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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know Debbie Newby-Ward

Get to know the latest Newby in Ferndale, Debbie (Margaret Hannah).

How long have you been acting and how did you get your first big break?

I have been acting since I was 12.  My first acting job was a 'World Vision' documentary starring Jason Gunn. 

What has been your best experience/scene on the show to date?

There are some storylines coming up which were the most intense and raw that I have experienced in my career so far. The journey took me into very fragile territory and I am honored to have had a part in telling such a poignant story.

Which other character would you like to be and why?

Drew McCaskell… I wonder what the world looks like from that height!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Shorty?

Sadly I'm too busy for hobbies at the moment! If I'm not on set, my focus is spending all my spare time with my family!

What do you do in your down time during the day when you're not shooting?

Learning lines!!

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

I love the Coromandel.  Tairua is my Haven! And anywhere overseas is a treat… but my preferred holiday destination is Thailand.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I am the youngest of three.  I have an older brother and sister.

What star sign are you?


What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work everyday?

Being given the opportunity to work on my craft consistently. I never know what's around the corner, and with new scripts coming in every week there's always a challenge waiting to be tackled!

Do you watch Shortland Street at home? Is it strange seeing yourself on television or are you used to it?

Yes I watch the show. Sometimes it's strange seeing myself, but mostly I just see Margaret, not myself. Because she is so different from me.

What is your favourite food?

85% Chocolate

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Auckland… Ponsonby.

Can you remember your first day on Shortland Street – what was it like?

My first day I was being shown around when I heard someone walking down the hall saying "Where's my wife! I want to see my wife!" And that's when Mo and Maggs first connected!

I was then told that all my "children" were desperate to meet me, so I went up to the studio where I was warmly greeted by my two very tall and handsome sons and beautiful daughter (who's actually taller then me too!) And from that moment it was pretty hard to separate us… the Hannah Clan!!