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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Sam's Biggest Fan


Rene Naufahu as Sam Aleni on TV2's Shortland Street

Rene Naufahu as Sam Aleni on TV2's Shortland Street

Rene Naufahu as Sam Aleni on TV2's Shortland Street

With Ula's big ambulance assessment coming up, Shortland Street has brought out the big guns to put her through her paces.

Fans may recognise her assessor from previous years, as actor Rene Naufahu returns to the show to reprise his role as Sam Aleni.

Rene originally starred on the show as the popular ambulance officer from 1992 to 1996. His character eventually left for Samoa after realising that he hadn't gotten over the grief of the death of his first wife, Talita TP Palele (Elizabeth Skeen).

On his return, Rene said that the decision was made by his biggest fan, his mother!

"It was a huge thing about coming back, "he told TV Guide. "My mum, shes been a bit sick for a while and as soon as I said to her, 'Mum,Shortland Street is asking me to come back, what do you reckon'? She looked at me and she just started smiling so happily. I thought, Thanks a lot, Mum. I was trying not to do it but you put the guilty smile on."

Having originally been one of the younger cast members, Rene found it quite a change when he returned to the set. It was particularly odd for him working alongside Lucy Elliot who plays Dayna.

"I actually held her as a baby," he said, having worked alongside her father Peter Elliot during his first stint on Shortland Street.  

"I've become that grumpy guy on set. When I started out I was like, That guy is so grumpy because he doesn't know his lines. Get it together, old man. Now it's like, thats me."

And it's not just Rene, his character Sam has hardened dramatically over the years, and Ula is in for a hard time with her new supervisor.

Watch out for Sams return to Ferndale on Tuesday the 18th of March at 7pm on TV2.


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