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Spy: Warrior Shaun Johnson to star on Shortland Street

Grace Palmer, Shaun Johnson and Ria Vandervis.
Grace Palmer, Shaun Johnson and Ria Vandervis.

Cast and crew of Shortland Street went fangirl crazy this week when Warriors' star Shaun Johnson arrived at South Pacific Pictures - but they weren't the only ones star-struck.

The 25-year-old Johnson turns out to be a big Shortland Street fan and has been for a long time - before he became good friends with Grace Palmer, who plays Lucy Rickman.

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Spy understands the soap went into a frenzy when it was confirmed Johnson was coming for a set visit organised by Palmer - so much so they decided to write him into a scene and even give him a couple of lines.

Producers were tight-lipped on what Johnson will be doing but Spy has learned the scenes shot on Thursday include huge Warriors fan Ben Barrington, who plays plastic surgeon Dr Drew McCaskill.

We think an angry boyfriend of a patient who suffered a botched procedure would be perfect for Johnson.

Palmer told Spy Johnson seemed a little overwhelmed about being on set "which baffled me, as this guy plays league to crowds of thousands".

But he soon settled into the role and by the end was a natural performer. "Our director regretted not giving him more lines," said Palmer.

Johnson follows a distinguished list of famous Ferndale cameos, including All Black Jerome Kaino, the late Jonah Lomu, former PM Helen Clark, the late Paul Holmes, Rachel Hunter and Ed Sheeran.

The latest celebs to grace the show were trio Sol3 Mio for last year's Christmas cliff-hanger.

- Spy.co.nz

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