Of his return, McNair said "It's great to be back. While there have been a few changes and lots of new faces, Mum (Jackie Woodburne) and Dad (Alan Kennedy) are still the same, so it really is like coming home."[6] During an interview with Digital Spy, McNair explained that Malcolm returns to Ramsay Street to see his parents after sensing that there is a problem between them. He has also been speaking to Libby and Billy and they agree that there is trouble brewing.[11] McNair said "Malcolm is trying to get to the bottom of it without appearing too nosy. He cares about his parents deeply and wants them to live a life of harmony, so if he can help, he'll certainly try."[11] The actor said Malcolm is not surprised that his parents are facing marital problems, but it may be a surprise as to where the troubles are coming from. Previous problems have come from Karl and his infidelity issues, but this is something different.[11] McNair revealed that he thinks Malcolm does have what it takes to get things back on track for his parents as he has a lot of compassion and maturity to deal with both sides of the story.[11] When asked if Malcolm has changed since his last appearance, McNair revealed that he is very similar and still assertive in a business sense.[11] Malcolm is now working with a large company as an area manager and he has an air of confidence about him.[11] He is successful and travels throughout Europe. Malcolm and his wife, Catherine, have become a professional couple and have decided not to have children.[12]

In October 2011, Malcolm befriends Jade Mitchell (Gemma Pranita) and they begin flirting.[13] Jade uses Malcolm to distract her from her feelings for Kyle Canning (Chris Milligan) and Susan Hill from the Daily Star said the fact Malcolm is married appeals to Jade because she knows there is no chance of a relationship.[13][14] Jade needs some fun and she reckons Malcolm is the person to help her.[13] However, the pair's innocent flirting turns into something more serious when Jade arranges a "late-night rendezvous" with Malcolm.[14] Due to his father's history of infidelity, TV Week said Malcolm proves to be "a chip off the old block" when he kisses Jade.[14] Of Jade's relationship with Malcolm, Pranita told the magazine, "The reason she goes to Malcolm is purely to gain some sort of control back in her life because everything's spiralling out of control due to these feelings she has for Kyle. Her default position is to go back to what she knows - which is to hook up with men who won't want anything serious, like taken men or people who are up for a one-night stand. He's like a safety harness really."[14]


Malcolm and his siblings are shocked when their father, Karl (Alan Fletcher), suddenly moves the family to Ramsay Street. Malcolm and Libby are particularly against Karl's decision and do not express any enthusiasm when they arrive. Malcolm instantly clashes with Danni Stark and she believes he is rude. Malcolm discovers that Karl moved the family because he caused a patients death and he is furious. Malcolm accidentally shoots Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) in the leg and he falls for Bianca Zanotti (Annie Gagliardi). After inviting Bianca over to his house, he tries to kiss her and she punches him. Malcolm tells his friends that he was mugged, but Bianca reveals the truth and Karl is disgusted at Malcolm's behaviour. Malcolm embarrasses Libby at school by reading out parts of a novel she was writing. Malcolm and Danni begin to get to know each other and Malcolm finds himself attracted to her. Malcolm kisses Danni and they begin dating. Susan (Jackie Woodburne) forces Malcolm to get a job at the Coffee Shop. Danni puts pressure on Malcolm to have sex with her and Malcolm reveals that he is a virgin. They then wait until he is ready.

Danni and Malcolm break up, after he becomes jealous of her new friends and she looks at his paper during an exam. Malcolm's best friend, Stonefish Rebecchi (Anthony Engleman), gets him and Danni back together. The couple decide to live together and move into Number 32. Stonefish and his mother briefly move in with Malcolm and Danni. One night, Malcolm and Danni have unprotected sex and after realising how easily Danni could have gotten pregnant, they decide to go back to their own homes. Malcolm gets a part-time job at a local surf shop and, after passing his HSC, enrolls at Eden Hills University to study Human Movement. Danni fails her exams and the couple drift apart.

Malcolm and Stonefish's friendship is jeopardised by Catherine O'Brien (Radha Mitchell). Stonefish likes her, but she fancies Malcolm. When Stonefish finds out, he confronts Malcolm, who tells him that nothing has happened between him and Catherine. Malcolm and Stonefish buy a car and the former owners arrive looking for some drugs they left in there. The police decide to stage a stake out, which results in a shootout that leaves Cody Willis (Peta Brady) dead. Malcolm briefly dates Debbie Martin (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) and decides to leave university to work as a handyman for Sam Kratz (Richard Grieve). When Sam leaves Erinsborough, Malcolm is left in charge of the business and he eventually buys it with Darren Stark (Todd MacDonald). Malcolm falls for Year 12 student, Shona Munro (Bryony Price), after he works at the school. They date, but her parents object to the relationship and it ends. Malcolm then starts seeing Catherine. She rushes to his hospital bedside after Karl is forced to perform an emergency tracheotomy on him following an accident at Chez Chez. Malcolm is heartbroken when Catherine has an affair with Darren. Malcolm decides to go travelling, but he realises that he and Catherine are meant to be together and she books a ticket on the same flight as him to Europe. After travelling for a while, the couple settle in England and get married. Malcolm also begins working for Cuppa Diem.

