Home and Away legend Ray Meagher shares 80th birthday plans

 He's spent almost half his life playing Alf Stewart.

Home and Away actor Ray Meagher has shared how he intends to celebrate his 80th birthday.

The star, who has played Alf Stewart on the Australian TV/streaming service soap since it began over 35 years ago, hits the milestone age tomorrow (July 4). Despite it being a big birthday, he intends for the celebrations to be quite — pardon the pun — meager.

Speaking to the Australian version of The Daily Telegraph, he explained that he's more the kind of guy who prefers to fly "under the radar" when it comes to his birthday, plus it's a busy day at the office for him this year.

"I've got seven straight scenes, so I will be up at five in the morning and finish at seven," he said.

I've always shied away from celebrations a bit. I used to joke with [Irene Roberts actor] Lynne McGranger because she would tell everybody her birthday was coming up a month in advance and keep celebrating it for a month after.

"I am perfectly happy to slink under the radar and go along quietly, but I love a party, meaning a few beers with a few friends."

The Home and Away Instagram account shared a special tribute with some throwback pictures to mark the occasion:

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At the start of last year, Meagher confirmed that he will be sticking with the soap for a while to come, explaining that: "I signed a contract last year for another five years! So I’ll definitely see that out."

He also said in another interview that he felt he would have been a "lost soul" had he not found acting success, having worked as a cab driver for a bit before his audition, and kept that career in his mind as a backup for a while.

"I held on to that cab licence for about 10 years because I sort of thought, 'I'm just not going to get more acting work. It's all going to dry up, so I'll hang on,' and I hung on and hung on, but I kept working and doing bits and pieces," he explained.

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5, with repeat screenings at 6pm on 5STAR and first look screenings at 6.30pm on 5STAR. Selected classic episodes are available via Prime Video in the UK.

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