Home and Away veterans Ada Nicodemou and James Stewart reveal their Christmas plans

Ada Nicodemou and James Stewart have been pleasantly pleased by their characters’ storylines throughout their tenure on Home and Away, and it’s one of the reasons they’ve stayed on the program for so long.

However, when James learned that their on-screen counterparts, Justin and Leah, would have a romantic narrative, he was eager to learn from the television legend.

“I’ve known Ray Meagher, Georgie Parker, Emily Symons, Shane Withington, Lynne McGranger, and Ada for years, and they’re outstanding professionals,” James, 46, says.

“I’ve always wanted a constant relationship to carry on throughout the dramatic storylines and I’ve got it with Ada now; it’s great, easy and so much fun to play.”

As their collaboration became closer, the two discovered amusing parallels between their personas in more ways than one.

“I’m not great at knowing the schedule, whereas Ada knows what’s happening weeks before, so we certainly have our different strengths [laughs]. It always makes for a good laugh,” James says. “But like our characters, we love our families and bond over that. So we have fun, then clock off and head home to our kids.”

Ada, whose character has had her fair share of drama, says she now “much prefers” to play out nicer tales.

“I have a lot of fun in the lighter moments, especially with the arrival of Matt [Evans], who plays Theo. It’s a nice family dynamic,” Ada, 44, says.

However, James jokingly adds that Leah’s track record of husbands did cause him some doubt!

“The in-joke for Justin is that several of Leah’s husbands have died [laughs]!” James says.

Away from the Bay, Ada and James are getting ready to enjoy the holidays with their respective families. James, his nine-year-old daughter Scout, and his wife Sarah Roberts – who quit her role as Willow Harris in Home and Away earlier this year – are eager to join his extended family now that borders have reopened as a result of state lockdowns.

“We’ll head down to Melbourne to see Scout’s mum [Love Child actress Jess Marais] and do Christmas there and then head up to the Gold Coast to see my family,” he says. “We try to see everyone if we can.”

Ada, on the other hand, is taking things a little more slowly this holiday season, electing to spend it at home with her nine-year-old son Johnas and fiancé Adam Rigby. She anticipates “a lot of food, kids playing, and all of us simply enjoying each other’s company,” a valuable lesson she has learned from the global pandemic’s effects.

“I live in an area, which at one time was deemed an area of concern by the NSW government, so I was somewhat forced into a holiday via lockdown, so I felt quite refreshed [at work] when normally everyone is quite exhausted!” Ada says with a laugh.

“But I was fortunate to have some quality time as a family, slow down and reflect. It certainly makes you reassess what’s important in life.

“Not about the materialistic things this Christmas, it’s just a time to just be with each other. We all deserve that.”

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