Malcolm returns to Erinsborough the following year to meet his new nephew, Ben (Noah Sutherland) and to find a suitable location for Cuppa Diem's first Australian branch. Malcolm tries to get Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) to sell the Coffee Shop, but Harold declines. Malcolm then asks the owner of the lease to sell and he makes an offer, which is hard to turn down. Karl is disgusted with Malcolm and Malcolm moves into a hotel. Cuppa Diem remove Malcolm from the Coffee Shop takeover job because it was taking too long to secure the deal. Malcolm realises that he has been cruel to Harold and he apologises and quits Cuppa Diem. Before Malcolm leaves, he tells his parents that he will be suing the company and that he had bought Number 32. When Karl does not join a Kennedy family holiday in Adelaide, Malcolm comes to Erinsborough to see why. Malcolm suspects Karl is having an affair with Izzy Hoyland (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) and he confronts Izzy, who denies this. He then decides to leave, but Karl pleads with him to stay and he reveals that nothing is going on between him and Izzy, but he and Susan are having marital problems. Malcolm tries to get his parents together to talk, but Karl resists. Malcolm runs over Libby's dog, Audrey, and this brings Karl and Susan together. Malcolm decides to sell Number 32 and he tells Max Hoyland (Stephen Lovatt) that it will be put up for auction. Malcolm then returns to London and he is later seen in Annalise Hartman's (Kimberley Davies) Ramsay Street documentary.

Malcolm decides to surprise his parents with a visit and notices things are not okay when he catches them arguing. He reveals that he has spoken to Billy and Libby, but Susan reassures him that everything is fine. Malcolm decides to go and see Stonefish in Colac. When he returns he tries to ask Karl about Jim Dolan (Scott Parameter), a dying man Susan befriended. Malcolm catches up with both Lou and Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) and notices Andrew Robinson (Jordan Smith) renting his house out to backpackers. Malcolm tells Karl not to make anything more out of Susan's friendship with Jim and to support her or he will end up driving her away. Malcolm tells Toadie about Andrew's scheme and then warns Summer Hoyland (Jordy Lucas) to end it, before she gets his parents into trouble. Malcolm accompanies his mother to the hospital when Jim collapses and he tells her not to forget about Karl. Jim dies and Malcolm comforts Susan. When she leaves for Anglesea to arrange Jim's funeral, Malcolm talks Karl out of following her and he decides to go instead. Malcolm returns alone and he unsuccessfully tries to stop Karl from joining Susan. When Susan returns, she tells Malcolm that she and Karl have decided to separate. Malcolm is angry and blames Susan, but Karl confesses it was his idea. Malcolm begins flirting with Jade Mitchell and he begins an affair with her.


The BBC said Malcolm's most notable moment was "Having an accident at Chez Chez where Karl had to save his life."[15] McNair named the event as his favourite storyline.[12] In 1996, the BBC censored the programme, when it edited out scenes involving Karl agonising over Malcolm's sexual activity with Danni. The broadcaster felt the scenes were inappropriate for the early evening timeslot.[16] The Daily Mirror said that "things were looking up" for Malcolm when he started dating Shona (Bryony Price) and branded him as "the heartthrob handyman".[17] Caroline Milburn of The Age called Malcolm a "larrikin."[18] In 2011, Yahoo! said that viewers should be excited that Malcolm was returning because everyone loves him.[19] They added "And you can tell from the fact that the cast always want him back that he has real chemistry with everyone on set."[19]


  1. ^ a b c Monroe, Josephine, p.60
  2. ^ a b "Mal does a u-turn on Ramsay St". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times). 10 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kennedy clan mark 15 years". Holy Soap. Channel 5. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Randall, Tim (2 February 2002). "Soap gossip...". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Doug (15 May 2002). "Head for the movies". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media): p. 21. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Mal Kennedy to return". Channel 5. Northern & Shell. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Wilkes, Neil (23 February 2005). "Host of 'Neighbours' stars tapped to return". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Monroe, Josephine, p.63
  9. ^ Johnston, Tony, p.184
  10. ^ Knox, David (15 July 2011). "Benji McNair returns to Neighbours". TV Tonight. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Kilkelly, Daniel (26 May 2011). "Benjie McNair (Malcolm Kennedy, 'Neighbours')". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Benjie's back - for a bit". Channel 5. Northern & Shell. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Hill, Susan (16 October 2011). "Jade Mitchell turns her attentions to Malcolm Kennedy". Daily Star (Northern & Shell). Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Cheating heart". TV Week (ACP Magazines) (43): 24. 22-28 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Character: Mal Kennedy". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 October 2003. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Malins, Sue (10 June 1996). "Bedtime blues". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mal's brush with love; choice: Neighbours, BBC1, 1.40pm". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). 13 March 1997. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Milburn, Caroline (20 October 1995). "Love thy forests, Neighbours tell loggers". The Age (Fairfax Media): p. 9. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Horsley, Jon (30 June 2011). "Soap arrivals and departures". Yahoo!. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  • Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-7181-4212-4. 

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