Ricardo Simich brings you the inside scoop from the local social scene and beyond.

Spy: Shortland Street's new arrivals

After Jacqui Nairn's departure two new faces have arrived in Ferndale.
After Jacqui Nairn's departure two new faces have arrived in Ferndale.

As Shortland Street fans mourn the exit of cast favourite Jacqueline Nairn (nurse Wendy Cooper), Spy can reveal the latest additions to New Zealand's most-loved soap.

Australian actor/model Lukas Whiting has signed on to play the role of a new doctor in the corridors of the drama-filled hospital.

"Lukas has only just arrived in the country and is yet to film his first scene, so we are keen to let him get a few weeks of work under his belt before we reveal too much about the role," a spokesperson for the show said.

"However, we can confirm he will appear on screen in March."

Whiting told Spy he was enjoying having a few weeks to get a feel for Auckland before he starts work.

Australian actor Lukas Whiting.
Australian actor Lukas Whiting.

"What I've seen of the city so far has been awesome, but at this stage the only drive I feel confident with is the trip between central Auckland and the studios in West Auckland.

I'm really looking forward to investigating everything New Zealand has to offer."

And Zoe Robins is also adding some glamour to the cast.

Robins' role (Sabina Faraj) is set to get fans talking. She stars as the fiancee of ambulance driver Ali Karam (Tane Williams) and the storyline involves an arranged marriage.

Robins has been busy recently. As well as her role on Shorty, she had a major guest role in the American series The Shannara Chronicles, which was filmed in New Zealand last year.

The new arrivals come after a drama-filled first week back on air for Shortland Street.

The death of Cooper from a brain haemorrhage after being shot in last year's season cliff-hanger had fans reaching for their tissues. Nairn had played the role since 2010.

Zoe Robins.
Zoe Robins.

Fans also turned to social media with fears another favourite cast member - Pua Magasiva who plays nurse Vinnie Kruse - was also set for an untimely end.

But Spy can reveal Magasiva is not set for the chop.

He this week joined Flava's Wake Up Call morning show team, alongside Tarsh Ieremia and Sela Alo, a move some Shorty fans read as his character being set to be written off the TV drama.

But fear not. Magasiva is completing his daily radio commitments before heading to West Auckland to film at South Pacific Pictures' studios for the rest of the day.

"They have been very long days but it's part of what I chose to do and what I love to do," he said.

"Both jobs are working with each other to make sure we can get the work done and to make sure that I can be there 100 per cent for both."

- Spy.co.nz

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